Derby manager Nigel Clough claimed Bristol City goalkeeper David James should have been red-carded in the first half as the Rams slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Ashton Gate.
The game was goalless after 39 minutes when the former England international brought down Kris Commons as the Derby midfielder attempted to go past him.
James escaped with a yellow card from referee Darren Sheldrake, and to add to Clough's frustration James comfortably saved Alberto Bueno's free-kick. City went on to win with two second-half goals from striker Brett Pitman, leaving the Derby boss confused and angry.
Clough said: "You are fined if you don't attend meetings with referees and fined if you criticise them. I don't see the point of going to meetings because what we are told there doesn't apply.
"Unless the rules have changed, James should have been sent off. We are shown videos of different situations at the meetings with referees and told when a red card will apply. If it doesn't when a player has gone around a goalkeeper and is about to sidefoot the ball in, I don't know when it does apply.
"We didn't score the goals our play merited. But that was a huge moment and it's difficult to understand how the official could have got it so wrong. We have had big decisions go against us in three games recently and all we want is for the rules to be applied."