Town boss Billy Heath blasted the decision to award Eastleigh a penalty in his team’s 2-0 FA Cup second round defeat at The Shay.
Two goals in three minutes just before half-time from Scott Wilson and Mikael Mandron sealed Eastleigh’s place in the third round.
Heath felt Eastleigh’s second goal from the spot should not have been allowed for an alleged foul by Josh Macdonald on Luke Coulson, and believed that was the decisive moment in the game.
He said: “I thought for 35 minutes we were comfortable, we looked the most dangerous.
“We looked solid, we looked a threat in the attack and Eastleigh weren’t really putting anything together.
“We concede a disappointing goal where we’re not tight enough in midfield, they go wide and suddenly it’s in the back of our net.
“Then the second goal is the killer blow to us.
“The referee has deemed it a penalty. He’s probably the only man in the ground who actually thinks it’s a penalty.
“But he was making strange decisions all night, constantly.
“Suddenly we find ourselves 2-0 down with a mountain to climb.
“But the boys gave everything and kept going in difficult circumstances.
“In the end, Eastleigh’s physicality won.”
The Town boss, who also thought Town should have had a penalty in the second-half for a handball, felt his side were never the same force after conceding that second goal.
“It knocked the stuffing out of us because people are frustrated.
“It’s a ridiculous decision, but he gave it very quickly.
“He didn’t give himself a lot of time to assess the situation. I don’t think the boy had even gone to ground and he blew the whistle.
“If we went in 1-0 down at half-time like we did in the first game, we regroup and we go at it again, but the second one knocked the stuffing out of us.
“Their player has never reacted, the boy who got challenged never even looked for it.”
Midfielder Jordan Sinnott left the ground on crutches and will be assessed about the damage to his knee and ankle, while Richard Peniket ended the game with concussion.
On the late dismissal of defender Scott Garner, Heath added: “You can’t react but he got elbowed in the face - another great call from the referee.
“It’s going to prove difficult now because we’ll miss Scott for three games and we’re short on numbers.”