Disappointed Brentford boss Uwe Rosler questioned his side's "energy and desire" after seeing them stutter to a goalless home draw with Carlisle.
Rosler admitted he will dip into the transfer market after a lethargic showing against the resolute, but unadventurous Cumbrians.
Visiting boss Greg Abbott made no apologies for getting 11 men behind the ball even after Brentford had seen skipper Tony Craig sent off for a professional foul just after the hour.
But Rosler was furious with inconsistent referee David Phillips, who ruled out what looked like a perfectly good winner for the Bees with 10 minutes remaining.
Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie lost the ball in the sunshine and it dropped for Toumani Diagouraga to fire home from close range.
But the Griffin Park crowd's celebrations were cut short by the official, who disallowed it for a foul on the keeper.
Rosler said: "I agree with the red card, but totally disagree with the disallowed goal.
"There was no contact whatsoever. The keeper lost the ball in the sun and dropped it.
"I don't think the ref helped himself by giving our so many early yellow cards, and that's all I want to say about him really."
Rosler said he was concerned at his side's approach to the game from the outset, adding: "They were sloppy in the warm up and carried that on into the first half.
"We were better in the second, but when you only have five players out of 14 performing and looking low on confidence, it will always be hard.
"We will have to look at the reasons for why the energy and desire wasn't there."
Part of the reason was Carlisle's powerful physical approach as the visitors broke up play at every opportunity.
Delighted Carlisle boss Abbott said: "Our main aim was to get men behind the ball as quickly as possible whenever we lost it and it worked very well.
"I don't think Brentford had a clear chance on goal.
"Make no mistake this is a great point and one we will take a lot of confidence from.
"We worked hard as a team and were great value for the draw."
Abbott admitted surprise at the home side's lacklustre display, but added: "Brentford are a very good side and will be up there at the end of the season - and that makes this point even more priceless.
"We came with a game-plan and on that display Brentford would have been better as the away side."
Brentford looked more lively when they went down to 10 men after centre-back Craig saw red for a professional foul on David Amoo following a heavy touch from Scott Barron.
Brentford rarely threatened but came close just before the break when Clayton Donaldson headed Sam Saunders' far post cross just wide.
Carlisle might have staged a smash-and-grab just after the interval when Lee Miller deflected Matty Robson's free-kick goalward only to be denied by David Button's reflex save.
Adam Forshaw's dipping drive was parried to safety by Gillespie and Donaldson's snapshot from the edge of the box was blocked as the home side pressed for the winner.