herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Baggies vow to take strong action against fans involved in FA Cup derby disturbances

TIM Sherwood has defended Ireland U21 cap Jack Grealish following the first red card of the player's career in Aston Villa's FA Cup win over West Brom.

Villa's 2-0 defeat of the Baggies ended in controversy after a pitch invasion by home fans at Villa Park but there was also the matter of a sending off for sub Grealish for two bookable offences, though Sherwood felt that Grealish was hard done by.

"The first one I think was a pull back and then the second one .... when you've played the game you can almost smell it. He knows someone's coming in to kick him so he's toed the ball away," said Sherwood.

"I think he's trying to just evade contact just to protect himself and the referee's seen that as a dive, unfortunately for Jack. I thought it was harsh, I thought both of the sendings off were harsh to be honest. I thought the referee had a good game - apart from those two huge decisions."

Meanwhile, West Brom have vowed to take strong action against any of the club's fans found to have been involved in disturbances on Saturday.

Seats were thrown from the Albion section and Villa supporters invaded the pitch twice during the game as Tim Sherwood's men beat the Baggies 2-0 on Saturday to reach the semi-finals.

Police have made 17 arrests related to the game and a spokesperson for the English Football Association said its investigation into the incidents will begin today. Villa issued an apology after the game.

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