Joey Barton walks off on the 83rd minute and slams referee Tom Nield after Bristol Rovers lose at Accrington on Saturday afternoon.
He believes his side were “hampered” by a poor refereeing performance, with the hosts’ opener in a 2-0 League One defeat at the Wham Stadium said to have been “blatant” handball.
John Coleman’s men found the net early in the second half thanks to Tommy Leigh, with referee Tom Nield letting it to stand despite the ball striking the hand of Harvey Rodgers immediately before substitute Leigh put the ball in.
It then got worse for Bristol Rovers as Ryan Astley sealed all three points with 11 minutes to play with a clever flick on the 79th minute.
Accrington fan Wayne Shutt tweeted: “@Joey7Barton having a sulk and leaving the pitch on the 83rd minute is the ultimate disrespect to @Official_BRFC fans that travelled for 4 hours to get here #asfc #BRFC”
— Wayne Shutt (@wayneshutt) January 14, 2023
Barton says the ref’s decision to let Leigh’s 51st-minute goal stand put the game in Accrington’s favour.
“I could see it from where I was and he’s seen it himself. He knows,” Barton said of the handball decision, as per Bristol Post.
“I’ve got to be careful here as the FA love fining me, but our fans have paid a right few quid to get up here and then the referee swings the contest with as blatant a handball leading to a goal that you are ever likely to see in professional football.
“A tough afternoon. We must be better as well, we’re back to the drawing board, we need some players in and we’ve got a bit of work to do in the market.
“There are 57 points for us to play for and hopefully we can get competent officials who know the laws of the game. He’s just had the law book out to me saying the handball in the box, because it wasn’t deliberate and because he wasn’t the one that scored the goal, that’s OK.
“Well, why would we not advise our players then to handle it to each other and let’s have a game of volleyball or basketball? The reason it is called football is because you are not allowed to use your hands.
“He will sail off now into the unaccountable sunset of being a referee having short-changed the fans here of what was a fair contest. Accrington won’t care because they are fighting for their lives, but our fans have been short-changed today by a really bad officiating team”
The result keeps Rovers 8th in the League One standings, with those battling for the last final playoff place also picking up defeats.
Barton explained why he left early, saying: “I’d just had enough. I thought ‘If I stay here, I’m asking for every decision, I’m not getting heard, I’ll end up swearing and they will end up sending me off’ because they were desperate to book me and send me off.
“I thought if we are going to be treated this way by officials, I don’t want any part of the game. It’s just going to be moaning at the fourth official, who hasn’t got any clout at all and that leads to him calling the referee over and he gets after you.
“We’ve been severely hampered today by the officiating team. They have swung the game to Accrington.”
— Bristol Rovers (@Official_BRFC) January 14, 2023
Stanley boss John Coleman said, as per Lancashire Telegraph: “I’m delighted with the result but devastated with the injuries, they are massive blows for us,” he said.
“It was a scrappy game. I have seen a lot of Bristol Rovers this season and I have seen them play better than that, but I think our defence should get the credit for stifling them.
“There will be conjecture about the first goal, whether it’s handball, but I think if it hits the hand of the person who scores then it’s automatically disallowed.
“I think because it has come off another part of Harvey’s body before it hit him on the arm, that means it’s unintentional.
“I am not saying I agree, but they are the rules and then it makes it a decent goal. Then it’s a great finish by Ryan for the second.”
This is what Twitter users said as Joey Barton walks off on the 83rd minute and slams the referee after Bristol Rovers lose at Accrington…
@dharris2077: Up the Barton #cheersnige
@Bristolian_: Classy as ever. Barton is such a wanker. #UTG
@EyalBlokervitch: Salty Prick! 😂😂😂
@AlexMarcroft: Sums him up this, weak individual
@Weeksy1984: Everyone else’s fault…..blokes a massive length
@robmc5herry: Not good but it must do your head in sometimes!
@OX14Gashead: Yeahh this ain’t great
@bcfcEJ: Absolute mong
@stevegas2: Thats poor leadership from him, be interesting what develops from here as he’s clearly not happy at moment
@NickyNatchyNoo: Years of practice to be this type of cunt.
@noahhatch81: what a manager. really sticks with his team no matter the result
@TheExiledRobin: Wow 😳
@Lewispaul__: Either gonna tear that dressing room up or he’s calling out players again.