Millwall boss Harris: We were deprived of a definite penalty kick in West Brom draw

Millwall head coach Neil Harris felt that referee James Bell failed to award his side a clear penalty in this afternoon’s 1-1 draw with West Brom at The Den.

The official was unmoved by strong appeals for handball from the home side after George Honeyman’s cross was blocked before Duncan Watmore put the Lions ahead.

The Baggies equalised through John Swift’s spot-kick after Grady Diangana was caught by Joe Bryan.

“The referee had three decisions to make in the penalty boxes,” said Harris. I’m not sure the second half one with Duncan is a foul – in the Premier League it would be. With VAR, the contact is with the player before the ball. In the Championship we don’t get them. We don’t get them anyway at Millwall!

“The other two, it is a foul – Joe does commit the foul. He just mistimes his tackle and, fair play, it is good feet by the attacker. But then he misses the penalty in the first half. We put the ball in the box and the player’s hand is at head height and it is handball.

“He probably got two right and one wrong.

“Not ideal but it is not on the referee. Joe came straight in and apologised – he mistimed a tackle. He is unfortunate to do that. He didn’t do it on purpose. But then lads have come in and said: ‘I could’ve scored – we could’ve been out of sight’.

“Matty (Sarkic) has not had to dive to make a save in the game. The penalty is their one effort on target. We’ve made a really, really good side look ordinary for long periods. We looked a really, really good Millwall side.

“You wouldn’t have seen loads of West Brom coming into the game but I’ve watched their last four where they were really good. They are well coached. They are not at the same level as Leeds in my opinion, no disrespect, but they are not far off. That is the level of opponent we faced – we had them rattled and made them look ordinary.”

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