Bolton boss Phil Parkinson was left livid at referee Jeremy Simpson after his side slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke.
Wanderers had a goal disallowed when Josh Magennis headed in on 66 minutes, only for Simpson to chalk it off for an apparent foul on Potters defender Ashley Williams.
With Bolton trailing 1-0 to Bruno Martins Indi’s early header at the time, Parkinson believes it would have changed the outcome of the contest in Staffordshire.
Parkinson said: “He (Jeremy Simpson) has obviously guessed as he been looking through bodies, there is no contact whatsoever, Butland’s misjudged the cross and Magennis has headed in on the back stick and I am absolutely livid.
“I’m livid that between the four officials that they can’t see it is a legitimate goal, we have come to a tough place tonight and they got a lift with their goal, we could see it lifted their energy levels, it was a soft one for us to concede, but in the second-half.
“I thought we raised our game and put in a terrific performance and the goal should have stood and if we’d got that goal, it would have lifted us and we could have gone onto to have won the game.”
Martins Indi’s 10th minute header was added to by Tom Ince’s strike after 74 minutes, as the Potters earned a much-needed third win of the Championship season.
City have struggled since their second-tier return, but put in a confident display against the Trotters.
Stoke led within 10 minutes when Ince’s corner from the right was powered past Bolton stopper Remi Matthews by the head of defender Martins Indi.
Erhun Oztumer’s corner from the right was met at the back post by forward Magennis, who guided his header into an empty net after Butland misjudged the cross, only to see Simpson disallow the goal, adjudging a foul on Williams.
Ince capped off the win by smashing home James McClean’s cross, and Stoke boss Gary Rowett was delighted with the victory.
He said: “We had some really good play tonight and a lot of it came from Tom Ince.
“I got bored of putting on the impact players at 2-0 down so I thought ‘why not start with the impact players’ and see if we can get 2-0 up and it worked, so that was the main thing if we can take more of a gamble from the start.
“In the last couple of home games, whilst we’ve had good control, we’ve maybe lacked an extra player to find a pass.
“We have been outperforming our position in the league but we haven’t been getting the results, but I was really pleased tonight, and to get a clean sheet.”