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Development Squad

Barr: The draw was the least we deserved

The Under-23s earned a point thanks to Connor McBride's penalty against Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday

20 March 2021

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Billy Barr felt his side were well worth their point after seeing his side battle back to equalise late on in the 1-1 home draw with Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s.

Connor McBride's penalty was slammed into the net with just seven minutes remaining as the Scot notched his 12th goal of the season.

After Ben Wilson's early strike put the visitors in front at Leyland, Rovers found it tough to break down Andrew Crofts' Albion side on home turf.

Chances were at a premium before McBride levelled from the spot after Sam Burns was barged in the back by Brighton defender Jack Wakely.

And speaking afterwards, Barr was content with the display following a much improved second-half performance.

“After the first half performance I felt it was a point gained," he admitted to iFollow Rovers after the game.

"We were a shadow of ourselves in the first-half.

“There are a number of reasons for that, we’ve had players who have trained once since our last game, some have trained twice, and we are down to the bare bones as it is, as you could see with the bench.

“It would have been easy to go in at half time and rant and rave at them, but they have been exceptional this season, so I can accept that.

“The first wasn’t us, the second half was better and they dug out a draw and I’m pleased for them that they didn’t lose the game.”

“Brighton came with a different game-plan. Speaking to them before the game and they were really complimentary about us from what they’d seen on the video.

“The phrase ‘we are the hardest working team in the league’ was thrown at us and we’ll take that, because we have to work hard. But it was nice to see people say that and acknowledge it.

“Brighton’s shape, along with our sloppiness, we didn’t really get going.”

Rovers had plenty of the ball against the Sussex side, but Burns twice saw Carl Rushworth in his way before McBride struck home.

And Barr credited his side for persevering right to the end to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

“We could have been 1-0 down before the goal," he reflected.

"The possession statistics were just the same as at Arsenal last time out, we had 62 per cent and they had 38 per cent, and the fortunate thing for us was that they were only 1-0 up, and we were 3-0 up.

"That gave us a chance to get back into the game.

“I thought we carved out some chances. The penalty is a penalty for me, I know might Brighton might not agree, but I think it was the least that we deserved for our second-half performance.”

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