Joey Barton: Derby County given ‘footballing lesson’ by Bristol Rovers

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Bristol Rovers salvaged a point with a 92nd-minute penalty against Derby County, but Joey Barton was disappointed not to win.

Joey Barton believes that Bristol Rovers gave Derby County a footballing lesson after his side secured a 1-1 draw late on at the Memorial Stadium.

Antony Evans dispatched a 95th-minute penalty that he earned after Harvey White's challenge, which cancelled out David McGoldrick's opener in the second minute. The Gas trailed for much of the match but dominated possession and had more goal attempts than the visitors, and were fully deserving of their point, whilst a win for the hosts would have also been a fair result.

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Rovers extended their unbeaten run to three matches, adding to their two victories over the Easter period against Charlton Athletic and Fleetwood Town. It was a game that the hosts were allowed much of the ball, but they struggled to break them down in the final word but after Evans was fouled, he was allowed to take the penalty and he showed his composure to equalise.

“I think we were much the better side,” said Barton in his post-match press conference. They’ve obviously got some good players and they’re a good team but I thought we made them look distinctly average, certainly from a pressing perspective.

“The fact we’ve managed to get a draw is good because of the state-of-play and their goal and them trying to see the game out with running the clock down. I think when I watch it back tonight, I think I’ll be disappointed we haven’t won the game I thought we were much the better side.”

A win for Derby would have taken them into the top six after Peterborough United’s surprise defeat to Cambridge United earlier in the day. The Rams are hoping to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking but will have to hope both Peterborough and Bolton slip up and they can put behind them their late disappointment.

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Rovers achieved their target of 52 points, which was set out by the manager at the start of the campaign, and can begin to plan for next season. They are three points off of 12th, and have a game in hand with a top-half finish sure to be regarded as a highly successful campaign.

In terms of the game, Rovers had 15 shots to Derby's 10, with two landing on target for the hosts and five for Paul Warne's side. Rovers had 70% possession and made 607 passes to Derby's 264, which is almost triple to the opposition.

Barton added: “If Derby had won the game 1-0 and that was the smash-and-grab because they weren’t the better team today and Warny knows that and accepts that coming off the pitch.

“We’ve given them a little bit of a footballing lesson. From our perspective it’s nice to draw and not get beat. We’ve got to be a bit more clinical and certainly if we want to challenge and compete with those types of teams on a consistent basis.

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“They always say if you don’t play well and we didn’t allow Derby to play well today then don’t lose the game and it’s the sign of a good team. It’s why with seven or eight games left, they’ve got a chance of promotion and we haven’t.”

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