Richie Barker placed the blame for Crawley’s defeat squarely at the door of referee Darren Deadman after seeing two of his players sent off.
The Crawley boss felt Deadman had ‘ruined the day’ after showing red cards to both Josh Simpson and Hope Akpan in Pompey’s 3-0 success and said the official’s performance had been ‘inept’.
But while many thought it had been an even game up until Simpson’s dismissal, Barker had a different view and felt his men had been the better side throughout the contest.
Barker said: ‘We spend hours and hours to be as good as we can be and an inept performance as far as I’m concerned ruined the day for everybody.
‘I thought we were the better side all along.
‘I thought we created the most chances and, although there weren’t a great deal of shots in the game, we put them under tremendous pressure.
‘But the sendings-off changed the game.’
Simpson was the first to walk after two fouls on Izale McLeod – although replays showed that there was little contact for the second offence.
And Barker believes Deadman’s reputation for issuing cards counted against his side.
Barker said: ‘The first one is on the halfway line and the lad has just run across him and the second one Josh has absolutely nowhere near touched him.
‘Obviously with it being on the TV we’ve had the luxury of being able to watch the replay very quickly and I honestly don’t know what he (the referee) has seen.
‘He has a previous record of waving yellow cards about and unfortunately he has ruined our day.’
– STEVE WILSON