Joey Barton said Wes Burns was fortunate not to suffer a broken leg from Lamine Kaba Sherif's challenge as the Fleetwood Town boss slammed 'dangerous' officiating in Tuesday's EFL Trophy defeat at Accrington Stanley.
Barton said Burns had a 12-inch gash on his shin after Kaba Sherif flew in with his studs up in the 16th minute.
The Town attacker required treatment on the pitch and was eventually stretchered off. Burns left the ground on crutches and with a cast on his right leg.
Kaba Sherif did not pick up a caution for a challenge Barton called "shocking".
The Town boss said: "I could do the John Coleman one and bring out a photograph of the gash on Wes' shin but what is the point?
"We have a player there with a 12-inch gash down his shin from the mid-point below the knee down to the ankle.
"Fortunately it is not a broken leg because the challenge is certainly capable of that. He knows that - that is why he took his player off.
"I have a lot of respect for John but on Tuesday his team were disgusting.
"When you see studs make contact behind the shinpad as high as they do, and go from one side of the leg to the other ....
"We are just lucky. He's not taking oxygen and it does not look like a break, but he is in a cast, on crutches and I'm disappointed because it is a bad tackle and the referee cannot miss that.
"It sets off a chain of events in the game that we did not need.
"We now have a player suspended and a player injured because of the referee's decision- making."
The suspended player is Harrison Biggins, who was sent off minutes after Burns' exit for a challenge on Sean McConville that Barton felt was not worthy of a red card.
With Town down to 10 men, goals by Wilson Carvalho and McConville put Accrington in control of this opening group game, though Paddy Madden's last-gasp penalty set up a tense finish.
Tackles flew in throughout a fiery encounter and Barton says he will be complaining about referee Darren Handley, who he feels was not ready for the step up.
Barton added: "Just a game ruined by the official really. There is not more I can say really.
"You do not want to be talking about the officials in the aftermath of a game, but the challenge he allowed on Wes Burns that has seen him stretchered from the pitch is shocking.
"Then he sends our player off for a challenge that is nowhere near that level.
"Sean McConville has two-footed Lewie Coyle. There are a number of challenges in there and it is just dangerous.
"When the official is that poor it is dangerous. Players could have ended up with broken legs, such is the nature of how he lost control.
"I know it is the EFL Trophy, I know we have to give referees experience but they have to be up to the task.
"If they are not ready they should not be allowed to officiate because it is players' careers at stake.
"Hopefully Wes is all right. He's on crutches, he's in a boot but that just cannot go on in the modern game.
"It ruined the game. We were down to 10 men - what is the point in it.
"They tell us to take the EFL Trophy seriously. Well, if they give us officials like that it will be difficult for us.
"Why should I risk my first-team players with officials that aren't at the level to protect them.
"Everyone who was at the game could see that he spoiled the game. We will certainly be making a complaint about the ref.
"I thought he was dangerous for both sets of players."
Barton made only five changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Lincoln on Saturday and all those who came in were experienced first-team players: Alex Cairns, Kyle Dempsey, Ash Eastham, Ched Evans and Ashley Hunter.
But Barton says he might have to rethink his approach to the competition after Tuesday's game.
He added: "The EFL Trophy is a competition we used as a breeding ground for our young players last season.
"This year we want to try to progress in it and see where we can get. But after the officiating, what is the point?
"They want a solid competition but they have to put solid officials in, not officials that don't cover our (League One) games. Otherwise we will end up with players out of league games because of challenges that are going on.
"I think the referee needs to take a serious look at himself because he could have ended up ending players' careers by letting some of the stuff go on."
On the Burns challenge, Barton added: "The fourth official is telling me that it is a red card, that he would have sent him off. "He is mic'ed up to him (the referee) and does not tell him.
"Two officials on the side are meant to be assistant referees. We can see it from there.
"He (Coleman) knows because he took his player off. You live by the sword, die by the sword.
"We will be fine. We have got a tough old group in there who kept fighting to the end and almost got it to penalties.
"They showed character and I thought they were superb. It shows a lot about our teamship."