DARREN Manning blasted referee Nick Dunn after Hullbridge Sports were controversially denied a late leveller in the 4-2 FA Trophy extra preliminary round defeat to Barton Rovers.

With Sports just a goal adrift in the third minute of injury time, Perry Dunn headed a corner home only for the effort to be ruled out.

Following the incident, Emmanuel Okunja, Manning and Courtney Homans were dismissed and Barton grabbed a late fourth goal, leaving the Hullbridge boss seething.

Manning said: “We scored a perfectly fine goal to make it 3-3 but then it was ruled out because the referee said there was a foul.

“No-one could see where there was a foul and even their manager admitted he didn’t think there was anything wrong with the goal.

“It was very frustrating and then Emmanuel asked what it was disallowed for, which resulted in him getting sent off.

“He sent me off and then Courtney got dismissed for a tackle which was never worthy of a red card.

“The referee lost control of the game and it has cost us.

“With the winners of the tie getting £1,500 and the defeated side picking up £500, we have potentially lost out on £1,000 because we might have gone onto win the tie in extra-time.”

Dean Dummett grabbed two goals inside the opening 25 minutes to put Barton in the driving seat at the Ryan’s Heating Stadium.

Yemi Adelani halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time and, with the hosts pushing for an equaliser, Nathan Tshikuna restored Barton’s two-goal lead.

However, Sports hit back immediately with Bertie Brayley netting from close range.

Then the controversy began, with Dunn’s goal being ruled out along with red cards for Okunja, Homans and Manning on the sidelines, while Connor Vincent rounded off the scoring.

As a result, Hullbridge’s first ever appearance in the FA Trophy ended in a controversial defeat.