Joey Barton makes Barnsley ‘toughest test’ claim in Bristol Rovers post-match verdict
The Gas earned a point against the promotion-chasers, who are now eight games unbeaten
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The Gas shut out the Tykes who had striking options such as former transfer target James Norwood and Devante Cole, as well as Slobodan Tedic and Max Watters. It was a second clean sheet in as many games, as one of League One’s leakiest defences continued their improvement.
Barnsley are one of the most in-form teams in the division, and had entered the match having won their last four games. Their draw at the Mem was extended to eight games, and strengthened their grip on a top six spot.
Barton said: “I thought it was a good game against arguably the form side in the division, they’ve been free-scoring. For our team and the evolution that this team is on it was probably our toughest test.
“If you’d have picked out any team in the division - this was the true asset test for our progress in recent weeks and I thought the lads were outstanding.”
It was a fairly contested match with seven shots for Rovers and ten for the men from Yorkshire, with two on target for the hosts and three for Michael Duff’s men. Barnsley shaded it in possession with 53% of the ball and played 32 more passes.
Barnsley had an appeal for a penalty turned down as Cole went down in the box around the hour mark after trying to shoot. James Belshaw also made two saves to deny Herbie Kane and Liam Kitching, whilst Sam Finley almost headed in to his own net as Tadic’s cross was headed on to the bar. As for Rovers, Jarell Quansah went the closest but his shot was straight at Harry Isted.
He added: “I’m really proud of a lot of performances out there and barring one moment in the first half I thought the lads were superb and I’m a bit disappointed that we haven’t converted one of our chances and caused a bit of an upset.”