Bradford boss Stuart McCall pointed the finger at Forest Green midfielder Ebou Adams after Paudie O’Connor saw red in a feisty four-goal thriller.
The Bantams were already down to 10 men and leading 2-1 when O’Connor was sent off for pushing his head towards Adams, who fell over the pitchside barriers.
Aaron Collins snatched an equaliser for Forest Green in the seventh minute of stoppage time, and McCall said: “It’s the reaction that gets Paudie sent off, he flings himself back.
“But if Paudie doesn’t go up to him, it doesn’t happen.
“I definitely think the lad’s reaction has got him sent off. I don’t think it was a headbutt.
“I asked the boy Adams if he bought it a bit. He came back to me afterwards and said he didn’t want the lad to get fined a couple of weeks’ wages for indiscipline.
“Paudie was distraught but he’s given the referee a decision to make.”
Lee Novak opened the scoring early for Bradford and Elliot Watt restore their advantage after Carl Winchester had scored and then missed a penalty which saw Anthony O’Connor sent off.
McCall felt satisfied despite Collins’ late equaliser, adding: “I’ve got mixed emotions. It could have been better, could have been worse, but we’ll take a point.
“Overall, it’s probably a fair result. It had its ups and downs, a rollercoaster of a game.”
Forest Green boss Mark Cooper bemoaned his side’s profligacy in front of goal and felt his side should have won the game.
He said: “We need to get our shooting boots on pretty quickly and this has been the theme of the first part of the season so far – we had 21 shots and only two on target and both of those were goals.
“We would be no good at the funfair and we wouldn’t win any goldfish. We are high, wide and handsome at the moment.
“We should win the game, but we miss a penalty and they scored two goals from us.”
Cooper backed goalkeeper Luke McGee after his error against his former club gifted the Bantams the lead.
“Luke is a good goalkeeper and I’m sure he will pay us and his team-mates back for that one down the line,” Cooper said.