Harris: Ref gave everything against Millwall but we go again

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris says Millwall have to take Swindon’s last-minute equaliser “on the chin” as they prepare for the visit of play-off rivals Sheffield United to The Den next Saturday.

Robins midfielder Michael Doughty scored in the 94th minute to complete his side’s comeback from two goals down at the County Ground at the weekend.

Lee Gregory and Steve Morison scored their 22nd and 15th goals of the season, respectively, to put Millwall 2-0 up inside 11 minutes.

But Nicky Ajose scored from the spot in the 63rd minute after referee Kevin Wright had controversially punished Carlos Edwards for a foul on Raphael Rossi-Branco.

The Lions looked like they had weathered a late Swindon storm until Bradley Barry’s cross was flicked on by defender Jordan Turnbull and Doughty got enough on his header to beat Jordan Archer.

“We were happy for them to put balls in wide areas and cross it because our centre-halves were dealing with everything,” Harris said. “There was no danger, the danger was coming through the middle of the park and we nullified that. It was probably their worst cross of the game but it gets flicked on and ends up in the back of the net and that’s a disappointment.

“But we have to take it on the chin. It’s hard and its’ annoying. I’m frustrated for my players because they deserved three points.

“They were brilliant, faultless in their work rate. They give everything every day. The discipline in the performance was outstanding and the two times we were breached it was a really poor decision for a penalty and a ricochet and flick-on right at the end.

“I’ve no complaints with our performance. It was one that merited three points.”

Harris, however, was unhappy with Wright’s performance. The referee spoke to the Millwall boss in the second half after Harris had expressed his anger with a decision to award a throw-in against midfielder Jimmy Abdou, who looked like he had been fouled in front of the technical area.

“I just asked why it wasn’t a foul and why everything was one-sided with his decisions,” Harris said of the conversation with Wright. “I felt that the manhandling of my centre-forwards was over the top from their defenders and they got no protection.

“I thought every 50/50 decision went against us and the foul count of 17-4 (against Millwall), on the initial check, I’ve never seen anything like it in football.”

The result leaves Millwall four points ahead of seventh and six points off the top two. They face a Sheffield United side not out of the race for the top six next Saturday. And Harris stressed he is pleased with the form of his side, with Millwall unbeaten in five games and having lost just two of their last 14.

“The bigger picture is another point gained,” Harris said. “The frustration is two points dropped because of a last-minute goal but we’ll go again this week.

“We’re on a good run and we’re playing well and we’re progressing, which is the main thing. We move on to next week.”

John Kelly