Middlesbrough denied penalty despite Dael Fry left with horror eye injury

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Middlesbrough denied penalty despite Dael Fry left with horror eye injury

Middlesbrough fell to a 1-0 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, but the major talking point of the Sky Bet Championship game was a sickening incident that left Dael Fry with a horrific facial injury.

Middlesbrough defender Fry came within inches of potentially suffering serious eye damage after just 13 minutes into the match at the Riverside Stadium.

Paddy McNair floated a cross into the box, where Fry challenged for the ball with Blackburn pair Barry Douglas and Jarrad Branthwaite.

As the 23-year-old went to head the ball, he was caught by a vicious high boot from on-loan Everton man Branthwaite.

Fry immediately signalled he was in pain, as Middlesbrough players rushed to surround referee Dean Whitestone, who failed to award either a penalty or issue Branthwaite with a red card.

The former England U-21 man was unable to continue because of a deep gash under his eye, being replaced by 18-year-old Nathan Wood.

Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry shows a deep gash under his eye
Photo: @Boro

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock was understandably fuming with the decision not to award his team a penalty - nor to punish Branthwaite for the high boot.

And his anger had not abated when he discussed the 18-year-old’s clash with Fry during his post-match press duties.

It's the game-changing incident, isn't it. After that, I wasn't even bothered about the result, after I saw the mess his face is in.

That's not why we're in the game, that. I don't think the lad meant to do it, but they've just read me the rules out - endangering the safety of a player. Well, it can't be any worse than that.

He's a millimetre away from having his eyeball taken out. We miss out in all ends - we don't get a penalty, we don't get a sending off and we have one of our best players carried off. It's an absolute bloody joke and I'm absolutely distraught.

Blackburn eventually earned victory in the 61st minute when Joe Rothwell side-footed home unmarked from 12 yards after an excellent passing move between Harvey Elliott and Adam Armstrong.

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