Joey Barton calls Bristol Rovers kit change a 'farce' after seven-goal thriller with Exeter

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The Gas were trailing 2-0 to the Grecians when Barton intervened and told his players to change out of the third-choice shirts they had sported in support of homeless charity Shelter in favour of the club's blue-and-white quartered tops.

His ploy seemed to work as Rovers overturned the first-half lead the Devon club secured through long-range Sam Nombe and Archie Collins strikes, with the hosts storming ahead through goals from Aaron Collins, Josh Coburn and substitute Scott Sinclair's penalty. But the fightback proved in vain as Timothee Dieng equalised late on and Nombe headed in a stoppage-time winner to leave Barton reflecting on a "farce". "It was a bit of a calamity," Barton said. "It was a show of support for the homeless charity but for some reason Exeter didn't wear red and white, which is not their fault. "It seems as though there's been an administration faux pas. Their kit didn't look before the game like a clash but once you went out and under the floodlights all of a sudden it was going to be tricky for the players. "Why I asked them to change shirts? I said lads we've been absolutely s**** out there in that kit, so get it off and get the home kit on and lo and behold we're back in it. "There was a little bit of superstition but the kit was wet and we had nothing to lose. Hopefully, if we do it again we can make sure the opposition don't wear the same dark shirts as us. "I still don't know why we didn't wear the green and yellow one but maybe it was still getting washed after the Wycombe game. It was a bit of a farce. Hopefully it doesn't happen again." Grecians boss Gary Caldwell was unimpressed by Barton's half-time kit change. "I didn't even notice the half-time kit-change but as far as I'm concerned it shouldn't be allowed," Caldwell said. "It was quite embarrassing. I'm not sure if the players noticed but I'm just pleased that in the end we got what we deserved. "It was a phenomenal game. I've told the players to savour victory because it's nights like this that we're in the game for." The former Celtic and Scotland defender added: "Funnily enough I had a feeling it'd be an extra-special game because we were under floodlights, in front of a packed house and playing on a sodden pitch. "And it would've just summed things up if the ball had got stuck in a puddle on the line at the end but thankfully there was no stopping us and we got our just rewards for a great show of character. "It was a dramatic finale. I'm sure all our fans enjoyed it, but I'd love it if we could eek out a straightforward 2-0 win because any more of this and I'll lose my hair."

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