CHALFONT St Peter boss Danny Edwards blamed his side's late defeat at home to Uxbridge on the officials' failure to send off the visitors' defender Max Howell.
Saints showed more attacking intent than Uxbridge in Saturday's clash between the play-off hopefuls, none more so than lively winger Terell Lewis, and he could have scored a deserved goal when sent through with 20 minutes left.
But Howell hauled him down 35 yards from goal to provoke calls from the sidelines for a red card with the defender arguably the last man. Referee Neil Wallace believed a booking was sufficient.
The decision angered Edwards and hurt even more when he saw Uxbridge's Nicke Kabamba's injury-time shot bobble over Saints keeper Mark Oliver and in at the near post.
“I'm disappointed with the officials,” Edwards said afterwards. “If a man is the last man, 35 yards from goal, I think it's a sending off.
“It's a different game if he's sent off, we would have got a point at least.”
Neither team looked worthy of a win in a first half lacking in quality. Uxbridge's threat from set pieces was dealt with by Oliver and his defence, and Chalfont's only real chance came on 40 minutes when Lewis' goal-bound shot was tipped over.
Lewis created two more second half chances either side of the controversial coming together with Howell, but twice fired over.
Even he did not have time to respond after Kabamba's goal consigned his side to an undeserved defeat.
Edwards added: “It took an awful bobble over the keeper and we had dominated the second half. It's a bit of a kick-in-the-teeth.
“But as long as the players can put that effort in for the rest of the season, we'll be OK. If we can finish in the top eight, it will be a great effort.”
Saints' slim play-off chances are being hampered by injuries. Influential Daniel Hicks and John Caroll were among eight players out on Saturday, but Edwards will welcome back midfielders Chris Mills and Daniel Hughes in the next week and is not giving up.
“Until it's impossible, we will still believe,” he said.