ROB­BIE RAGES: THE REF LOST IT

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Rob Guest

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.”

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