1-0 defeat overshadowed by injury to Derby’s Mason Bennett
ALBION'S Under-21 Barclays Premier League Cup defeat to Derby County was overshadowed by a serious injury to Rams winger Mason Bennett ten minutes from time.
Bennett had earlier scored the only goal of the game a minute before the break from the penalty spot, after Alban Bunjaku was bundled over by two Albion defenders.
But after a collision on the halfway line, Bennett sustained a nasty looking injury which required five minutes treatment from both sets of medical staff, before being stretchered off.
Albion had started well, and twice came close in the first half through Adil Nabi’s dipping 30-yard free-kick and Rees Wedderburn’s curling effort from the edge of the box.
Derby’s Kwame Thomas forced Alex Palmer into a smart save at the near post, but the Albion ‘keeper was powerless to stop Bennett’s penalty in the 44th minute as the visitors took the lead.
In the second-half, Samir Nabi was inches away from levelling the scores with a delicate chip from the edge of the area, before Andre Wright’s curling effort forced Derby stopper Jonathan Mitchell into a fine save down to his left.
The visitors almost doubled their lead in the fourth minute of the eight added following Bennett’s injury, but Shaquille McDonald headed over the bar from 12-yards out.
Albion Under-21s: Palmer, Atkinson, Cleet, Howkins, Smart, Wedderburn (O’Sullivan 67’) (Barrow 86’), Pace (Birch 55’), S.Nabi, Wright, Jones, A.Nabi.
Unused Subs: Ross, Ezewele.
Derby County Under-21s: Mitchell, Lelan (Dryden 56’), Lowe, Koblenz, Rawson, Hanson, Santos, Guy, Thomas (McDonald 76’), Bunjaku, Bennett (Sharpe 86’).
Unused Subs: Barnes, Vernam