Michael Boulding wants referees to come out and explain their actions after the stoppage-time calls that cost City at Brentford.

Boulding was left bemused by the foul awarded against him near the corner flag by official Gavin Ward with just seconds to go on Saturday.

That led to another “soft” free-kick on the halfway line from which Nathan Elder headed home for a dramatic winner.

It looked as though Boulding had grabbed City a well-deserved point by scoring for the fourth game running – and he was mystified by Ward’s late ruling.

The City striker said: “I’m not one for criticising referees because it’s a difficult job but I don’t understand how the foul can be against me when I’ve been tackled from behind and put on my backside.

“I wouldn’t mind the referee explaining that to me but it won’t happen. So you need to bite your lip.

“I tried to talk to him but it’s not something you can dwell on. Players make mistakes and referees are going to as well but in that instance, a couple of plays down it’s cost us a goal.

“That sort of thing happens every single week in football. It’s hard but it’s something you have to accept.

“I can understand the stress that referees are under from the fans and that but I think he knew he’d made a mistake.”

The game, played in atrocious conditions, exploded into life late on with all three goals in the final five minutes.

Boulding equalised within a minute of Marcus Bean’s opener but he admitted his ninth goal of the season was little consolation.

Boulding added: “It’s nice to score again but it counts for nothing when it’s a defeat like that.

“That’s the best we’ve played away from home as a team. We had some really good link-up play but just couldn’t get the ball in the net – on another day, we’d have scored three or four.

“I thought we’d blown it when they scored initially but then to nick a goal straight back looked like we’d grabbed a point. So to concede again was a double whammy.

“Brentford are a good side but I think we’re better than them. We should have won the game.”

Stuart McCall said: “I can only take positives from our performance on a heavy pitch but the manner we lost it really hurts.

“They were two of the softest decisions for free-kicks I’ve seen this season.

“There were 20 seconds left on the clock, we’ve got the ball in the corner and the ref has given a free-kick against us.

“I won’t deny they whipped in a great ball from the second one but it shouldn’t have happened.

“I’m not one for harping on about referees but he’s certainly cost us.”