Southampton manager Mark Hughes criticised referee Jon Moss for costing his side two valuable points at Everton.
Saints, down to 10 men after the 85th-minute dismissal of Maya Yoshida, were leading 1-0 through substitute Nathan Redmond’s first goal in almost a year until Moss awarded a free-kick against the winger which led to Tom Davies’ deflected equaliser.
That decision left Hughes fuming and he did not hold back in his views on the referee, which are sure to attract the attention of the Football Association next week.
“Unfortunately the officials towards the end of the game haven’t covered themselves in glory if we are honest,” he said.
“Nathan Redmond is in the corner and has done a fantastic job to nick the ball off the toes of their centre-half.
“The assistant referee is about two or three yards away and clearly sees it isn’t a foul but Jon Moss, as he usually is, about 30 yards behind play, decided to give a free-kick.
“To compound that situation he allows them to take it from the wrong position, 10 to 15 yards ahead, and at that point we are still arguing about whether it should have been a free run on goal for ourselves.
“It was difficult to get our shape back, we’d lost a man to a sending-off, and in the end, with hindsight, as a consequence of being down to 10 men we got tired and made the wrong decisions.
“Ryan Bertrand tried to take the ball further up the pitch, got cut out and they get a shot off which gets deflected.
“We are just disappointed with the performances of the officials because it has had a direct impact on us.”
On Yoshida’s red card for two bookable offences the Saints boss said: “Second one it was a mistimed tackle and there was a likelihood, considering it was Jon Moss, he would give a red card.
“It was hard on us because clearly we were going to see the game out quite comfortably in my view.
“Having the sending-off and then referees not doing their job happens too often.
“Before games we shouldn��t, as management teams, worry about which referees we have got, but it happens too often and that’s what everyone does: you worry about the referees being strong enough, worry about them playing a direct part in getting key decisions correct or incorrect.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about it. They should be the best and unfortunately they are not.”
Asked whether he has spoken to Moss, Hughes replied: “What’s the point? He’s probably getting his breath back.”
A point lifted Southampton out of the bottom three on goal difference from Swansea, whom they meet on Tuesday in a match which will be vital to the survival of both sides.
Everton have no such worries but fans still have their concerns over their manager, highlighted by the Gwladys Street End chanting “F*** off Sam Allardyce”.
However, the 63-year-old fired back at the supporters calling for his head despite only having been in the job since November.
“We weren’t playing well. You get boos everywhere you go where you don’t play well,” he said.
“I thought we were terrible. We couldn’t pass to each other but you have to forgive these boys because of how hard they worked to get this club out of trouble but there seems to be no credit for what they have done.
“There seems to be no recognition for that. That is sad. In terms of the some of the fans, some of the media, and I find it rather sad.”