Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton bemoans offside goal in Sheffield Wednesday loss

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The Gas made it difficult for themselves - but were cruelly denied an equaliser because of an offside call.

Joey Barton believes John Marquis had a goal wrongly disallowed in Bristol Rovers’ 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the Memorial Stadium.

Goals from Barry Bannan and Akin Famewo had Wednesday two to the good at the break, but the deficit was halved a minute into the second half when Aaron Collins capitalised on a defensive error to slide home his 16th goal of the season.

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In a similar story to Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Derby County, it was Rovers late on pushing for the equaliser while the opposition were very happy to sit everyone behind the ball and look to counter.

The home crowd thought they had seen their side draw level with ten to go when John Marquis turned Sam Finley’s effort in from close range, however the linesman’s flag was straight up to disallow the Gas’ equaliser, a decision that Barton believes is wrong:

“We’re lucky we get the benefit of having a replay instantly,” said the Rovers boss after the game. “We have VAR and it’s a goal. He’s a good two yards if not a good yard onside.”

“You’re hoping the linesman has got one job to do which is to look across the line. I know it’s tough for them without the benefit of a replay. You try to speak to them at the end just to ask them to accept they’ve made a mistake. They don’t.”

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Barton was shown a yellow card by referee Josh Smith after voicing his complaints with the goal not ruling, and despite having 66% of the possession the Wednesday defence stayed strong - securing all three points and  keeping the Owls in the automatic promotion race.

“It’s frustrating and tonight it cost us. Thankfully we’re not chasing an automatic or play-off spot because the mistake could be felt a lot more. We’re disappointed but we can’t give ourselves a mountain to climb all the time.”

“It’s a legitimate goal, the amateurs in the professional game have struck again, you try to speak to them - just asking him to admit he[the referee] makes a mistake.”

The Gas saw themselves behind just before the half hour mark, when Grant Ward has his pocket picked just outside his own box, and Barry Bannan fired home after being teed up just inside the box.

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It was then two before the break, with a Bannan corner not being cleared by the Rovers defence, and Akin Famewo eventually stuck the ball past James Belshaw from close range.

“They’re like traffic wardens aren’t they, the referees, you can’t speak to them. It’s frustrating when that throws the game but again we’ve got to be better and not be two nil down at half time.”

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