We just about held the upper hand of a scrappy encounter until Palace turned the game on its head with a three-goal blitz in 11 minutes in the second half.
Mikele Leigertwood, Danny Granville and Andy Johnson's penalty did the damage after 66, 70 and 77 minutes. There was no way back.
"I don't think we played particularly well but I still thought we were a little better than them in the first half without creating too many chances," reflected Head Coach Martin.
"We had two or three shots, Dean Marney had a chance and for an away game we did alright.
"I said at half-time if we stretch them a bit more and play over the flanks more we would get more space for our strikers and maybe score one or two goals.
"The first goal came out of nothing and then everyone started to do different things, then it was 2-0 and we were chasing shadows.
"Maybe it was a game we shouldn't have lost but all credit to them, they worked hard and after 1-0 they worked harder and then after 2-0 even harder. They deserved to win."
Martin Jol held his hands up and admitted Crystal Palace deserved to win Saturday's encounter at Selhurst Park.