Joey Barton joked that the food that he eats on Saturday night will taste much better given that his side conjured up a late equaliser at the Memorial Stadium against Lincoln.

Barton explained that he would be going out for dinner to celebrate his 41st birthday following his team’s second home draw in Sky Bet League One this season, and that he will be in a much better mood after Josh Grant headed in Antony Evans’ corner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

The former Manchester City player can see progression in his Bristol Rovers side after they grabbed a late point, but still remain winless on their own turf.

“We were the side trying to make stuff happen,” said Barton. “Mark’s done a very good job to prepare a side to sit and counter.

“Groundhog Day again and we had to show our learning from recent weeks. While I don’t think we’ve fired on all cylinders today, I thought there was definitely signs of progress there against a disciplined, well-organised Lincoln side that don’t concede many goals.

“A point’s a positive because we were in a losing position. We’ve had a lot of ball and a lot of dominance, but we’ve got to work on the training ground to get even better.”

Barton explained that things might have been easier for his side if Rovers had managed to complete the signing of former striker Jonson Clarke-Harris after a club-record deal was agreed with Peterborough, but failed to be completed before the EFL transfer deadline on Friday.

“It would have been nice to get that spear tip and the final piece of the jigsaw, but you don’t get everything you want in life,” he explained.

“We haven’t managed by seconds to get the deal done and we have to make a solution.”

Lincoln head coach Mark Kennedy praised his side’s fortitude as they came within seconds of grabbing a fourth victory in six league matches.

Captain Adam Jackson opened the scoring in the 53rd minute as the ball fell into his path after goalkeeper Matt Cox parried an Ethan Erhahon shot.

“I’ve seen the possession stats and they don’t bother me because we were one up. We had four or five players on the backline and Reeco [Hackett-Fairchild] was running on fumes,” he said.

“There were some real tired legs out there. I was really worried about the game. Especially playing Blackpool home then Sheffield United away, a Wednesday game and a day less to recover, and then a huge trip down here.

“It was a game I was personally really worried about. It’s a brilliant, brilliant point and it would have been amazing to get three because it was so late in the game, but no complaints.”