Coach Paul Okon has described Roy O'Donovan's red card in Central Coast Mariners' 2-1 loss to Melbourne City as "madness".
The Mariners' boss was furious with referee Daniel Elder for allowing himself to be influenced by assistant referee George Lakrindis when he had - according to Okon - initially decided O'Donovan deserved a yellow card for a foul on City defender Michael Jakobsen.
Having dragged Central Coast level at 1-1 in the ninth minute, O'Donovan was dismissed 14 minutes later when he backed into Jakobsen and his raised left arm struck the Dane in the face.
Okon told Fox Sports after the match that the decision to send O'Donovan off "ruined the game".
"Well the referee comes across and he's got the yellow card in his hand. That means he's seen the incident," Okon said.
"So why does he need the linesman? He's got the yellow card in his hand, so in his eyes it's a yellow card.
"Why then does the linesman influence him and give a straight red? It's madness.
"It's madness, it's insanity and it ruined the game for both teams - irrespective of what the final result would have been but it's disappointing."
The incident was similar to one in Melbourne Victory's 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar last week where Besart Berisha was sent off thanks to an assistant referee's intervention but the Big V striker eventually had his red card rescinded by the A-League's match review panel.
Okon called for O'Donovan to receive comparable treatment.
"Well I hope common sense prevails here," he said.
"It shouldn't be any different because it's Central Coast Mariners. The referee will look at it, say he got it wrong with his linesman and the match review panel will allow Roy to play next week."
When asked about the match in general, Okon applauded the Mariners for a "courageous" performance and hailed City forward Tim Cahill, who scored both goals for the victors.
"How can you defend against him [Cahill]? He's so good when he makes his runs," the 44-year-old coach said.
"His timing is good and nine times out of ten he always hits the target but disappointing to give away that second goal, which really cost us."