Middlesbrough clinch the points as Millwall game almost abandoned

Middlesbrough’s visit to Millwall came close to being abandoned after missiles were thrown onto the New Den pitch by the home fans.

Referee Chris Sarginson asked Lions boss Kenny Jackett and Boro counterpart Tony Mowbray whether the game should continue, but both manager’s were against the idea with the visitor’s 2-1 ahead.

Jackett defended his club's supporters after an eventual late strike condemned them to a 3-2 defeat: "I didn't think it would have been the right decision but told the ref to ask the Boro keeper. We felt that things would settle down, which they did.

"From our fans' points of view, there was some fantastic passion there and perhaps they felt aggrieved at one or two decisions which didn't go their way.

"I'm not condoning it but I do like the passion and enthusiasm. And some of the decisions we've had lately have been tough."

Mowbray shared his opposite number's view, adding: "The referee wanted to bring the teams off but both managers didn't think it was the right decision and in hindsight it was the correct decision to finish.

"What I'd say as the opposing manager is that what an asset it is to have that intensity and noise from the stands every week, but you overstep the mark when objects start coming on the pitch."

He singled out Merouane Zemmama for praise after the substitute set up two of the Teessiders' goals.

Mowbray added: "He was a bit of class. He's a Moroccan international and I signed him for Hibernian five years ago.

"He's matured into a man but he was a boy then, although he's always had fantastic technical ability.

"For (Scott) McDonald's goal, having that extra bit of quality to thread the pass through was what was required."

Jackett was disappointed with his team's defending as their play-off hopes suffered a setback.

The Lions boss added: "In many ways there were a lot of good things from us. There was a good spirit. We could have been more than one goal up at half-time and played very well.

"In the second half I felt at times that Middlesbrough showed their quality but I was disappointed with the way we conceded some of our goals. Conceding three goals always gives you a mountain to climb.

"Conceding the three goals was our undoing and if you expect to collect points on a regular basis, particularly at home, then that's going to be difficult - but I didn't think we got the best of the referee's decisions."

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