John Ward was left fuming after two red cards wrecked Bristol Rovers' unbeaten run as they went down 1-0 at Burton Albion.
John Ward was left fuming after two red cards wrecked Bristol Rovers' hopes of extending their unbeaten run as they went down 1-0 at Burton.
The Pirates had on-loan striker Chris Beardsley sent off before the break and were reduced to nine men in added time when top scorer John-Joe O'Toole was given his marching orders in the defeat at the Pirelli Stadium.
The hosts also had winger Jimmy Phillips sent off by referee Paul Tierney for a second yellow card late on.
Ward said: "Our first sending-off I agree was a late tackle and the referee has seen it as a red card.
"But we still had a chance going into the last few minutes and then we lost another player for a foolish act.
"The linesman said John-Joe pushed one of their players in the face with both hands. If that's what happened then he deserved to be sent off.
"When we're chasing a game, I need someone like O'Toole in the box winning a header and not causing a problem for the team by being in the dressing room when we needed him.
"It's a massive disappointment for me, for him and the supporters because we were going right to the wire trying to get back into the game after being a man short for a long period.
"The game was decided by a terrific strike, but no-one will talk about that."
The winning goal was a fiercely struck 25-yard effort from Robbie Weir in the 59th minute which got Burton's promotion push back on track.
Visiting goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall had produced outstanding saves to deny Chris Hussey an early goal, but was left helpless by the sheer power of Weir's strike.