Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 1: Jonathan Woodgate sympathises with red-carded Neil Harris

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate (Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire).
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate (Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire).
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MILLWALL manager Neil Harris was sent to the stands after appearing to strike a member of Middlesbrough’s coaching staff as his side battled back to claim a draw at the Riverside.

Tom Bradshaw had scored with his first touch as a substitute to cancel out Paddy McNair’s opener for Middlesbrough, but the most dramatic incident of the day occurred on the touchline shortly before the break.

Harris appeared to strike Middlesbrough first-team coach Leo Percovich in the back as he wrestled to try to get hold of the ball, and referee John Brooks sent him from the dug-out as he showed a red card.

Boro head coach Jonathan Woodgate felt referee John Brooks could have handled the incident differently, and did not feel a red card was warranted.

Woodgate said: “It’s one of those things that happen in football, and I don’t want to see Neil get sent off. I didn’t think he deserved to.

“He’s a fantastic guy and a top manager, and I think the referee can deal with that better. There’s no point in giving him a red card for the sake of giving him a red card.”

Britt Assombalonga’s second-half header from a Jonny Howson cross appeared to strike Millwall full-back Mahlon Romeo on the arm, and Marvin Johnson fired a late shot into a group of defenders and was convinced he should have had a spot-kick.

Woodgate said: “They are blatant handballs. These are the decisions which are going against us at the minute, which is not ideal.”

Middlesbrough: Randolph ,Howson, Ayala, Shotton, Bola, McNair, Clayton (Wing 81), Saville, Fletcher, Assombalonga, Browne (Johnson 46). Unused substitutes: Fry, Tavernier, Gestede, Walker, Pears.

Millwall: Bialkowski, Romeo, Pearce, Cooper, Murray Wallace, O’Brien (Ferguson 67), Leonard, Williams (Bradshaw 75), Mahoney (McCarthy 88), Thompson, Smith. Unused 
substitutes: Hutchinson, Steele, Molumby, Bodvarsson.

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire).