Millwall 0 Ipswich Town 0

Last updated : 13 December 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle launched a blistering attack on referee Iain Williamson after defender George Santos was sent off in this bad-tempered clash.

Santos was dismissed on 50 minutes for a second booking after Williamson deemed he had body-checked flying winger Kevin Braniff, but the yellow card looked harsh.

And Royle was also incensed that Millwall keeper Tony Warner escaped a red card when he handled outside the box as he raced off his line to deny Darren Bent.

"George Santos did nothing. The referee was not even going to give a foul until the crowd starting howling. George didn't move and the lad just ran into him," Royle said.

"When you come to Millwall you hope you are going to get strong and experienced officials. I only hope that was the referee's first match because that would be the only excuse for his display.

"At the other end, the Millwall goalkeeper handled the ball outside the box, but apparently the rules have changed because he was only booked. There was lot going on out there that I was displeased with." Millwall assistant manager Ray Wilkins admitted that Warner was fortunate to stay on the field, but insisted that referees are under massive pressure.

"If Tony Warner handled outside the box then he should have been sent-off," Wilkins accepted.

"The referee made a decision with regards to the red card for Santos and that is what he is there to do. Referees have an extremely tough task and they have to deal with it in the best way they can." The sending-off was the major talking point in a tempestuous game where clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Ipswich striker Shefki Kuqi wasted the best opportunity in the first half as he somehow missed the target from just six yards after Warner had spilled a Fabian Wilnis cross.

Millwall unsurprisingly dominated after the red card and battered the visitors for the final half-hour, but they struggled to find a way past the resolute defence.

And right at the death, when sub Mark Quigley finally saw the goal gaping, Wilnis was on hand with a vital header off the line to extend Ipswich's unbeaten run to six games and condemn Millwall to their third successive 0-0 draw at home.