Joey Barton claimed that Bristol Rovers’ 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth was decided almost exclusively by the referees, as Gas’s manager was outraged not only by Colby Bishop’s controversial opener, but by a series of big decisions. who went against his team.

Barton was booked at half time for his protests towards referee James Bell, after managers Andy Mangan and Glenn Whelan were also booked, following Bishop’s 18th-minute goal in which the Pompey striker easily past the Rovers defense, so much so that it looked clearly offside. .

Assistant referee Ian Cooper, however, held his flag down for Bishop to score past James Belshaw (the ball hit both posts before crossing the line) and the Gases were on the back foot and had to chase play from then.

Barton, along with most of the mems, was furious, but that was only compounded by more calls against his team as, first, Calum Macdonald was penalized for pushing Paddy Lane back while looking to jump over a ball. slightly spilled by James Belshaw, Bell awarding a penalty for which Bishop made it 2-0.

Josh Coburn was denied a shot from the penalty spot after some rude defence, which Barton felt warranted a penalty for the hosts, while he also felt Jarell Quansah’s late charge on Joe Morrell warranted only a yellow card when it was red

“You have to tread carefully here because they duplicate and they’re after you for telling the truth, so we can’t tell the truth, which is unfortunate,” Barton said. “The referees are a law unto themselves and, today, a game between the 22 players, there is not much between the two sides and they make a big call and they are wrong and we suffer for that.

“I’m thinking, the two big calls that follow that: the second goal penalty, when I look at it, Paddy Lane pulls our player and then he drops to the ground and the ball hasn’t escaped James Belshaw. so it will reach him.

“If that’s a penalty, surely Josh Coburn’s pulling on his shirt is a penalty in his box. We don’t get it and then to compound that, for what I think is a yellow card tackle for a bit of frustration from a young player, he gives a straight red card.

“So, we feel cheated, we feel aggrieved, because the big decisions have gone against us, but we have to dust ourselves off and the officers will navigate the world of irresponsibility as they do and they will be supported by the adviser. ”

Jarell Quansah takes on Portsmouth’s Sean Raggett (Will Cooper/JMP)

The defeat marked Rovers’ seventh successive home game without a win, in all competitions, the last being a 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town on New Year’s Day, but overall it was a performance that probably deserved something off. competition.

Much like the 2-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night, they created ample chances but were unable to convert them and then scored twice slightly against the course of the game, affecting their own momentum.

However, Barton was unable to fully analyze his team’s performance as his focus remained on another aspect of the game.

“Honestly, it doesn’t make sense for me to talk about it,” he added. “We work hard all week and then the officials screw it up, so there’s no point in talking about what really happened in the game. It’s not like it’s a courtyard…everyone in the stadium can see that it’s off. You just instinctively know it’s off, we have the benefit of replay, but 9,500 of our fans can see it’s off.

“All the players stop, but the people who matter and who have the responsibility to decide the game directly, make things up and make things up that happened.

“And it’s frustrating. Our guys graft and work hard during the week, we work hard Monday through Friday but we’re amateurs, and I say that with the nicest hat possible, because I want the guys to get full-time jobs.”

Due to postponements of games at Shrewsbury Town and Plymouth Argyle, Rovers now have a 20-day break until their next League One fixture with Charlton Athletic visiting the Mem on Good Friday and the players will have a few days off next week to spend time with their families.

Gas enter that forced break 15th in the table, 19 points out of the top six and 10 out of the relegation places with nine games remaining, all of which now have to be played in the last four condensed weeks of the campaign.

“Our level with you, I wish it was the end of the season,” Barton said. “We can’t really get promoted, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get into the relegation battle. I just got to the point where you want to set goals for the next year. There’s nothing worse with nothing to play for with nine games to go.

“From our perspective, the sooner we can get back to that winning pace at home will be key. We need to break up our pitch and, you’ve seen it again, it’s not good for football.”

“I don’t think, in open play, we were a losing team, just like Tuesday night, but somehow we managed to lose a game we shouldn’t be losing. That’s very disappointing.”

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