Two Off For Reserves

Scott Minto and Michael Ferrante were sent off in a stormy 2-0 reserve defeat at Derby on tuesday night.

Reserve team boss Roger Cross says of the brawl that also saw a Derby player sent off at the same time:

"There was an incident where Shaun Byrne was on the ball and got a kick from the boy Adam Newton, which he retaliated to.

"It was very difficult to see what was going on but somehow Shaun escaped punishment.

"But the referee has sent off Scott Minto and Michael Ferrante.

"There were players confronting each other but some were trying to part each other.

"I couldn't see if there were punches thrown or anything like that but there is a video of the game available so we'll look at that.

"We'll see from the video and if anyone is innocent we'll appeal."

If no appeal is forthcoming, it will be a bitter blow for Scott, who needs every game he can get as he plays his way back to fitness after nearly a season out.

And it made life even more difficult against the table toppers Derby, and Roger adds:

"We had a mixture of some very young players and some senior players - and we battled through to the end after having the two sent off.

"It wasn't a disgrace to lose 2-0; they had a very good side with Christie and Morris up front, Gudjohnsen, and others.

"Elliot Ward was one of three at the back and I thought he did excellently - he's only just 16 and a very strong boy, and that was his first start at this level.

"Young Danny Morris up front worked hard; he didn't have a tremendous amount of success but I was reasonably pleased with him.

"Ronnie Fletcher came on for the last 15 minutes and had to play in midfield.

"He came on for Ross Tobolewski who was himself a sub, and it was his first game for ages after a shin splints problem.

"He hit the cross bar, had a good start to the game, and then unfortunately turned his ankle so he had to come off.

"I've got to give a mention to Steven Laurie who has been out a long time and played well in the last two games.

"I think if we'd have had a more experienced strike force we might have got something from it."

As it is, with one 15 year old and two 16 year olds involved, it was a respectable preformance.

Toddi Gudjohnsen and Gary Twigg scored the Derby goals, meaning Gudjohnsen has scored against the West Ham first and reserve games within the space of 4 days.

Craig Forrest made his comeback game after breaking a finger recently.

TEAM: Forrest, Angus, Minto, Laurie, Potts, Ward, Byrne, Basilla, Ferrante, Morris [Tobolewski {Fletcher}], Bullard.