Southend United manager Kevin Bond accused referee Ross Joyce of costing the Shrimpers a crucial three points as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Walsall.
Joyce awarded Walsall a 94th minute penalty after Aramide Oteh went down under contact from Michael Turner and the 20-year-old made no mistake from the spot to give the Saddlers a share of the spoils.
And Bond bemoaned the official’s refereeing performance.
“I thought we were by far the better side and we deserved to win,” Bond said.
“Probably the only thing we were guilty of was not wrapping the game up. We had an amazing chance in the second-half which we didn’t take to make it 2-0.
“And to cap it all off, the referee made, in my opinion, two of the most awful howlers that I’ve seen – at both ends of each half – which ultimately have cost us the game.
“Because if you look at it, you might argue we should have got another one and sealed it, but that isn’t an excuse.”
Bond cited Joyce’s decision to blow for half-time, despite the ball being in Walsall’s penalty area at the time, and the last-minute penalty as the two judgements that cost his team the win.
“First-half we had a free-kick that went into the box, and the goalkeepers come out to catch it and as he was in the motion of catching it, the referee has blown up for half-time and instead of waiting until the ball was clearly in his hands or had got into a neutral area – it hadn’t, it was still live and it was still in the area, so normally he wouldn’t blow.
“The ball broke free because the keeper didn’t handle it and we score, but he’s disallowed it.
“And that’s a huge mistake. A huge mistake from the referee’s part.
“Then he’s given a penalty in the last minute of the game. There needs to be enough contact to constitute a foul and there was nowhere near enough contact for a foul, but he decided to give it.
“Just two ridiculously important decisions for us that has given us one point instead of three and the consequences could be really severe for us.”
Walsall interim manager Martin O’Connor acknowledged his side need to display more attacking intent if they are to avoid relegation to League Two.
The Saddlers registered just two shots on target.
O’Connor said: “Did we deserve enough out of the game to get three points? No, we didn’t. We didn’t perform well enough to get three points, so we’ll take a point.
“It’s something we’ve worked on. Our deliveries into the box, our second-phase attacks and we need to be more offensive.
“If you look at the players that we’ve got offensively in Corey and Zeli Ismail, we need to get more out of them, but we need to give them better service.
“Again, we’ve worked on it, and it worked well in training, but when it comes to match day we didn’t really do it.”