Brechin boss Darren Dods hit out at referee Craig Napier after the whistler awarded the spot-kick which consigned his side to defeat at Airdrie on Saturday.
Dods was furious after Dougie Hill was penalised in the 54th minute for handball and Iain Russell slammed home the penalty to give the Diamonds all three points from the game.
City had competed well and were well in the game until the disputed decision, but tempers frayed afterwards and Paul McLean was sent off for a lunge on Joe Gorman.
Dods said: “It’s always hostile here. I played at this ground for 20-odd years so I’m used to these fans and I think they influenced the game.
“I don’t think I am saying anything out of turn when I say he is an inexperienced referee.”
Brechin missed the chance to leapfrog Livingston at the top of the table, but striker Ross Caldwell said: “I think we can catch them over the course of the season.
“It’s a very long way to go. I think that’s us just a third of the way through the season but it’s a miised opportunity to go top and put the pressure on them to catch up.
“We started the stronger team in the first 20 minutes.
“Then they started to come into the game more and we started giving away needless free-kicks. So, by the law of averages, they were always going to score.
“We managed to hang on until half-time and go in level.
“Then the ref gives what we feel is a very soft penalty, and he doesn’t even it up when we felt we had two good claims for a penalty.”
Brechin will hope to get their title push back on track at home this Saturday as fifth-placed Albion Rovers visit Glebe Park.