Paul Dickov refused to blame referee Stuart Attwell after Doncaster Rovers lost a bad tempered clash with League One leaders Bristol City – but struggled to contain his frustration with the officials after a fiery night at the Keepmoat Stadium.
City led at half time through a Luke Freeman goal and Greg Cunningham penalty, awarded after Andy Butler fouled Kieran Agard.
Rovers rallied after the break and Curtis Main sparked hopes of a comeback with a sensational strike but Aaron Wilbraham’s breakaway goal sealed a workmanlike 3-1 victory for City.
The game will arguably be remembered for a mass brawl and an ugly coming together between Dickov and his opposite number Steve Cotterill following a rash challenge by Wilbraham on Reece Wabara, moments after the Robins’ third goal.
Dickov said: “Big decisions at big times went against us – but that’s not why we lost.
“I don’t want to see any player sent off but one of my players has been kicked off the pitch when he’s got the ball in his hand and Reece Wabara’s been kicked from behind. Both were red cards.
“We just want decisions to be right. The whole melee could have been avoided by sending the boy [Wilbraham] off.
“I don’t want to make it all about the referee though,” he added.
“We had no complaints about the penalty and in the first half we were poor.
“In the second half I thought we matched them up and caused them problems. We wanted it a bit more.
“The team top of the league team were penned in their own half and the reason we did that was that individually we wanted it a bit more.”
Rovers remain seventh in League One – level on points with sixth-placed Bradford City – following their second defeat in the space of four days.