ROBBIE RAGES: THE REF LOST IT
MK DONS manager Robbie Neilson criticised referee Ross Joyce for losing control of the game as Millwall scored a stoppage-time winner to stretch their unbeaten run to 17 games.
Lee Gregory had headed the hosts into a 24th-minute lead but Ben Reeves restored parity six minutes later, as the Lions conceded for the first time in ten games.
Millwall were then handed a penalty in stoppage time with Gregory scoring the matchwinner for the second time in a week, much to the dismay of Neilson.
Neilson said: “I thought with 25 minutes to go the referee started losing control of the game.
“It’s a tough place to come for players and referees, and I don’t think the referee stood up to the game.
“You need a strong referee who will make strong decisions and not get intimidated.
“I’ve watched a replay and the boy does really well. He gets across the defender and pulls his arm and pulls him down with him.
“You hope the referee is experienced enough and handling the game well enough to see these things but unfortunately we didn’t have one here.”
The Dons had fallen behind when Gregory nodded in his 13th goal of the season from Shane Ferguson’s right-wing cross.
But their lead was short-lived as Reeves fired a low 20-yard drive beyond Tom King.
Millwall introduced Steve Morison just before the hour mark and he almost scored with his first touch but he could only drag an effort wide.
Neilson’s side could have snatched the points three minutes from time, yet substitute Dean Bowditch somehow headed Nicky Maynard’s cross over the top.
The visitors paid the ultimate price for the miss with Gregory keeping his cool in the 92nd minute, as he shot low to David Martin’s right from the penalty spot after being brought down in the area.
And Lions boss Neil Harris paid tribute to the striker for his winner, and was also quick to give credit to his defence after their run of nine games without conceding finally came to an end.
Harris said: “Lee has got two match-winners in the past week, on the back of last week at Oldham, and any nerves he had were discarded on Tuesday night.
“To do it again here is bravery and he’s got a calm head.
“It was a great strike from Ben Reeves but we set up from the corner all wrong.
“I’ve made it clear to the players what my thoughts wereabout it.
“I’m not going to bemoan my players for conceding one goal in ten games because it is a pretty good record.
“At this time of the season it’s not about who plays the best football, it’s about winning games and getting over the line.”