York boss Nigel Worthington offered no excuses for the sending-off of substitute Ryan Bowman which left his side with 10 men for more than half of their 3-2 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
Bowman was shown a straight red card shortly after being introduced following a 43rd-minute penalty area dust-up with Tom Parkes, who was cautioned by referee Gary Sutton.
Worthington said: "I'm told the linesman indicated that Ryan had pushed the Rovers player in the face, although I also heard their man had him by the scruff of the neck.
"All our players know the risk you run if you raise your arms, so if Ryan did that he can have no complaints.
"It was a shame because after an unacceptable start we played well in the second half and put Rovers under some pressure.
"However, you can't make schoolboy errors as we did for the opening goals and hope to get anything from games."
David Clarkson's opening goal followed a shanked clearance from York defender Tom Allan after three minutes and the ball fell perfectly for the Scot to volley home from inside the box.
Another error gifted Clarkson his second goal half an hour later. Goalkeeper Michael Ingham dropped a Michael Smith cross and the striker fired into the roof of the net from close range.
York reduced their arrears four minutes before the break when Lee Brown blocked a shot from Bowman and Ryan Jarvis was left with a simple tap-in.
Bowman had only been on the field for three minutes as a replacement for Wes Fletcher and two minutes later he was heading for the dressing room.
Jarvis equalised for York with a 64th-minute penalty after a foul by Rovers defender Mark McChrystal was spotted by referee Sutton.
But three minutes later John-Joe O'Toole fired the winner at the far post after young winger Alfie Santos had volleyed across goal.
Rovers boss John Ward was pleased with the way his team bounced back from a poor performance at Newport a week earlier.
"We won as a team," he said. "It was the first time this season that I had some selection decisions because our injuries are gradually clearing up.
"The response to the Newport game was just what I wanted. We were positive from the outset and David Clarkson has produced two excellent finishes.
"I am not a manager to hedge about things, but I genuinely didn't see either the sending-off or the penalty incidents because I was following the ball.
"Having seen the penalty again on dvd, I don't think it was a lot different to one we claimed in York's box. But these decisions go for and against you over the course of a season."