Friday, October 20, 2017

Barton denies trying to force Rhead red and accuses Lincoln of play-acting

SoccerNews in FA Cup 18 Feb 2017

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Joey Barton has denied trying to get Lincoln City striker Matt Rhead sent off and accused the opposition of play-acting in Burnley’s shock FA Cup defeat on Saturday.

Sean Raggett’s 89th-minute header secured a 1-0 win at Turf Moor and sent Lincoln into the quarter-finals of the competition, marking the first time a non-league club has reached that stage since 1914.

Barton became embroiled in an altercation as Burnley’s frustrations grew in the second half, with the midfielder going to ground when the top of his head was clipped accidentally by the arm of Rhead, after he appeared to have tried to stand on the striker’s foot while defending a set-piece.

The former Manchester City and Rangers midfielder attracted huge criticism on social media for the incident, with a number of viewers accusing him of deliberately running into Rhead’s arm in an effort to get him sent off.

Barton has now refuted those claims and, although he credited Lincoln for their result, he took a swipe at what he considered to be histrionics from the visitors, with the 34-year-old having been booked for an altercation with Terry Hawkridge.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Wasn’t trying to get the Big Man sent off. It was my job to front screen and disrupt him. Was trying to get back in front of him.

“Tried to duck under his arm and he moved it back and hit me on the head. Contact is part of the game, no problem with that.

“Unlike their player saying he was kicked on the floor and also the one who jumped and held his face as if he’d been struck.

“But that wouldn’t make a good story would it. FairPlay to Lincoln. They where well organised and that’s Cup football. Good luck in nxt rd.”

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