Tuesday, January 3

Battered by Rams

Derby County 2 West Ham 1

We're away in rural Yorkshire for this one, preparing for a New Year's Eve party with James Herriot, Siegfried and Tristan and worrying about the drainage in the lower field.

No surprise to hear we've lost, as the side was always going to struggle with Collison, McCartney, Nolan and Faubert suspended and Taylor and Faye still out and Cole unable to play two games in four days. Gary O'Neil returns after a terrible injury and Reid and Lansbury are back from lengthy spells out, while Nouble makes his first start of the season.

That rustiness shows in the first ten minutes. Ball curls in a great shot from the edge of the box and Potts is not physically strong enough to win an aerial duel with Green and the Derby man puts the Rams two up.

At least we come back. The promising Nouble has a snap shot from the edge of the box saved and then pulls one back. sliding home nicely after Piquionne's lay-off. Sam brings on Baldock and Hall for his Hammers debut, but its only a fine double save from Green that denies Derby a third.

An almost inevitable defeat, but at least we'll have half a team back for Coventry.

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