Joey Barton slammed Stanley as ‘disgusting’ after an ill-tempered Trophy tie at the Wham Stadium.

Goals from Wilson Carvalho and Sean McConville gave Stanley victory in the first group game, before Paddy Madden got a consolation from the penalty spot in injury-time.

But that only told half of the story, with Fleetwood midfielder Harrison Biggins sent off for a challenge on Sean McConville, who had been sent off himself when the sides met in League One 10 days earlier.

Fleetwood winger Wes Burns was stretchered off following a challenge by Lamine Kaba-Sherif, who was substituted shortly afterwards, which Barton branded as ‘shocking’.

Launching a tirade in his post-match interviews, Barton said: "I could do the John Coleman one and bring out a photograph of the gash on Wes' shin but what is the point?

"We have a player there with a 12-inch gash down his shin from the mid-point below the knee down to the ankle.

"Fortunately it is not a broken leg because the challenge is certainly capable of that. He knows that - that is why he took his player off.

"I have a lot of respect for John but on Tuesday his team were disgusting.

"When you see studs make contact behind the shinpad as high as they do, and go from one side of the leg to the other.

"We are just lucky. He's not taking oxygen and it does not look like a break, but he is in a cast, on crutches and I'm disappointed because it is a bad tackle and the referee cannot miss that.

"It sets off a chain of events in the game that we did not need.

"We now have a player suspended and a player injured because of the referee's decision- making."

Barton was also less than impressed with the role of referee Darren Handley for the way he officiated the contest.

"Just a game ruined by the official really. There is not more I can say really,” he told the Blackpool Gazette.

"You do not want to be talking about the officials in the aftermath of a game, but the challenge he allowed on Wes Burns that has seen him stretchered from the pitch is shocking.

"Then he sends our player off for a challenge that is nowhere near that level.

"Sean McConville has two-footed Lewie Coyle. There are a number of challenges in there and it is just dangerous.

"When the official is that poor it is dangerous. Players could have ended up with broken legs, such is the nature of how he lost control.

"I know it is the EFL Trophy, I know we have to give referees experience but they have to be up to the task.
"If they are not ready they should not be allowed to officiate because it is players' careers at stake.

"Hopefully Wes is all right. He's on crutches, he's in a boot but that just cannot go on in the modern game.

"It ruined the game. We were down to 10 men - what is the point in it.

"They tell us to take the EFL Trophy seriously. Well, if they give us officials like that it will be difficult for us.

"Why should I risk my first-team players with officials that aren't at the level to protect them. 

"Everyone who was at the game could see that he spoiled the game. We will certainly be making a complaint about the ref.

"I thought he was dangerous for both sets of players."