PALACE duo Alex Wynter and Bayan Fenwick helped loan club Eastbourne Borough to a 2-1 victory over Hayes & Yeading on Tuesday night and both have settled instantly at the south coast outfit.
With Borough looking to pull away from the relegation places in the Blue Square Bet South, it was nearly a bad start to the match at the Priory Lane stadium when defender Wynter conceded a penalty.
However, the 19-year-old was relieved to see the spot-kick saved by skipper Danny Potter.
He did think he would receive his marching orders though.
"To be fair, I think it was a penalty although the lads have come up to me and said it wasn't," Wynter said.
"The ball went in a different direction from my challenge but I think I could have got back if I didn't slide in.
"I think it could have been a sending-off but the striker has touched it away from goal so it wasn't a clearly goalscoring opportunity, but I did think I was going off.
"Pottsy has been great for us since I've arrived and he kept us in the game – I owe him a beer or some sort of drink.
"I wasn't sure what it would be like for the first time being away from Palace, but Eastbourne is like a second home and the lads here have made me feel welcome."
Wynter was involved with the first team and U21 squad earlier this season, and having been on the south coast for a few weeks, he welcomed the idea of extending the initial one-month loan.
"I am enjoying it down here and I just want to play games," he said.
"I'm down here for a month until March 30 – whether that gets extended or not, I'm not sure.
"The management at Palace said if I'm going to make mistakes, to get them out now so I'm geared towards the first team squad.
"Especially as a centre-half, I'm going to need the physicality of this level – look at Peter Ramage and Damien Delaney, they come off the pitch with black eyes and cuts.
"Look at Rammo, he's got a cut on his head at the moment so, especially as a young lad, I need it."
And despite the education at non-league level, Wynter says the introduction of the U21 league this season will be beneficial for years to come.
"I think it's brilliant because you're coming up against guys who will be playing in the Premier League and for their countries," said the stopper.
"It's good, especially for a club like Palace in the Championship to test ourselves week in, week out against the top clubs – there's nothing better really for us.
"It's a positive step because the old reserve league was less frequent and against the same teams every other week, but now it's against different teams and a lot more competitive."
Fenwick only joined the club on Monday earlier this week and had to settle for a place on the bench on Tuesday night, but he came on after 70 minutes and made a good impression.
And he nearly capped off his first appearance with a goal in the dying moments after he robbed the ball off a Hayes defender before bursting into the box and shooting narrowly over.
"My eyes lit up and I got the ball onto my left foot, but I think a mole popped up or something," he joked.
"I should have scored, but it will go in next week.
"This level is a lot more physical – it's competitive but this is adult football and it's going to be hard on a Tuesday night when it's cold, so you have to dig in and get used to these circumstances."
"I only had my first training session on Monday and I'm here for a month, having signed the papers as well."
And like Wynter, he thinks it will be good to continue playing at Eastbourne's level with an eye on Palace's first-team squad in the summer.
"If both clubs want us to stay then we're doing well – it depends on what Palace and Eastbourne can agree," said Fenwick.
"It's about getting games under our belts and seeing if we can make the step up towards the end of the season.
"If not, then it will be towards next season, but for now it's about experience."