Brighton boss Gus Poyet felt his side were desperately unlucky to concede a last-minute penalty as rivals Bournemouth grabbed a dramatic 1-1 draw at Withdean Stadium.
The Seagulls led through a 61st-minute strike from Kazenga Lualua and were heading for a fifth successive home league victory when referee Darren Sheldrake signalled a free-kick to Bournemouth just outside the Brighton penalty area.
Brighton defender Tommy Elphick was penalised for handball and Sheldrake then changed his mind and awarded a penalty after consulting with his assistant. Marc Pugh stepped up to drill home the spot-kick.
Poyet fumed: "The linesman was in the wrong position to give the penalty, so why did he get involved? The referee had first given a free-kick and he was closer, so we are asking why the linesman got involved."
Television replays suggested that Bournemouth substitute Steve Fletcher handled the ball in a challenge with Elphick, who said: "I'm convinced it was a foul to us.
"We bundled towards the ball and I'm sure it was outside the box. The referee gave a free-kick, but it was then referred to the assistant. It feels like a defeat. We should have been in a comfortable position before the closing stages of the game."