Brown and Barton, two very combative midfielders in their playing days, were going up against each other for the first time since the duo clashed when the Englishman moved north for an ill-fated spell at Rangers in 2016 during Brown’s heyday at Celtic.
Neither are having a fantastic time of it in England’s third tier – Fleetwood are 16th, a point and a place ahead of Bristol Rovers – but in this match, Brown’s team scored an equaliser in the ninth minute of stoppage time via ex-St Johnstone defender Shaun Rooney and Barton was sent to the stands by former SPFL referee Bobby Madden.
“I thought it was a game of two halves,” said Brown. “We controlled the game in the first half, created a lot of chances and put them under a lot of pressure. But in the second half I think the crowd frightened our lads a little bit. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to deal with the crowd very well.”
Rovers cried foul over Barton’s dismissal. “I don’t think there was anything untoward,” assistant manager Andy Mangan said.“I was close to him. And I think the referee probably got a bit heated. I saw a yellow card in his hand and then out of nowhere he brings out the red. I am not sure why that happened.”