Dartford boss Alan Dowson felt it was an “awful decision” to give summer signing Paul Rooney a red card in Saturday’s pre-season opener.
The Darts finished the game at home to Charlton with 10 men after former Havant midfielder Rooney was dismissed by referee George Warren for swinging a punch at Conor McGrandles.
Dowson felt the referee should have given him the option to substitute Rooney, although it is believed the suspension will only apply to a future pre-season match rather than any league fixture at the start of the National League South campaign.
“I thought it was an awful decision looking at the highlights,” said Dowson. “He doesn’t hit him.
“Apparently it doesn’t matter as you only miss a game in pre-season.
“I thought it was the wrong decision and the referee should have come to me and said take him off. I thought it was handbags at worst.”
There were also first-half bookings for Dartford duo Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Joash Nembhard - two more of Dowson’s summer signings.
“The two tackles that we got bookings for, back in my day they were great tackles,” reflected Dowson,
“They did one on us and that was a top tackle as well. Their manager is a great guy, they haven’t gone big time and we gave them a hell of a game.”
Dowson was keen to move on from the red card and focus on a largely positive performance from his revamped squad, which featured a host of new signings.
Charlton won 2-1 thanks to two goals in as many minutes just before the hour mark by Nathan Asiimwe. Another new recruit, Lewis Manor, pulled a goal back for Dartford midway through the second half with a close-range tap-in.
“It’s pointless starting on a negative, there’s 2,000 positives out there,” said Dowson.
“I went inside after the game and everyone wanted to talk about the sending-off but what about all the positives we had?
“When you go 2-0 down, we did well to fight back and then playing the last 15 minutes with 10 men I thought we battled well.
“We trained Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday and Charlton have been in for three weeks so I’ve got to be pleased with how we did. Our fitness levels were good, yes, they’re going to keep the ball against us but I thought we did very well.”