Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray bemoaned an awful start as the Owls crashed to Bolton Wanderers at Hillsborough.
Two defensive errors had Gray’s side 2-0 down - Liam Feeney scored after only two minutes and Darren Pratley put the visitors further ahead before the half-hour mark.
Chris Maguire then scored a penalty for Wednesday following Matt Mills’ foul on Atdhe Nuhiu.
Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood kept his side in the game with fine saves from Craig Davies and Pratley.
The home side were reduced to 10 men in the 83rd minute when Sam Hutchinson, who had only been on the field for 14 minutes, picked up a second booking.
But Stevie May thought he had equalised when he bundled the ball over the line after Nuhiu’s effort hit the bar, but his celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee’s flag.
Bolton keeper Andy Lonergen also produced a fine save to touch Claude Dielna’s long-range drive on to the woodwork deep into stoppage time.
Gray said: “We started so poorly and then we gifted them a second goal so we gave ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb.
“We got back in the game with the penalty and it was hard enough playing Bolton with 11 men, but then with Sam (Hutchinson) getting sent off it was very, very difficult.
“Credit to the boys because they stuck at it. We’ve looked at Stevie May’s goal and he was onside. We’ve been punished by a poor decision.
“We had a go in the second half and we had to push for the equaliser. Credit to the players for having a right good go.
“They’re a big, physical side and they bypassed the midfield. They know how to kill the game off, which was frustrating.”