MARLON Harewood has reiterated what most Hammers fans thought inside the New Den on Sunday, insisting that he did not dive in the 63rd minute incident that saw him sent-off for a second bookable offence.
"There's no way I dived," said the 25-year-old striker. "I was passed the defender, going through on goal, he made significant contact with me and I had no choice but to go down.
"I tried to jump over his leg, because I was in a good scoring position and certainly didn't want to give that up. But his leg tangled with mine and there was no way I could stay on my feet.
"I was absolutely shocked by the red card. I just didn't know what to say, I was stunned. There's no doubt it was the turning point in the game. If the decision had gone our way we would have had a great chance to take the lead. Instead we ended up going down to ten men."
Marlon's first booking came less than 10 minutes before his sending off, for an alledged kick at Millwall defender Kevin Muscat. However, the Hammers striker also felt aggrieved about this caution.
"I didn't kick out at him," insisted Marlon, "and I thought that booking was harsh as well. The Millwall defender jumped back, but I didn't touch him, and I was pretty disappointed to be booked for that one."
Despite the controversial sending-off Marlon will not be able to appeal against the decision, because he received two yellow cards rather than a straight red. The rulebook states that there is no appeal process for bookings, only straight red cards. So, the Hammers top scorer with nine goals this season, will miss Saturday's clash with Watford at Upton Park.
"I'm disappointed to be suspended," he confessed, "but we have to put it behind us now and get on with the job of preparing for the match against Watford.
"Saturday's game is important, because we really need
to get those two bad results out of our system and get back to
Marlon also called for the Hammers faithful to really get behind the team on Saturday, and create that special Upton Park atmosphere.
"The players are confident we can come through this tough patch," he said, "but we need the fans to be right behind us. They give us fantastic support, home and away, and we really all need to stick together going into some important matches over Christmas.
This is a difficult league to get out of, but we're still there fighting for promotion. We need the fans to get the Upton Park atmosphere really going on Saturday and hopefully the lads will win the three points for them."