Tadcaster Albion boss Billy Miller was left angered by the performance of referee Tristan Greaves as his side slipped to a 3-2 home defeat to Scarborough Athletic on Boxing Day.
The Brewers led the Evo-Stik Division One North clash 1-0 and 2-1 before conceding two late goals to their North Yorkshire rivals, the first of which came from a hotly-disputed penalty kick.
“It was end-to-end and a great game of football, but unfortunately we’re talking about one person who affected the game - the referee,” Miller said.
“I’m not one for having a go at referees, but he didn’t have the best of days, that’s for certain.
“It’s not a penalty. We’ve said it, they [Scarborough] have said it, and when you’re on the receiving end it’s harsh.
“When someone equalises against you like that - and we did it to Scarborough earlier this season in the FA Cup - it’s difficult to recover from.”
After a fairly even start to proceedings, Carl Stewart gave Albion the lead against the club he left less than a month ago.
There were 39 minutes on the clock when the Taddy forward took advantage of some indecision in the Boro back line and raced through to lob a bouncing ball over the advancing Jordan Porter and into the net from 20 yards out.
The Brewers took their lead into half-time, but Athletic were back on terms just nine minutes into the second period when a mix-up between Tom Allan and goalkeeper Gary Stevens led to a tap-in for Benny Igiehon.
The hosts re-claimed their advantage six minutes later when Josh Greening whipped in a free-kick from the right flank and Allan bundled the ball into the net at the back post.
There were strong protestations from the Scarborough players after the goal, enraged by what they felt was the use of an arm by Allan, and Miller believes that the reaction of the away side proved a turning point in the match.
“The incident after the second goal, the referee should have dealt with that straight away. To be pushed by not just one, but four players, he should have dealt with it,” Miller added.
“If he’s made a mistake, you’d rather he not give us the goal and then give them everything. I just felt that we got nothing then for the rest of the game.
“I thought that there were one or two things that the referee let go and then got himself into a situation where, and no hard feelings, every decision they surrounded him, every decision they were arguing it, and every decision he let it ride because of the pressure he was being put under.”
Mr Greaves was not the only one to come under pressure from Boro, with the home side soon finding themselves under the cosh as the visitors pushed for a second equaliser.
It duly arrived in the 80th minute when Jacob Hazell went down in the box under a Dan Thirkell challenge, and the man in the middle sparked more controversy by pointing to the spot.
Adam Bolder made no mistake in converting the resulting penalty to tie the scores.
Five minutes later, and the turnaround was completed as Cameron Murray smashed the ball home following a scramble in the Taddy box.
Defeat for Albion sees them drop down to 13th place in the league standings with a trip to promotion-chasing Farsley Celtic up next.