Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton felt referee Carl Berry lost control of the game after seeing his side lose 1-0 to Oldham.
Following a bizarre second half at Fratton Park, the Latics claimed all three points after Jonathan Grounds' cross-cum-shot slid into the Pompey net, taking a deflection off debutant Johnny Ertl after 59 minutes.
Both sides were then reduced to 10 men in a cloud of confusion four minutes later. Jordan Obita was dismissed for Portsmouth for an apparent elbow, before Cliff Byrne also saw red. However, Oldham's sending off could be rescinded due to a case of mistaken identity, as it was Connor Brown who was involved in the tussle with Obita.
"I wasn't sure what was going on, but I know players from both sides were confused," said Appleton. "I think the referee lost the plot a little bit and lost control of the game. It became a little bit of a farce at times.
"I just said to him that I thought the game was a little bit too big for him. He seemed to lose control in a big, big way. It was all there for everyone to see. It's not something I'm making up. I think it was a tough day at the office for the referee.
"I didn't really think there was a serious tackle or challenge in the whole game. It was a competitive game, but we never really saw a melee of players at any point."