Ross Embleton apologised to Leyton Orient’s players after he was sent to the stands in Tuesday night’s draw with Chester after querying a Jamie Sendles-White red card “no one could really understand”.

Embleton was less apologetic to referee Alan Dale for taking issue with the official’s performance in a game which was overshadowed, from an O’s perspective, by an equalising goal from Dover, to cancel out Macauley Bonne’s early opener, which appeared not to have crossed the line.

That was where the fun only started. Moments before the interval, Sendles-White was sent off for a challenge on a Chester striker which was at best harsh, giving the visitors a penalty which Sam Sargeant duly saved.

To add insult to injury, once Embleton was dismissed to the stands, while he made his way there Dan Happe had a perfectly good goal ruled out for a foul at the other end of the pitch.

It would be enough to leave any head coach irate, especially given Orient’s recent struggles and Embleton’s hopes to impress the club hierarchy during his caretaker spell.

But he admitted he should have kept his emotions in check in an otherwise encouraging performance, in which the O’s fought back and could even have won the game with 10 men.

He said: “I said to the boys that I apologised for letting them down at half-time. Whether I felt it was a good, bad or indifferent decision to send me to the stands, it’s poor from me.

“The boys look to me to lead and to help and guide them through, and I wasn’t there, although I was in spirit.

“First and foremost though, that’s poor on my part. It was something that shouldn’t happen.

“I can see where the referee is looking at Sandles-White’s challenge, but Jamie is running around goalside and doesn’t have a touch.

“He doesn’t put any bodily contact on the centre forward, one of them has a touch towards the goal and the forward realises he’s not going to get there and goes down.

“Whether he dives or not I’m not going to say. We haven’t defended well at first but Jamie has recovered well and for a reason no one can really understand, he gets sent off.

“We’ll be looking to appeal Jamie’s red card. I’ve seen it again now and I can’t believe it – when I saw it at the time, I thought something strange had gone on from his reaction, and we’ll look at it. I don’t know what the processes are, but if and when we can do it we’ll look at it.”

Embleton could not take so much of an issue with the decision against Happe, despite question marks from around Brisbane Road of what Dale had used as his reasoning.

“I didn’t see Happe’s goal,” he said. “I was in the tunnel then behind the dugout and got told I wasn’t allowed to do that.

“I heard the noise after the ball went in, but I haven’t seen it yet. Joe [Widdowson] went into a challenge, and Dan put it in.”

On a more positive note, the fighting spirit to come from behind, despite their man disadvantage, pleased Embleton most about the O’s performance; but he admitted more would be required in what is becoming an ever-more real fight against the drop.

“I’ve said to the players a lot, showing fight is the bare minimum,” he said. “What we’ve got to try to channel is the way we finish these kind of games; not having to throw the kitchen sink to try to get into it, but instead see out games and get more goals to cap or seal a positive result.

“If we continue to show that attitude though, we’ll have a chance to move in the right direction but we’ve got to stop making silly mistake and collectively defend better.”