Fleetwood Town 2 Portsmouth 5: Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton and Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett react to the result

Joey Barton
Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton was left disappointed with his side's 5-2 defeat to League One leaders Portsmouth.

Town were 2-1 up at the break as Paddy Madden's 13th of the term cancelled out Ben Thompson's opener.

Madden was fouled by Matt Clarke in the 43rd minute with Ched Evans giving Fleetwood the lead just before half-time.

But the tide turned when Dean Marney was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 51st minute.

He was ruled to have fouled Thompson and Jackett's side levelled soon after as Ross Wallace fouled Ronan Curtis in the box.

Brett Pitman levelled from the spot with Anton Walkes completing the turnaround in the 58th minute.

James Wallace and Madden hit the post for Fleetwood but Jamal Lowe's late double killed off any hopes of a Town fight-back.

And Barton was not happy with the way his team gave league leaders Portsmouth the advantage through the 'soft' yellow cards and the Ross Wallace foul that lead to the visitors leveller.

He said: "A very soft second yellow card.

"A soft first yellow and that is very disappointing from our perspective because we looking the side probably more likely to go on and win the game.

"We were 2-1 ahead, in the ascendancy with the momentum but then you cannot go down to 10-men with this calibre of opposition.

"They are top of the table going into the New Year because they are the most consistent team in the division and they have some good players.

"You cannot afford to give them that kind of advantage because as they have shown they were clinical.

"We did not just make that one, we folded up by giving away an absolute needless penalty.

"Ball going away from goal and I can only think it is because he was elbowed in the face a couple of minutes before hand and maybe he has got a little bit of the red mist descending and he has decided he wants to make a physical challenge.

"That is very disappointing.

"They score a minute after that.

"Then we settle down, we get back into a kind of flow again.

"With the game at 3-2 down to 10-men Paddy Madden's fantastic header hits the post.

"James Wallace gets the rebound, hits the other side of the post then they clear the danger.

"At that point you think maybe it is not going to be our day.

"I cannot fault the players they give everything for each other.

"They give everything on most occasions."

Meanwhile Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett hailed his side's character.

He said: "You always need good character because there will always be ups and downs if you are going to be successful.

"You have to win many different games.

"There were a lot of tests for us and I'm pleased for the players because they overcame it with good quality and good character.

He added: "At 3-2 I felt we needed more goals.

"In the likes of Madden and Evans they have a lot of experience and quality.

"They had one or two players behind them that can serve them.

"I always felt while they are throwing everything at us and at 11 versus 10 we "needed to make it pay when we broke to put the game away."