Robbie Pethick and Gary Hart returned to action in a drab 0-0 draw for the Reserves against Portsmouth yesterday.

Pethick launched his recovery from back trouble by playing for an hour in the centre of defence at Woodside Road, Worthing.

Hart, available after a four-match ban, lasted the 90 minutes up front alongside Graham Barrett, despite requiring treatment for an aerial collision with a Pompey defender in the first half.

Both players could now be on the bench for Saturday's home game against Nottingham Forest.

The closest either side came to a goal was in the second minute, when Jamie Vincent headed a cross from Albion's left-sided midfielder John Piercy against his own bar.

Albion Reserves: Packham; Hinhelwood, Jones, Pethick, Butters, Hammond, Wilkinson, Rogers, Hart, Barrett, Piercy. Subs: McPhee, Lee, Harding for Pethick (withdrawn 61).