Joey Barton bemoans refereeing decisions in Bristol Rovers defeat to Portsmouth

Bristol Rovers suffered a 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth at the Memorial Stadium - which was surrounded in controversy.

Joey Barton has bemoaned several refereeing decisions after Bristol Rovers’ 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth at the Memorial Stadium in their EFL League One match.

The Gas suffered their second defeat of the week as Colby Bishop scored twice in either half, with both goals surrounded by controversy. Liverpool loanee Jarell Quansah was also sent off late on and will miss between one to three matches.

Pompey opened the scoring when Ryan Tunnicliffe played a pass that split through Lewis Gibson and Quansah, but there were complaints of an offside. Gibson, Lewis Gordon, and Quansah were all near each other but Bishop was able to get ahead of them.

Bishop’s goal was allowed to stand and that prompted boos from the nearly sold-out Memorial Stadium crowd. Rovers’ club owner Wael al-Qadi posted un-captioned images on social media of the decision that went against them.

Commenting on the offside decision, Barton said: “It’s not even like it is a yard, everyone in the stadium can see that it is off. You just know from instinct that it is off.

“We have the benefit of a replay but 9,000 of our fans know it’s off. Every player virtually stops and then unfortunately for us the people that matter, the ones who have the responsibility of calling the game.

"Today, a game between the 22 players out there. There wasn’t much between the two sides. They make a big call and get it wrong and we suffer for that. We feel cheated, and aggrieved today. Big decisions in the game a lot of them have gone against us, we have to dust ourselves down. The officials will sail off the world unaccountability and they’ll be backed up by their assessor.

Rovers pushed for an equaliser but former Bristol City defender Ryley Towler made a solid block to deny Grant Ward. The hosts rued their missed chances as the referee shortly later awarded a penalty against Calum Macdonald. He was adjudged to have grabbed the shirt of Paddy Lane as James Belshaw tried to retrieve a cross.

"I’m actually thinking the other two big calls that follow that, the penalty for the second goal I don’t think it is when I watch it back. Paddy Lane pulls our player and then throws himself to the floor plus the ball hasn’t got away from James Belshaw, so he’s going to easily get to it.

"If that’s a penalty then surely the pull on Josh Coburn’s shirt in their box is a penalty and we don’t get it."

Minutes from time, the misery was compounded for the hosts, who lost Quansah to a straight red card. He was adjudged to have fouled Joe Morrell, which prompted both sets of players into a tussle. The England Under-20 international will now at least miss the Good Friday clash with Charlton Athletic on April 7, but Barton will now have to seek clarity on whether he could be missing for a further two matches, depending on the nature of offence the official deemed it.

Barton said: "To compound that for what I think is a yellow card tackle, a bit of frustration from a young player he gives a straight red card. I don’t think his tackle warranted a straight red.

"From my vantage point, I saw Joe Rafferty throwing a few bodies around. Our players go in and it’s a bit of a melee. I’m not sure what has gone on, I presume it is something that has happened in the melee because I don’t think the tackle warranted a red card. I think it’s a poor tackle, but I don’t think it’s more than a yellow card."