Harris reveals what sparked Millwall fightback

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris revealed a piece of gamesmanship from Bury helped ignite his side’s comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

The Lions were rocked when James Vaughan scored twice in six second-half minutes as Bury seemed set to end a run of 13 games without a win.

But after play had been stopped for an injury the home side restarted the game by sending the ball deep into the Millwall half and out for a throw-in, much to the annoyance of the away bench.

That seemed to boost Harris’ side and they scored twice through a Shaun Williams penalty and Calum Butcher’s header before Aiden O’Brien turned home Fred Onyedinma’s cross two minutes into added time.

"We went more aggressive with the approach going forward, though we were committing a lot of players forward anyway,” Harris said. “It was about keeping that belief. I thought the incident with them not giving the ball back, when they should have passed it back to the goalkeeper but put it out for a throw-in, galvanised us.

“I certainly lost my temper about it on the sideline and we scored slightly afterwards. They were key moments in the game but at two-nil down we could easily have not found that spark. Fortunately for us we’ve got players in form at the moment like young Fred who gave us that real pace and excitement.

“I’m delighted. To be successful you’ve got to have character and you’ve got to score last-minute goals and equalisers, and I thought we could have more this season given the pressure we create at the end of games. We haven’t, but Saturday we did.”

The other controversial moment came in the 15th minute when Onyedinma clashed with Niall Maher in the box and referee Chris Sarginson initially awarding a penalty before changing his mind.

Harris thought the original decision was the correct one, but praised the official for not shying away from providing an explanation.

“It’s a difficult one,” Harris admitted. “I spoke to the ref and he thought he had got it wrong in the first instance but gave the penalty. He then thought, ‘I’ve got it wrong, so I’m changing my decision.’ Which is fine, all we want as coaches is the right decision.

“I’d need to see it again but I thought it was a foul. If it had been outside the box it would have been a foul because Fred gets the header and the boy runs into Fred and knocks him over. So I thought a penalty was the right decision but I’m not going to bemoan it now because we won the game.

“The referee had the decency to speak to me and say he made a mess in the first place.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)