Morecambe manager Jim Bentley said the sending off of Jordan Cranston was the turning point of the game in his side’s 3-1 defeat at Port Vale.
The Shrimps were winning 1-0 with 32 minutes played when Cranston saw red for an off the ball incident with David Worrall that left Bentley’s side down to 10 men and up against it and it was a moment of madness that proved costly.
Bentley said: “We were doing really well, had the lead and were creating chances when Jordan was sent off.
“We were well on top and the crowd were on their players’ backs and we were cruising.
“We were on the front foot and I was really pleased with the way we were playing.
“I felt like we would get a chance to get a second but then we shot ourselves in the foot with Jordan’s sending off and it was the game changer.
“We take pride in being disciplined and we knew we had to be on our guard against a referee with six red cards this season and we spoke to the players about staying clean which makes it all the more annoying.
“It changed the whole complexion of the game and gave them the chance to get back into it.
“They are the type of things you just can’t do, especially away from home against a good side.
“To be as petulant as that was a killer and was hard to take.”
Looking at the game overall he added: “I was really proud of the lads and the way they defended once we went down to 10 men, but once they scored one, it was always going to be difficult and it is so frustrating because it could have been so different but they took advantage of the extra man well.”