Allan Johnston watched on in disbelief as his Doonhamers had to see out Saturday’s whirlwind draw against Stenhousemuir with just eight men.
The league leaders had Derek Young and Kevin Holt sent off before Chris Higgins was forced to stay on the touchline for the last few minutes after receiving a cut to his head.
Johnston, who was also sent off for barking one word too many at the officials, raged: “It was very frustrating and I asked the referee what happened with Chris at the end.
“He was forced off with a cut to his forehead and he wasn’t allowed back on because there wasn’t a fourth official there to check it, and apparently the linesman didn’t have time to check it.
“Derek said that his sending off wasn’t even a bad challenge and I don’t think he caught him.
“Kevin was given a straight red despite their player, John Gemmell, saying afterwards that Holty never even touched him.
“There’s a sense of injustice and I think if the referee saw the decisions again he probably wouldn’t have sent the players off.
“It wasn’t a sending off. It all just boiled over a bit at the end. The only bonus is that we have stretched our lead by a point.”
Table-topping Queens, who stretched their lead at the top to seven points with the draw, have been flying this season and started with a bang on Saturday, taking the lead after just three minutes through Mark Durnan.
Young was sent off on the stroke of halt time but the league leaders double their advantage on 48 minutes through leading scorer Nicky Clark.
Stenny staged a stirring comeback and found the net twice in the space of three minutes, with Gemmell diverting Bryan Hodge’s shot over the line from close range before Brown Ferguson scored from the penalty spot after Paul Burns fouled Hodge inside the box.
Referee Hilland showed his second red card of the afternoon to Holt after the teenage defender connected late with Gemmell on the touchline before Higgins was forced off and boss Johnston was sent to the stands for his protests.
Goalscoring defender Durnan said: “We’re all frustrated with the decisions that have gone against us.
“There were a few silly decisions and we are all disappointed.”
Stenny boss Martyn Corrigan said: “That was a wee bit controversial but it’s not for me to talk about the red cards. I don’t think either of the tackles were intentional though.
“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get the win in the end, especially after they went down to nine men.”