Keith Curle admitted he’s bewildered how Carlisle were not awarded a crucial first-half penalty in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Pompey.
Blues right-back Gareth Evans appeared to handle the ball in the box as it dropped in front of him just before half-time.
The incident, with the game goalless at the time, prompted strong appeals from the Carlisle players and management – as well as the home fans at Brunton Park.
Curle even said afterwards Paul Cook admitted to him it was a ‘stonewall’ penalty.
But referee Richard Clarke read the situation differently – much to the frustration of the Cumbrians boss.
Speaking to Carlisle’s official website, Curle said: ‘I thought it was a penalty.
‘They’re (the match officials) saying it wasn’t because he went to head it but he missed it, so the ball hit his hand.
‘Sometimes you don’t want people to think, you just want them to do their job.
‘Their interpretation is completely different to mine – and to that of Paul Cook and the players.
‘I was speaking to Paul and he said it was a stonewall, cast-iron penalty.
‘How it wasn’t given was bewildering.’
Within seconds of the incident, Pompey striker Eoin Doyle missed a golden opportunity to put Pompey 1-0 up from three yards out.
However, his glaring miss was soon forgotten as second-half goals from Gary Roberts, Amine Linganzi and substitute Jack Whatmough handed the Blues victory.
Despite the visitors’ impressive showing after the break, Curle insisted he felt hard done by.
He added: ‘I think they were more than happy to come in at half-time at 0-0.
‘They knew they had the wind with them after the break and that does give you an advantage because of how difficult it is to clear your lines.
‘Having said that, we had the better chances in the second half. Unfortunately, we didn’t score when we had the impetus.’