Joey Barton questioned the standard of refereeing as his 10-man Fleetwood side claimed a 1-0 victory over Wycombe at Adams Park.
Despite Ched Evans seeing a straight red for an elbow on Jason McCarthy and Barton himself being sent off late on, the Cod Army claimed victory through Paddy Madden’s close-range effort in the 75th minute.
While Barton was delighted with the result, he was quick to question referee Kevin Johnson’s display after watching Town make it six in a row without defeat in Sky Bet League One.
“I’m absolutely delighted for this group of young men – that is an unbelievable performance in such tough circumstances and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Barton.
“I can’t really speak about the referee’s performance. All I will say is that the officiating was not at the level it needs to be and if I say any more than that, the FA will get involved.
“We’ll certainly be looking at Ched’s sending-off. I have to say I haven’t seen it back yet, but in real-time it looks incredibly soft. It just wasn’t that type of game, and that could have cost us.
“But let’s focus on what we should be talking about, and that’s us winning an important game. We could have been five or six up by the time we did actually score and, like I say, I’m so proud to be involved with this club and this group of players.”
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth was left frustrated by his side’s display after a defeat which sees the Chairboys slip to fourth in the table.
They remain firmly in contention for an automatic promotion place but are now just five points clear of Barton’s Fleetwood, who sit ninth.
Ainsworth was left to rue a performance in which Wanderers failed to get close to their opponents, but largely kept his counsel when it came to the subject of the refereeing.
He said: “We gave away chances which were very naive from our point of view, but they’re a very difficult side to play against and a draw would have been nice, but it wasn’t to be.
“In terms of the two red cards, I can’t comment on what has happened between Joey and the fourth official, but the touchline can be a heated place.
“With regards to Ched Evans, I’ve seen it back on the video and I don’t think he’s meant to elbow McCarthy – but he’s got his arms up in a very high position and he’s left himself open to the card, which is exactly what happened.
“As always, I can’t ask for much more than what this group is giving me, and we’ll just keep going. The aim was always to improve on what we achieved last year and we’re on track to do that.”