KENNY Jackett and Dougie Freedman both refused to criticise Phil Dowd after the referee handed out ten yellow cards and one red in the South London derby on Saturday.
Dowd booked five players from each side and dismissed Eagles defender Dean Moxey for a blatant handball in the 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park.
But the two managers expressed sympathy for the Premier League official, who appeared to set himself an early precedent with two cheap bookings in the first five minutes.
Freedman said: "It's a very difficult job so it's hard to criticse him. I thought he did okay.
"There were a few key points where I was a little baffled by his decisions and some of the yellow cards that were given out. But overall I've got no complaints."
Jackett added: "You have to form your own opinion on the referee. It was a competitive, full-blooded London derby and we didn't expect anything different.
"There was an incident early on where Darius Henderson has toed the ball past Peter Ramage. That was the only one really. But it's a tough job.
"It was a trip by Ramage but the ref didn't give a trip, otherwise he would have had to give a red. That was early in the game. You get some, and some you don't."