Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald accused referee Brian Colvin of ruining the goalless draw with Hamilton Academical at New Douglas Park.
The visitors had Frederic Frans sent off for two bookable offences after just 25 minutes.
Thistle had the post and goalkeeper Tomas Cerny to thank for securing a point on the opening day of the season.
"The referee ruined it as a contest because we had to sit behind the ball," Archibald told BBC Scotland.
"I don't think it was a great spectacle."
Belgian defender Frans was ordered off after first pulling down Christian Nade then tripping Antons Kurakins.
"I thought it was very harsh, it was his second challenge of the game and he's sent him off," said Archibald. "If the referee is going to be consistent, fine, but I don't see decisions like that week in week out over the course of the season.
"If he thinks it merits two bookings, fair enough, as long as he's consistent with it.
"It's a long time to go on the first day of the season with 10 men, but I don't want to take the referee's decision away from our two young centre backs. They were outstanding.
"They've got two games between them in the SPFL and I thought they were fantastic."
Both these teams are rated as the favourites among many pundits to be relegated, but Archibald praised the young players who have come into the team and believes they have the talent to keep Thistle in the Premiership.
"Only the last 10 minutes did Hamilton cause us problems," he said. "Yes, we rode our luck a few times and we had our goalkeeper to thank with some wonderful saves, but the overall team performance and togetherness was fantastic.
"There's a lot of take from it. The togetherness of the side, the way we defended, a great performance from our goalkeeper and centre-halves, and probably the whole team were outstanding."
Hamilton player-manager Martin Canning admitted Accies should have taken maximum points but was pleased with the performance of his team.
"There is a mixture of emotions," he said. "We deserved to win the game. I don't think there is any doubt about that.
"Even when it was 11 versus 11, we were the better team. With 10 versus 11, there was only one team in it.
"In games like that, the first goal is crucial.
"Ali Crawford had a great chance just before half-time and, if he had scored that, we would probably have come out in the second half and scored again.
"When you don't score, it gives Thistle something to hang on to and they defended well.
"We did 95% of the things I'd asked them to do - it's just the putting the ball in the back of the net that wins you the game."