Shelbourne boss Ian Morris claimed the fourth official was just as bemused as he was over Luke Byrne's sending-off in their 1-1 draw with Finn Harps at Tolka Park.
The Shels central defender was shown a straight red card by referee Sean Grant for a 76th-minute nudge on Alexander Kogler just outside the area on Saturday night.
Harps' Austrian striker hadn't touched the ball from Mark McGinley's kick-out, which bounced through to opposite number Colin McCabe. So it hardly constituted a clear goalscoring opportunity.
"It's infuriating," said Morris. "The fourth official's (Rob Hennessy) reaction . . . he was just as astonished as we were, which says a lot. It's a difficult one to take.
"Kogler's not even getting on the end of the ball anyway. It's straight into the keeper's hands. The fourth official, his chin dropped when the free-kick was given. And then his eyes opened, I'd say the furthest they've ever opened, when the red card came out. But he can't go against his colleague."
Barry McNamee's first goal for Finn Harps on 54 minutes, after he side-footed a loose ball to the net, cancelled out Ciaran Kilduff's 33rd-minute headed opener for Shelbourne from a corner.
Shels are without a league win in six, but Finn Harps are now a point ahead of bottom side Cork City, whom they meet next weekend.