DERRY City manager Ruaidhri Higgins was fuming that key moments in Thursday night's Europa Conference League defeat to Riga didn't go his side's way.
The Limavady man, who also admitted that his side didn't perform well, felt that Icelandic referee Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson failed to award them a penalty minutes before showing striker Matty Smith a straight red card after he naively got involved in a bust-up with left-back Glody Ngonda.
"I've said to him (Smith), 'don't get involved.' It's petulance from Matty there's no doubt about it but you have to look at the incident, it's not a red card," Higgins insisted.
"He's silly to get involved. Our discipline this season has been exemplary, very, very good but there's no doubt about it. He's given them a decision to make and he's sent him off and I'll never know why.
"And then we have a penalty shout that he doesn't give, but we weren't at our best by any stretch. It was key decisions within the game which swayed it in their favour."
Goals from Gabriel Ramos and Oleksandr Filippov secured a comfortable victory at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium for the Latvian side and what also disappointed Higgins most is that his players didn't really get going.
"I think the first half was bitty. Both teams were scrappy," he added.
"It was a poor game to be honest in the first half and it was a poor goal from us to give away.
"But I felt we were actually in the ascendancy whenever Matty got sent off. And I've watched it back and it is not a red card. Absolutely not a red card.
"On top of that, and I've watched it back again, we've had an absolute stonewall penalty turned down after a handball. Key moments in the game. We weren't as good as we can be, far from it but there were still key moments in the game which turned the result in their favour."
The Derry boss isn't giving up hope of turning things around in Latvia next Thursday night, but he knows his players will have to raise their game massively if they hope to progress.
"It was clear we were up against a good side as well and they've been around," he confirmed.
"I think they lost a play-off last year to get into the group stages so they've been around the block and have a lot of really good players but we know if we click next week and our best players perform to their capabilities then we can do something drastic.
"Our away record is very, very good but hopefully that can continue next week. I'm not giving up on anything whatsoever.
"If we go over here (to Riga) and play the way we can and get our noses in front then you never know."