Jon McCarthy once again chose to remain diplomatic about officials after Chester FC went down to a controversial 3-2 Boxing Day defeat at Solihull Moors.
But supporters who travelled to Damson Park had no doubt where they felt the blame lay for the Blues' first Vanarama National League loss since October 29.
Chester were reduced to 10 men in the 16th minute when Johnny Hunt was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Shepherd Murombedzi.
But, thanks to Elliott Durrell's seventh goal of the campaign, the 10-man Blues were set to take a lead into half-time until referee Chris O'Donnell harshly awarded a foul against Tom Shaw for handball in the first of three added minutes at the end of the opening period.
Omari Sterling-James scored from the resultant free kick before Harry White put Solihull in front despite claims there was a handball in the build-up to his third goal against Chester in the calendar year.
After Hunt's replacement at left-back, Evan Horwood, went off injured, Sterling-James struck again.
And, while substitute Kane Richards reduced the arrears, by also taking his tally for the term up to seven, the damage had already been done.
It was not the first time this season that the Blues, who also had four players booked, have suffered badly at the hands of a referee and his assistants.
But McCarthy chose to bite his tongue and spare O'Donnell, who shares the same name as the actor who featured in Batman Forever, criticism.
What Jon McCarthy said
“I'm delighted with my players, they had to work hard for long periods of the game with 10 men. A lot of things went us against us today, injuries and all kinds of stuff, but we're not ones for making excuses, we'll look at the things we could have done better and analyse that.
“Our organisation and shape with 10 men, we work hard on that, so we knew what to do, and we did it for a long time, and we scored twice with 10 men.
“With three minutes to go, we're nearly in at half-time, which would have allowed us to restructure and add a little bit of information tactically, so we were disappointed that (free kick against Shaw) decision went against us.
“But we're also disappointed with their second goal. The lad (White) shouldn't have a free shot on the edge of the box, and we shouldn't get done on the inside between Ryan Astles and Matty Waters (for the third). We should stop that; Sterling-James shouldn't get in there, and put that (the game) away from us, because as it turned out we got something back at the end.
“Despite all the cards that went against us, it was quite a disciplined performance from our players. That's how we should be as a football club. I don't think it's a fair reflection on my players and how they go about playing the game; that they have so many disciplinary points picked up on this occasion. It's frustrating but it's not a criticism of the officials. You know I don't do that. I don't make any excuses.
“They (the officials) talk openly and honestly to me and we try and do that side of the game properly even if others don't.
“It might seem a little bit boring, and a rant and a rave might be perfect here, but you know it's not my style, I'm quite level-headed, and I'll have to work hard to help make sure we pick up points against Solihull on New Year's Day.”
What Tom Shaw said
“It was tough to play that game today. It's quite demoralising when you're trying to get a foothold in the game and little things are going against you all the time and you don't think it's right.
“But we showed what we were all about by going down to 10 men and pretty much scoring straight away. Nothing seems to faze us but it felt like it was a little bit too much for us today with what we were up against.
“It was annoying because even with 10 men we felt fairly comfortable. I have got a football mark on my side, it didn't hit my hand, there's no doubt in my mind, but he (O'Donnell) gave a free kick and they put it in the top corner.
“We tried to not let it faze us, it's quite easy to make excuses and go out with a whimper, but we didn't let that happen.
“But unfortunately it became a little bit too much second half.”
What the fans said
Blues supporters also took the Deva Chat message board to deliver their views.
Sealand Road Veteran said: "Just got back, the story of the game was an absolutely diabolical referee. It didn't look like a sending off but he couldn't wait to pull his card out, it was a strong tackle but not a red card. Their first goal was not a free kick, the ball hit Shaw in the stomach, their second goal involved a handball which the ref totally ignored. Never gave us anything, it was as if he couldn't do enough to help them and kept giving them every decision, he totally lost the game and got bullied by their bench, an absolute joke of a ref, you could see the players getting frustrated with him. Very disappointing to go all that way to watch a match be ruined by an all-about-me ref, but we always seem to get them."
Ulster Blue Boy said: "We actually played well with 10 men but as much as the lads tried we were getting nothing from the ref so it must have been so demoralising for them."
1midfieldgeneral said: "Absolutely shocking performance by the referee. He cost us the game good style. Debatable sending off for Hunt. Handball given against Shaw when it hit him on the chest, and a handball that the referee failed to spot in the build up to their second goal. The players should need absolutely no motivating for the reverse fixture. The only thing the ref didn't do was put a yellow shirt on. Diabolical doesn't do him justice."