Millwall and Cardiff bosses in disagreement as Warnock fumes at referee

ANOTHER Millwall and Cardiff stalemate this season, and another case of controversial decisions and competing claims from the managers after an incident-packed 1-1 draw at The Den.

Lee Gregory’s equaliser cancelled out Junior Hoilett early strike, before both sides went for the winner in the second half.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock was furious with referee Keith Stroud for blowing for a foul by Steve Morison on Joe Bennet just before Sol Bamba spectacularly volleyed past Jordan Archer.

Warnock felt if Stroud thought Bennett had suffered a head injury he should have blown his whistle immediately.

Warnock also claimed his side should have been awarded a penalty after suspicion of handball by Shaun Hutchinson.

Millwall manager Neil Harris admitted his side were fortunate to benefit from the decision when Bamba scored.

But Harris disagreed with Warnock’s assessment that the visitors were “superior”.

He said: “What, that game out there? It must have been a different game. I thought we started poorly, gave a poor goal away though it was a great strike. The last 10 or 15 minutes Cardiff were better, they managed the game better than us.

“I’ve no real doubt we got away with that one, the goal that was disallowed, we got a little bit of luck that was due to us. Gregory’s against Brentford was an identical situation. Leeds away, Forest away, two goals disallowed for interference with play for offside with players not interfering with play.

“We’ve had three here, a penalty decision against Derby, there have been loads. Hopefully that was a little bit of payback for us.

“The 25 minutes leading up to half-time was top drawer from a Millwall side at The Den. We saw a Cardiff side hanging on to stay in the game.

“I was really pleased with my players. It’s an excellent point. It’s another top team that are fighting for the Premier League that have struggled here.

“The headlines will be about the goal that was disallowed but leading up to half-time we had great chances ourselves.”

On the claims of handball against Hutchinson, Harris said: “I’ve not seen it back. At the time I always look for the players' reaction, and the players’ reaction [didn’t indicate] it was an obvious handball. Certainly my players have said nothing about handball.”

Harris brought on Tim Cahill with a minute left, the Lions icon receiving a standing ovation when he entered the pitch.

Harris said: “Moro and Gregs were excellent, ran the Cardiff back-line ragged at times. Moro was unlucky not score when he hit the bar, Gregs deserved his goal and could have had more.

“I just felt right at the end Cardiff were putting pressure on us and we needed to manage the game a little bit. Tim with his experience gives us that.”

Warnock was unhappy with decisions that had gone against his side, but was impressed with the hosts.

“They frighten a lot of people here, that’s why I’m proud of my team,” he said. “You expect at Championship level decisions like those two to be given right.

“It’s cost us two points tonight. If that’s the case [if the referee thinks there is a head injury] you blow straightaway. You don’t wait and then look away from the injured player and the ball goes in there and is bouncing and as Sol goes to put it in he blows. And then he looks at it. Come on, dear me.

“I honestly don’t know what’s gone through his mind. It wasn’t a difficult decision to give.

“No wonder he was asking how long there was to go, Neil, because there was only one team going to win.

“It was a typical old-fashioned Championship game. You can see why teams have gone under here, the pressure they put you under.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly