Plymouth Argyle striker Nick Chadwick was branded an "idiot" by opposition manager Micky Adams after he was sent off in the 4-0 defeat at Port Vale on Saturday.
Chadwick was shown a red card by referee Scott Mathieson in the 33rd minute for violent conduct. It followed an off-the-ball incident involving Chadwick and Port Vale's Ashley Vincent immediately after the home team had opened the scoring.
From the restart, Chadwick and Vincent clashed, with the latter ending up on the ground. Adams was convinced Chadwick had elbowed Vincent as he ran past him and had no sympathy for him whatsoever.
Mathieson consulted with his fourth official, Matthew Bristow, before brandishing a red card at Chadwick.
It was almost identical to an incident involving Chadwick and Vincent following Argyle's kick-off at the start of the match. Vincent also ended up in a heap on that occasion, but neither Mathieson nor any official spotted an offence.
Chadwick is set for a three-match suspension, starting with the visit of Morecambe to Home Park next Saturday.
Adams claimed Chadwick had also elbowed Vincent within a split second of the kick-off. The Port Vale manager did not mince his words.
"Once we got that first goal, and then the idiot got sent off, there was a problem for Plymouth," he said."I would defy anybody to not pass judgement on him and say what a stupid boy he is, because he is.
"He could have got sent off in the first second of the game because the first elbow was worse than the second one. He's obviously not the brightest boy, but there you go.
"It's not for me to comment about other people's players but he certainly let Plymouth down there."
Argyle first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell had been pleased with the way the Pilgrims started the game before the double blow of Vale's first goal and the red card to Chadwick. He said: "I thought we started quite brightly and the lads were putting into place what we had been working on during the week. We were quite comfortable, and the sending off changed the game. Against a team like Port Vale, who have some match-winners in their side, it was always going to be tough."
Vale's second goal came in the 55th minute, when striker Tom Pope headed home, and that put the game out of Argyle's reach. Nancekivell said: "If we could have hung in there at 1-0, I still fancied us to get a chance but, there you go, that's football."
Asked about the incident which led to Chadwick's dismissal, Nancekivell replied: "I didn't see it. I hope he hasn't done it, and if he hasn't then I will back him all the way. If he has, then a lot of lads have had to do a lot of running today."
Nancekivell did not see the earlier incident involving Chadwick and Vincent, either. He admitted: "We all turned around and said: 'What happened there'?"
Chadwick became the fifth Plymouth player to be sent off in the last 14 matches. Durrell Berry, Maxime Blanchard, Darren Purse and Conor Hourihane have all seen red during that period. None of the Argyle squad were allowed to talk to the media after the game against Vale.