Burton boss Nigel Clough was left frustrated by a key refereeing decision in the draw with Southend.
Albion fell behind to the struggling Shrimpers through Stephen McLoughlin’s 21st-minute header and were then reduced to 10 men when centre-back John-Joe O’Toole was dismissed for his part in a tangle with visiting striker Tom Hopper.
Scott Fraser then curled home a superb free-kick four minutes after half-time to secure a point from a 1-1 draw.
Referee Darren Drysdale thought he spotted the use of an arm by O’Toole but Clough was not so sure.
“I didn’t think it was a red card,” he said. “We have just seen their lad and he didn’t think there was anything in it. He told John-Joe there was nothing in it. We are on the end of another poor decision.”
But Clough criticised his defence for conceding an opening goal that left his side with an uphill battle.
“Their goal is the most disappointing aspect of the evening,” Clough added.
“Switching off from a set play. One man doesn’t do their job and you find yourself 1-0 down. That is what has cost us the game tonight as much as anything.
“Especially against a team that is struggling. It gives them a boost and it gives them confidence and you saw that for the next 10 or 15 minutes of the game.
“I think the positive tonight is the fact that we have played 60 odd minutes with 10 men and we have looked as though we were the ones with 11 against 10 the way we played in the second half.
“We scored a wonderful goal and we have hit the crossbar and I thought if anybody was going to score more goals in the second half then it was us. The character and resilience that the players showed in the second half especially was absolutely incredible.
“The crowd also sensed the injustice of the evening and they lifted us as well.”
Southend manager Sol Campbell, still looking for his first league win as Shrimpers boss, was philosophical about the result.
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” he said. “It’s a point that we have secured but for me we didn’t utilise the extra man on the pitch really and that is disappointing.
“For us, nothing comes easy and we have to work and work and work and the lads played really well. We got a goal and a chance where (Burton keeper) Kieran O’Hara has made a great save and we have just got to keep on working.
“When you are down there you have to keep on working and scrapping, trying to play well with the right attitude. We had the right intensity in the first half.”
On the red card, Campbell was unsure but defended his player.
He said: “Hopps couldn’t stop himself and that was an accident and it was maybe a bit overzealous. There were maybe one or two hands in there but I’m not too sure.”