Port Vale boss John Askey was furious with referee Peter Wright after a fiery game against rock=bottom Stevenage ended 1-1 at Vale Park.
The official awarded Stevenage a penalty when defender Scott Cuthbert appeared to have his shirt tugged by Vale’s Adam Crookes.
But he later ruled out a spot-kick for the home side when Tom Pope appeared to be wrestled to the ground inside the box.
Vale had taken an eighth-minute lead through Jake Taylor, but Stevenage levelled matters 15 minutes later thanks to Kurtis Guthrie’s penalty, with the result leaving the home side in 16th place in League Two.
Vale manager Askey said: “I’ve had problems with him (Wright) before.
“If he is going to give them a penalty, then he has to give us one, too, after what happened to Tom.
“I’ve watched the Cuthbert incident back and it was quick tug on the boy’s shirt – it wasn’t anything blatant.
“When things like that happen, the game becomes more about the referee.
“It was disappointing and it threw us out of our stride a little bit.
“Saying that, we are going through a sticky patch, so we will have to battle and fight our way through it and come out the other side.
“We have to be better and overcome the kind of decisions which went against us today.
“It isn’t all doom and gloom and, come the end of the season, we will hopefully be in a very good position.”
Vale saw the better of the action in the opening periods, with their best chance coming from Taylor.
He went past his defender but, with only Stevenage goalkeeper Paul Farman to beat, sent his shot wide of the post.
The on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder made up for his miss three minutes later when he gave Vale the lead, slotting in
David Amoo’s cross to score his third of the season.
The visitors equalised in the 23rd minute when Guthrie stepped up to the penalty spot and sent Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown the wrong way, much to the ire of Vale’s players and supporters, who furiously protested the referee’s decision.
The home side should have regained the lead when David Worrall was put through by Amoo, but he forced a fine save from Farman at close range.
Stevenage had the better of the second half, but Brown denied Guthrie, Kelland Watts and Charlie Carter.
Vale were even more aggrieved when substitute Pope seemed to have been hauled down in the area, only for the referee to wave off the incident.
Stevenage caretaker boss Mark Sampson said: “The team’s character was outstanding.
“This is a difficult place to come and Port Vale have some excellent players.
“We showed real resilience after the first goal to come back into the game and we played better as the match went on.
“It was an important point for us, and psychologically, as well.”