MICKY Mellon went gunning for referee Fred Graham after a second-half penalty condemned his Fleetwood side to a third draw on the bounce.
The Fleetwood boss launched both barrels at the officials for a second consecutive away game, after a penalty was awarded against Youl Mawene.
Mellon insisted the match officials couldn’t agree what the spot-kick was given for – venting his anger over a lack of communication from the men in black – claiming he was spoken to like a ‘schoolboy’.
He said: “The referees don’t talk to you.
“They go on all the time about communication and ‘let’s have a chat’.
“We hear a lot about respect and then they speak to you like you’re a schoolboy, instead of somebody who has been in the game for nearly 25 years.”
Town went into the break with a 2-1 lead, thanks to goals from Steve McNulty and Barry Nicholson, before John O’Flynn earned The Grecians a point from the spot – sending Scott Davies the wrong way.
Mellon couldn’t contain his frustration, despite being pleased to take a point.
He said: “We knew it was going to be a difficult trip.
“But, again, it was another game influenced by the officials.
“Sometimes you’ve got to put your hand up and say your toughest opponent, if you like, is the officials for some of the crazy decisions they have made.
“But, listen, we’ll take a point all day long at places like Exeter.”
Town made a superb start at St James’ Park, before twice surrendering the lead.
Mellon said: “I thought we came out of the blocks really well, and played some really good football.
“Probably for a little bit of a spell, just after half-time, for 10 or 15 minutes, we lost control of the game, but we found our way back, and I was pleased with pretty much everything I’ve seen.
“But then we’ve given away a soft penalty kick, which I’m not pleased about.
“We still don’t know what it was given for, but we’ll respect the point and take it back to Fleetwood with us.
“We lost our discipline a little bit, but to be fair to them they regained that, and got things going again, and towards the end I thought we were going to nick it.”
Town second was a particularly fine move, two Barrys combining, Ferguson with a superb run and perfectly timed pass, Nicholson with a cool finish.
Mellon said: “For the second goal it was a lovely run, matched by a terrific pass and a great finish.
“To go in at half-time 2-1 up, we’re disappointed we’ve come away from home, got two goals and not come away with all three points.”
Both sides had chances to grab all three points at the death, but Mellon’s attention was firmly fixed on the actions of Mr Graham – who turned down a handball claim on the edge of the Exeter box with Fleetwood pressing for a winner.
Mellon said: “The crazy thing is they get a free-kick and the referee gives a free-kick again because he says it’s hit a hand.
“Right towards the end the same thing happens, and he doesn’t give it because he says the hand’s not high enough.
“I don’t know how high hands have to be for a free-kick to be given against you, but that’s another strange one to get to the bottom of.”
With no midweek game, injury-hit Fleetwood have a chance to regroup.
“We need a break,” said Mellon. “We were probably down to 18 fit players.
“We’re struggling with the striker situation, but we’ve come away from home and scored two goals, so we can’t complain about that.”