Millwall manager Neil Harris has defended Ben Marshall over the celebration which saw missiles being thrown at him and left Leeds United facing the possibility of disciplinary action from the Football Association.
Leeds are waiting to discover if they will be charged by the FA after Marshall and other Millwall players were pelted with objects in the second half of Saturday’s game at Elland Road.
Marshall converted a penalty on 55 minutes to give Millwall a 2-1 lead and ran to celebrate directly in front of United’s supporters in the South Stand.
He was met by a hail of missiles from the crowd, leading the FA to investigate that incident and the throwing of a flare onto the pitch later in the game.
United fought back to earn a 3-2 win through late goals from Luke Ayling and Pablo Hernandez but are at risk of sanctions from the governing body.
Speaking to the South London Press today, Harris backed Marshall and implied that United benefited from lenient treatment by the authorities, saying clubs like Leeds “get away with huge calls at this level”.
Harris said: “Is it common at Leeds? Do they get away with it? I don’t know. It’s not good in any football ground in any country.
“Marshy hasn’t left the field of play. He’s nowhere near the byline. He is eight to 10 yards inside that.
“Various players get hit by coins, bottles and lighters. It is not acceptable in football grounds. Messages are sent out asking fans not to do it. Everybody has got a duty of care to stop that happening across the nation. It’s going to take a serious incident for it to happen and that’s not what we want to see.
“You see fans on the pitch hitting players (Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was attacked by a Birmingham City fan earlier in the season) and I’ve seen my players hit with various objects at the weekend.
“They are huge clubs. Do they get away with huge calls at this level? I believe so to a certain degree. Let’s not focus on the culprits, let’s focus on eradicating it. Something has got to change.”
Millwall are themselves dealing with disciplinary issues after being charged by the FA over alleged racist chanting by a section of their support during an FA Cup tie against Everton.
The FA is still to impose any punishment but Millwall promised to ban for life any fans identified as part of the investigation.
Prior to that tie, an Everton fan was slashed across the face during fighting between rival supporters in south London.