Joey Barton on ‘barmy’ ref after Sheffield Wednesday decision helped Owls to victory

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Bristol Rovers manager, Joey Barton, says that he was worried when he saw Josh Smith named as referee for the game against Sheffield Wednesday.

The Owls ran out as 2-1 winners at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night, but things could have been different had John Marquis’ effort from close range not been ruled out for offside – Barton believed that he was a ‘good yard’ onside when he prodded home an effort from Sam Finley.

Wednesday won 2-1 thanks to goals from Barry Bannan and Akin Famewo, keeping their hopes of automatic promotion alive, but the gas boss believes that they were unlucky not to come away with something after a good display.

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"I don’t think there was much in the game," Barton said afterwards. "You are reliant on the officials to get major decisions right and, unfortunately, tonight the linesman has had a guess, as they do at the level.

"I was worried when I saw that referee, every time I get him he does something barmy, that ref. I’m not really putting that on his toes, the linesman has only got one job to do and it’s disappointing when they guess.

"Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. If we score that there, there is only one team looking likely to go and win the game.

"Credit to our lads. We’ve technically got nothing to play for in our season, but I think everyone who was at the game tonight can see the lads had a right go in the second half and with a bit better officiating, we would have drawn the game if not gone on and pushed on to try and win it."

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Joey Barton believes Bristol Rovers could have beaten Sheffield Wednesday. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images.)Joey Barton believes Bristol Rovers could have beaten Sheffield Wednesday. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images.)
Joey Barton believes Bristol Rovers could have beaten Sheffield Wednesday. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images.)

Speaking more about the offside decision, the Rovers boss said, “"We get the benefit of having a replay instantly… If we have VAR, it’s a goal. He’s a good yard or two onside.

"The linesman has got one job to do, looking across the line, and I know it’s tough for them without the benefit of the replay.

"You speak to them at the end, just to get them to accept they have made a mistake, but they don’t. They are a law unto themselves at this level and it cost us.

"Thankfully, we’re not chasing automatic promotion or a play-off spot because the mistake could have been felt a lot more.

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"We’re disappointed, but we can’t give ourselves mountains to climb all the time."

Wednesday now turn their attentions to this weekend’s visit of Exeter City to Hillsborough, whilst also hoping that Peterborough United and Cambridge United can do them a favour when they go up against Ipswich Town and Plymouth Argyle in this weekend’s matchups in League One.

Darren Moore’s side have only lost one home game in League One all season, and will be aiming for another three points if they’re to keep their hopes of pushing for automatic promotion alive beyond the end of this weekend.

Wednesday and Exeter face off at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.