A Bristol Rovers player ended up getting sent off after punching and strangling a Lincoln City youngster as part of a melee before half time.
It was the Imps that first opened the scoreline, going one up in the 15th minute, Brennan Johnson ghosts into the Bristol Rovers box before sliding a pass into the path of Anthony Scully and he drove a low shot across Anssi Jaakkola into the back of the net to give Lincoln the lead.
The 34th minute saw a big kerfuffle following a tangle between Brennan Johnson and Ed Upson on the halfway line.
Upson was seen as the aggressor by the referee after ending up on top and appears to force his hand down on the neck of Johnson, both he and Edun were booked for their part in the altercation.
There have been suggestions from journalists that Upson threw a punch in the direction of Johnson whilst he was sat on top of him, we’ll let you be a judge of that.
It’s all kicked off in the Bristol Rovers V Lincoln game!
Rovers are now down to 10 men! ❌ pic.twitter.com/mhShIPxK4K
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 17, 2021
The Imps managed to see out the game to record back-to-back wins, and they had plenty of chances to extend their lead especially towards the end when Callum Morton went through one-on-one but blasted his effort over the bar.
Rovers had chances in the first half but Upson’s red car de-railed them massively and it’s fair to say everyone was looking forward to what Joey Barton had to say post-match.
6.6 – Jaakkola
6.0 – Williams
7.0 – Kilgour
7.2 – Harries
5.8 – Hare
7.3 – Leahy
5.0 – Upson
6.5 – McCormick
6.7 – Martinez
6.4 – Westbrooke
6.5 – Ayunga
6.1 – Hanlan (sub)
5.7 – Oztumer (sub)
6.3 – Baldwin (sub)
7.8 – Palmer
7.6 – Poole
7.3 – Montsma
7.4 – Eyoma
7.0 – Bramall
6.5 – Edun
6.9 – McGrandles
7.6 – Scully
7.0 – Johnson
6.7 – Rogers
6.0 – Morton
6.2 – Jones (sub)
6.0 – Anderson (sub)
6.4 – Sanders (sub)
The Imps look certain of claiming a playoff place, while Bristol Rovers fall to second bottom in the League One table.
Joey Barton said after the game: “I didn’t expect a red card if I’m honest, I thought it was handbags and if there was going to be a red card then I expected it to be their number seven (Edun), who threw two punches.
“The linesman on my side is telling the referee that it’s only a yellow card and the referee says that Ed’s is a red card and I can’t see it.
“I spoke to Ed in there and you all know he’s not that type of boy and I didn’t see enough to give a red card, but we’ve come out the bad side of that decision again.”
“We’ve got to take decisions out of the referee’s hands and be better than that and more clinical than that,” Barton continued.
“At that point we were still 1-0 down so it obviously gave us a mountain to climb, but we’ve got to be more effective.
“We were a bit unlucky early on in the game, Alfie’s effort hitting the crossbar and we looked like the side in the ascendancy but then all of a sudden they came up the other end and the problems we’ve had for the last 42 games continued.
“We’ve got a great keeper in goal who kept us in the game in key moments, but you’ve got to try and make him do as little work as possible.
“Certainly, if you’re under pressure against good sides then I get it, but there are going to be moments when the teams at the top of the league have you under pressure.
“There was a moment though, where we were in control of the game and we’ve not defended properly or defended our lines properly and we found ourselves 1-0 down in the game and the sending off compounds the problem.
“The sooner we can stop these silly moments, the better.”
“He’s got his hands round his neck,” Imps boss Michael Appleton said. “He [Johnson] has got scratches round his face and neck. He almost gave the referee no choice.
“If anything, it worked against us because we probably thought the job was done. We were a goal up, they’re down to 10 men and we almost sat back a little bit.
“Again, that’s those moments. With a Jorge Grant or a Liam Bridcutt in the team, or a Jackson or a Walsh, they get the players together and manage them through the game.”
Fans gave their reaction after seeing the Bristol Rovers player sent off after punching and strangling a Lincoln youngster…
Johnson booked for being assaulted pic.twitter.com/VdK8SOd6m4
— Hamish Chalmers (@chalmershamish) April 17, 2021
@adsleeder: How you can defend that is beyond me? He’s got Johnson round the neck on the floor
@gbaker76: Nice to see Bristol Rovers are playing the @Joey7Barton way. Like thugs.
@xLepebble: Didn’t know I was watching UFC?
@Andyrendall4: Never a red card Johnson should be sent off instead of trying to shag him dirty cheating cunts
@IngamellsBen: Don’t sit with your arm on someone’s neck if you don’t want to get sent off then?
@paultur05890766: Don’t understand why Johnson gets a yellow for being punched 🤷♂️
@NiallLCFC: Serves you right ya wanker!
@Knowsagoodtune: A red card for a side managed by Joey Barton. Shock of the year #imps #teamlincoln
@hammyimp: Ref got that right
@Sam_Wray: Shocking scenes, no surprise from a team down the bottom with Barton as manager…
@PhilpottDudley: Said it from day 1, upson is one of the worst players I’ve seen play for us whilst I’ve watched rovers for the last 15 years
@ElliotLane11: Not defending anything here, but if Upson’s off, Edun has to go. Another absymal refereeing decision that’s going to cost us
@nickturner1883: And that should be the end of Upsons Bristol Rovers career. Totally the right call and utter stupidity.
@JakeB2021: Think it was the right call. He had him pinned on the deck
@Elmhart: Should have been two yellows, or two reds. Ridiculous refereeing yet again. No team can beat all these terrible refereeing decisions in all these crucial games.
@Jaryd07: Another poor refereeing decision that Joey will yet again blame, shifting focus away from us playing poorly, again.
@Ted23432364: That is disgraceful refereeing
@cookd1983: Upson should not wear a rovers shirt again. Responsible for the goal and getting himself sent off. The guy has been a let down for most of his rovers career.
@CharlieOhare2: Ed upson should never play another game. Disgraceful
@adam_humphreys: How’s their bloke not been sent off too?! Yellow each sure, but once more this is utterly dire refereeing. We don’t deserve any favours but this is a piss take.
@DanAshcroft16: Never play for the club again ta
@Sammybrfc: How is the Lincoln player not been sent off ?
@valuetuna: After today it’s probably time to call it a day. Too slow to play in the football league now. You’ve let Rovers down this season.
@BRFClewis: @edupson pack your bags and leave BS7 for good.