OXFORD United man-of-the-match Billy Turley backed Rob Duffy after the striker was sent-off just 20 seconds after coming off the bench in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Ebbsfleet.

Duffy protested his innocence that he had done nothing wrong before being controversially dismissed just moments after taking to the field as a 78th-minute substitute.

Fleet defender Mark Ricketts was just running across him when some form of contact was made, and Berkshire ref Steve Creighton interpreted it as violent conduct and sent Duffy back down the tunnel.

Ebbsfleet boss Liam Daish and skipper Paul McCarthy both felt that the ref was "evening up" after not sending off Barry Quinn at the start of the second half for what did look a red-card offence - a deliberate foul on Chukki Eribenne when the Ebbsfleet striker had a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Quinn escaped with a yellow card on that occasion.

Manager Darren Patterson said he would study the video before deciding whether United might have any grounds for appeal, or whether Duffy should be disciplined if he did kick out at his opponent.

But goalkeeper Turley, who managed to watch the incident straight after the game, gave the striker his backing.

"Having seen it, it doesn't look as though Robert's done anything wrong," Turley said.

"He's running across the geezer and he's adamant that he never kicked him and I think he's an honest lad.

"I spoke to the ref on the way off the pitch and he was adamant that he kicked him.

"I'm gutted for the boy, he's just come back after six weeks . . . it's the quickest appearance money he's ever had!"

Turley too felt Quinn was fortunate.

"Barry was a lucky boy to stay on the pitch and maybe it evened out," he said.

"At half-time Liam Daish was at the referee in the tunnel, I don't think that's a good thing, referees have maybe got to be stronger.

"Maybe the Quinn incident might have been on his mind, but I'd rather have Barry stay on the pitch than Robert, so it equals itself out!"