BEMUSED Nairn County manager Ronnie Sharp felt that all the big decisions in today's game against Turriff United were called incorrectly as he saw the visitors emerge from Station Park with a 2-1 win.
The boss saw an even game turned on its head with the dubious dismissal of Jamie Mackay on 28 minutes, shortly after Ryan Macleod had saved a softly-awarded Turriff penalty.
That enraged the Nairn bench but despite their numerical disadvantage, County took the lead through Wayne Mackintosh's header on 34 minutes.
But the visitors were level two minutes before the break with David Ross appearing to control the ball with his arm before sweeping home.
County were further baffled on 64 minutes with Mackintosh being penalised for a clean tackle on the edge of the box, allowing Neale Davidson to step up and whip home the winner with a fine set piece.
Sharp said: The way the players played for an hour with 10 men on that heavy surface just shows the commitment that they have for the club. But they should not be put in that position because we are going down to 10 men or nine men a lot recently when it is not deserved.
"Jamie's sending off totally changed the game today and I did not think that it was red card. Their boy broke through and Jamie made a genuine challenge with players around covering in the middle. The law is that it must be a goal-scoring opportunity and I cannot see how that was a goal-scoring opportunity."
"It changed the entire complex of the game. The referee was 15 yards away and the linesman 45 yards away and seemingly it was the linesman who made the decision. I cannot understand that."
He added: "Having said that, their sending off in the second half was soft as well. It was a coming together between their boy (Paul Young) and Gregg Main and all it would have taken was a word with them both to get on with the game to defuse the situation."
Wayne Mackintosh headed County in front after connecting with Jordan Macrae's delicious cross but the hosts failed to take their lead in with them at the break.
"It was a well-worked goal and a terrific header from Wayne (Mackintosh) to put us in front," said Sharp.
"But we let them back into the game before half time. If we got to half time ahead then it would have given us a boost but they scored the equaliser two minutes before half time."
"We need to see these sorts of things out but it came from a lucky break. Their boy appeared to control it with his arm as well, so that was another decision which went against us and I cannot see how it was not given. The boy does not even need to move as his control with his hand allowed it to drop nicely for him to put away."
Sharp was further aggrieved in the second half after seeing his side concede a free kick that they failed to defend properly, allowing Turriff to take all three points.
"They scored from a free kick and I did not even think it was a foul," the exasperated boss said. "I think it was clear to everyone that it was a good, clean tackle by Wayne but supposedly, the ref has said that the foul was given against Stevie Mackenzie and I just cannot understand that one either."
"But the wall was not setup correctly and that was a mistake on our part. It was not far enough over and I think Ryan (Macleod) set the wall up expecting a boy to hit it with his right foot and was caught out with the left. But he will learn from that."
Macleod made his third start of the season as he came in for the injured Dylan Maclean.
"I thought Ryan had an excellent game," stated Sharp. "His handling was good, he came and punched a lot and he had some good saves."
"Their penalty in the first half was another thing that I could not understand. It just looked like a coming together between two players and there was nothing in it. It was a good save though, which is good for Ryan but the problem we have now is that he seems to have picked up an injury, so we could have yet another goalie in next week."