Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola was left baffled by Lewis Hyde’s red card in their fiery clash with Ramsgate on Saturday.
Rob O’Toole’s second-half strike gave the Hornets their 13th Bostik League South East Division win of the campaign and helped them consolidate fourth place in the table.
The hosts, however, were left battered and bruised after a physical approach to the game from their Kent visitors.
Horsham central-defender Hyde was sent off late in the second half after a coming together of both sets of players.
Di Paola believes that referee Graham Ions had lost control of the game by that stage, furthered whenRamsgate also had Rob Saunders sent off for a second booking soon after.
On Hyde’s punishment, Di Paola said: “He’ll be out for three games now and it was never a red card. I could not believe he gave a red card.
“It was right in front of the dugout and they never even appealed for anything. Lewis just cleared the ball out of play.
“There was a coming together and it was when Dean Lovegrove had just been elbowed. Poor Lewis has just cleared the ball, it was unbelievable.
“We can’t appeal it as you can’t see it on the video, it was right over other side and you can’t see anything. I asked the referee at the end of the game what it was for and he couldn’t even really tell me.”
There was also praise for goalscorer O’Toole, who, as well as notching the winner, suffered a broken nose for his troubles during the game.
Di Paola added: “We have got Jack Brivio, Charlie Harris, T (Tyrell Richardson Brown), Smudge (Chris Smith) and Rob all close to or in double figures now. That is what you want, people chipping in.
“Rob has hit a bit of form and as I have said before, he does normally score more in the second half of the season, so that’s a good sign. He deserved his goal, he battled so hard for the team as he always does.”