Norwich manager Paul Lambert pointed the finger at referee Kevin Wright as his side crashed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Southampton on penalties.
Wright booked five Norwich players in the second half but Lambert was incensed as skipper Grant Holt was floored in an off-the-ball incident near Saints' goal seconds before they swept up field for the last-gasp equaliser, which sent the game to a shoot-out.
Lambert said: "[The referee] was shocking and I don't care if I get fined for saying so. If you have a game of this magnitude you should give it to somebody decent but he was utter rubbish."
He added: "I couldn't ask anything more from my players, they were terrific and we did enough to go through."
Norwich had come from behind to put themselves in touching distance of the Southern Section final.
Papa Waigo gave Saints a first-half lead after Ricky Lambert's pass put him through on goal and the on-loan Fiorentina striker held off Norwich defender Gary Doherty to tuck his shot under keeper Fraser Forster.
Norwich levelled when Southampton's defence failed to deal with Simon Lappin's free-kick and the ball fell for Doherty to lash home.
The Canaries took the lead 10 minutes into the second half, when Wes Hoolahan slipped a pass through to Grant Holt and although Bartosz Bialkowski bravely denied the Norwich skipper the ball ran kindly for Chris Martin to tap in his 12th goal of the season.
Norwich looked comfortable defending that lead until the third minute of added time when they failed to deal with a free-kick and Dan Harding lashed home the loose ball.
Saints boss Alan Pardew admitted: "Our fans were probably walking out at that stage thinking the game was over but it turned out to be a good night in the end.
"That was probably the worst we have played for some time but we hang in there, we don't want to give in and that showed even in the penalty shoot-out."
"Papa took his goal very well but we were found wanting at times, there were some strange decisions and the referee had a funny game. But it's nice to win when you don't play well and I think it shows our never-say-die spirit."
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