Joey Barton accused his Bristol Rovers team of “naivety” as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Accrington at the Memorial Stadium.
A quickly-taken Sean McConville corner proved the Pirates’ undoing, Joe Pritchard reacting quickest to glance the ball into the corner of the net after 53 minutes.
Rovers were unable to respond, despite the threat posed by Aaron Collins, who hit the woodwork in the final 10 minutes.
“It was tough,” said a frustrated Barton. “I don’t think we were anywhere near as productive as last week. I felt that it was going to go to whoever scored the first goal.
“Our ball boy gives a quick ball to their player, they take a quick corner and we switched off for the goal.
“We’ve actually shot ourselves in the foot in that regard. We showed a bit of naivety. We thought the danger had passed.
“We thought we could take a breather. Our ball boy inadvertently – they don’t really throw much quick ball in for us but ended up giving them a bit of quick ball and the goal comes from that.”
Rovers have not won in their last seven League One games and sit in the bottom four on goal difference.
Accrington manager John Coleman praised key man Pritchard for securing a second away victory of the campaign.
“He tired a bit towards the end. He’s still getting through an injury – at 15 minutes to go he was starting to fade dramatically,” said Coleman.
“But you know what you’re getting from Joe. He likes to face up. He’s so inventive, he’s so quick to react and he’s got a great shot with either foot.
“And he’ll be disappointed that he didn’t do better with the opportunities that he had in the first half. Particularly after an unbelievable ball from Tommy Leigh to send him through on the penalty spot.
“Thankfully he got his just rewards with his efforts today and he got the winner.”
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