Preston boss Phil Brown felt his side merited a point at Reading and was furious with referee Mark Haywood for allowing Jimmy Kebe's opener to stand.
Brown felt there was a foul on Barry Nicholson in the build-up and criticised the officials for not taking the game seriously enough.
The former Hull boss - whose side are eight points from safety after the 2-1 defeat - said: "I'm not going to harp on about referees but if he gave a foul on Nicholson then we wouldn't have conceded the first goal.
"Kebe was all over Billy Jones when he headed it in as well and we should have come in 0-0 at half-time. I know they wanted a penalty at the end as well and it was to be fair - it was a great save.
"It was disappointing to sit and listen to the officials afterwards. You could hear them through the wall in the away changing room after the game and they were congratulating themselves on a great performance which was ridiculous.
"I don't think they know how much it means to us, it affects our livelihoods. It's life or death for me. We were not embarrassed and gave a good account of ourselves but we did not get the point which I feel we deserved."