Derby County midfielder Graeme Shinnie was frustrated to bow out of the Carabao Cup in controversial circumstances following a 2-1 defeat against fellow Sky Bet Championship side Preston North End.
Shinnie played a key role as Derby took the lead just after half-time in the Second Round tie as his surging run and cut back from the left was eventually finished off from close range by Jason Knight.
However, five minutes later, the Rams found themselves a man lighter as Mike te Wierik saw red for a professional foul.
The Rams fought hard to stay in the lead but a 25-yard thunderbolt from Tom Barkhuizen 10 minutes from time levelled up the tie.
In the final minute, Lee Buchanan was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area as Daniel Johnson converted from the spot to send Derby out of the competition.
And it was that decision which Shinnie was particularly frustrated with.
“It is clear that it wasn’t a penalty,” he told RamsTV. “It is hard after 90 minutes of hard graft, especially when we go down to 10-men.
“When a guy puts a volley into the top corner, you can’t really do much, but in the 90th minute when the ref has got that decision to make, I think he can’t be sure on what it is, so I feel like he can’t give it.
“We have lost the game because of it. It is frustrating when you put so much into the game. We got in front but then we lose Mike, which was tough.
“We lose a goal from a great bit of skill, which is frustrating, but you have to applaud the strike. In the end it looks like it is going to go to penalties, and we have a chance, then it is taken away from us. It is very hard to take.”
Whilst the first half was shy of chances, the Rams started the second half positively and were rewarded with the opening goal of the game.
“At half time we felt that we were a bit slow, we needed to be a little bit braver on the ball and bring the game to them a little bit more,” he said.
“I felt like we did that in the second half, we get the goal to go in front which was good because we hadn’t had a goal in a while so it was good to get that goal and go in front.
“We felt good, then losing the man was frustrating. It puts you down to ten men and puts them on the front foot and they are going to put a lot of pressure on us.
“I felt like we defended well, it was a good strike off Barkhuizen. Sometimes you must hold your hands up and maybe we could have got players over, I haven’t seen it back, to stop the shot.
“When someone scores that then sometimes you need to just say it is a good strike. From there on, we defended deep, we tried to counterattack. Going into the latter stages taking penalties and it is a bit of a lucky dip, but it was taken away from us.”
Shinnie knows the Rams need to bounce back with a positive result against Luton Town in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday as they look to record their first points of the league campaign.
“It will be another tough game and we want to bounce back in the league from a disappointing result last week against Reading,” he commented.
“I felt like the fight and the will to go and play, especially the second half, was there. We need to take that on now to the game on Saturday. We know going to Luton will be tough, but we need to go and get the win.”