Neill Collins says Barnsley’s comeback draw at Leyton Orient is ‘a step in the right direction’ but was ‘very confused’ by the awarding of a penalty for the hosts.

The Reds fell behind to a disputed spot-kick but came came from behind for the first time this season in the league to level after the break.

Collins said: “I think there was so much that happened in that game which could have swung it either way. I thought it should have been 0-0 at half-time but I am really pleased that the players were able to come from behind in a tough environment.

“I know that is something the club has struggled with in the last few years and last season in particular but today was a big step in the right direction. We could have won the game. Equally we could have lost and Leyton Orient will have been pleased with their performance.”

Jamie McCart was judged to have handled the ball in the box for Orient’s penalty which allowed them to open the scoring with a spot-kick in the first half.

Collins said: “Anyone that sees the penalty will feel the same as me. I don’t think there was a single person in the stadium that felt it was a penalty and we were very confused with what the penalty had been given for.

“For me though these things are part and parcel of the game. We hear quite often these things even themselves out over the season but, based on the penalties that have gone for and against us, it doesn’t seem to reflect that particularly for a team that has been up at the top end of the division.

“I am pleased the players rose above it and came away with a point so it’s not complete sour grapes. There wasn’t much in the first thirty minutes but I thought they put us under pressure when they played directly into (Joe) Piggott but we lost a goal when we should have been scoring a goal.”

Collins was pleased with Barnsley’s leveller, a fine strike by Herbie Kane from outside the box.

“The build-up to our equaliser was brilliant and Herbie Kane I thought, second half, was excellent and was rewarded. Hopefully we can see a few more like that one. But for a bit more composure, we could have scored another.

“I was really concerned when we went down to ten men that we were going to lose it at the death but the players never gave up.”

Collins said that goalkeeper Liam Roberts has undergone surgery and will be out for ‘a few weeks’.

The Reds remain third in League One, eight points off leaders Portsmouth and three clear in the top six. They now host Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday.