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Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

FA decides not to punish Barton

Steve Bennett talks to Joey Barton
Barton was booked during Monday's game for a separate challenge on Luke Young

The Football Association says Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton will not face any action over an incident involving Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Barton, 26, appeared to poke Agbonlahor's face during Newcastle's 2-0 win at St James' Park on Monday.

Referee Steve Bennett had words with Barton after the clash but the FA said he had not seen the incident.

However, after viewing video footage, the official decided it was not worthy of a red card.

The clash came after Barton, who is playing again after a ban and prison sentence, had been penalised for a foul.

"I thought it was a foul against me, and I had a hold of the ball," Barton told the Newcastle Chronicle.

The midfielder, who was later booked for a challenge on Aston Villa defender Luke Young, added: "We shook hands after the game and that's the way it is.

"It was all about nothing. Nothing has gone on, people are making a mountain out of a molehill."

Hughton delighted with three points

And Newcastle have claimed that Barton is being unfairly treated.

Coach Chris Hughton said: "Any incident regarding Joey is going to be blown up twice as much as it's going to be with any other player.

"I wasn't aware of any incident with Joey at all."

Barton was released from jail in July after serving two months of a six-month sentence for assault and affray in Liverpool.

The Newcastle player was later banned for six games by the FA after he assaulted former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo at the training ground.

Barton had previously admitted the charge of violent conduct and was fined 25,000 at a personal hearing, but will be suspended for another six games if he steps out of line again in the future.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill also played down the incident, although Agbonlahor had mentioned it.

He said: "That's for other people to make the decision. The referee and linesman, whatever they saw - or didn't see, as the case may be, that's up to them."

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see also
Interest grows in Magpies buy-out
04 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
Belief came from Kinnear - Given
04 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
Newcastle 2-0 Aston Villa
03 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Barton eyes fresh Newcastle start
29 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Banned Barton to miss six matches
05 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Joey Barton released from prison
28 Jul 08 |  Manchester
Barton admits to violent conduct
13 Aug 08 |  Newcastle

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