Neil Aspin said he thought his side’s two red cards were harsh as his FC Halifax Town team were beaten 5-1 at Cambridge.
Matt Glennon and Danny Lowe both saw red in the first quarter of the match as Cambridge fought back from 1-0 down to cruise to victory.
But the Town boss felt the dismissals were tough on his side.
He said: “I come from an era where if you gave a penalty away that was punishment enough and I think you’re unfortunate if you get sent-off.
“For the second one, I always think it’s a bit harsh to lose two players like that - I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.
“Suddenly all your preparations go out of the window so hopefully we won’t have too many afternoons like that.
“If somebody had said to me this is what we’d have to contend with I don’t think I’d have slept very well.”
Aspin admitted his team’s numerical disadvantage made it mission impossible for his side to stay in the game, but he was pleased with his players’ attitude in such testing circumstances.
He said: “Playing with nine men for so long has obviously had an influence on the game.
“What the scoreline would have been 11 against 11 you can’t predict.
“We know that Cambridge are one of the fancied sides so we’re not naive enough to think we’d have gone and won the game but it’s obviously had a big bearing.
“With 11 it’s going to be difficult, with 10 men it’s a disaster but I don’t think I’ve ever been down to nine men as a manager, especially so early.
“But the players stuck at it and I was proud they managed to keep the score down.
“It’s hard against a good team with nine men so I’m pleased with their efforts.”
Substitute keeper Tom Morgan made his second debut for the club after joining on a dual registration from Farsley Celtic 48 hours earlier, and saved Adam Cunnington’s penalty with his first touch.
Aspin said it was a race against time to bring another stopper in with Phil Senior on holiday, but was delighted with Morgan’s contribution after coming on.
He added: “I wasn’t too happy that Phil was away to start with so then you’ve got to get another keeper and it’s not easy to get one in such a short space of time.
“We’re delighted we got him and he performed really well and had a fantastic game.
“It proved essential we got a keeper in. It was a great save from the second penalty which helped to stem the tide a little bit.
“He made some good saves at the end as well when we tired.”