SWINDON Town manager David Flitcroft felt James Dunne’s dismissal midway through the second half is what ultimately proved his side’s undoing as they were beaten 2-1 defeat at home by Coventry City in League Two tonight.

Dunne was shown a straight red card for a push on Sky Blues' skipper Michael Doyle with the game finely poised at 1-1 with 18 minutes to play at the County Ground.

Coventry then snatched the lead within four minutes as Duckens Nazon’s strike from outside the box won the points for the visitors, who had earlier seen Doyle cancel out Luke Norris’ spectacular opener for Town in the first half.

Both Flitcroft and the away management staff were left unimpressed by the performance of referee Charles Breakspear and his team of officials, with the red card for Dunne proving decisive in the outcome of the match.

“Luckily I have been able to see that one because that one is the game-changer,” said Flitcroft.

“Dunney is on the floor with Doyle and he has got his legs tangled. Doyle has kicked out at him and had a little nibble and bite at his leg and Dunney has pushed him off and been sent off for that.

“The referee is two yards away and didn’t see it but the assistant was 40 yards away and did see it.

“I keep saying to this group of players, you are trying to win a game of football from a gameplan but you can’t go down to 10 men.

“You have got to make sure you keep your discipline. Even when you are being antagonised, you have got to make sure you are fully disciplined and Dunney has retaliated and paid the price.

“You are a man down against a good Coventry team and they have taken advantage of that.

“It’s that inconsistency and I have already spoken about the standards of it (refereeing). Steve Ogrizovic (Coventry goalkeeping coach) said after the game it was a real poor performance from the whole refereeing team.

“We have got to respect the point. We had a point at that stage so we have to make sure we at least come off with a point and we didn’t, we have got a defeat.”

Flitcroft conceded that his troops did not start well enough despite taking the lead but was pleased with how Town raised their game after the restart before Dunne’s dismissal.

“I thought the two strikers for them started well and we started poorly,” said Flitcroft.

“We couldn’t get into a rhythm but as soon as we started to use Luke Norris more, he got hold of it and brought Keshi Anderson into it and we looked quite dangerous. That allowed us to get the ball out wide to Kellan Gordon who hurt them while he was on the pitch.

“We didn’t hit them with enough quality in the first half but every time we did, we looked quite threatening.

“Our composure just let us down first half but the lads left it all out there in the second half.”