Phil Brown felt the late penalty which saw Southend have to settle for a 1-1 draw against Cheltenham should not have been given.
The Shrimpers seemed to be heading for a sixth successive victory and to the top of the League Two table when Kevan Hurst put them ahead just before half-time.
But Matt Richards' 96th-minute spot-kick, which came after Anthony Straker had handled Jermaine McGlashan's back-post header, meant Southend picked up just a point.
"I don't think the penalty should have been given because Anthony Straker has been fouled and that's why his arms have gone up like that," said Brown.
"It's a big decision for the officials to make and they have to be 100 per cent right because it's one that's changed the outcome of the game.
"I'm standing here as the manager of Southend though, so I'm bound to say they got it wrong and it's hard to take because we were 25 seconds away from going top of the league.
"However, if I'm being honest, I think that if we had held on to win then it would've been a victory we had stolen."
Cheltenham were on top early on at Roots Hall, with West Brom loanee Kemar Roofe having a 12-yard shot parried to safety by Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley before he also did well to keep out a deflected 20-yard free-kick from David Noble.
But the Shrimpers hit back to take the lead in the 41st minute when Hurst fired home at the second attempt from close range for his fourth goal in five games.
His latest effort seemed to have secured victory for Southend but, deep into time added on, Straker handled McGlashan's far-post header from Craig Braham-Barrett's left-wing corner.
Richards held his nerve, after missing his previous spot-kick against Morecambe, to fire the spot-kick in to the left-hand side of the goal.