Referee Tom Nield was praised for his handling of an 18-minute rain delay as Oxford and Ipswich drew 0-0, but managers Karl Robinson and Paul Lambert disagreed over his decision not to give a first-half penalty.
The game was in serious doubt midway through the first half when Nield halted proceedings and took both teams off the pitch after surface water meant the ball was not rolling properly due to heavy rain.
“You don’t know how close we were to having that called off,” Oxford boss Robinson said.
“I felt for five minutes or so the pitch was a little bit unsafe.
“But credit to the referee and the players too, because the game was played in the right spirit.”
Ipswich boss Lambert added: “I thought his demeanour was really good and the way he handled the conditions was great. It was tricky out there.”
However, Lambert was left frustrated when, after the game had resumed, Nield waved away his side’s appeals for a penalty after James Norwood appeared to be brought down by Oxford skipper John Mousinho.
Lambert conceded Norwood should have been penalised for fouling Mousinho in the build-up, but claimed the official admitted he had made a mistake.
“We were denied a clear penalty out there, the referee admitted it,” said Lambert.
“It was absolutely stonewall and how it hasn’t been given I don’t know.
“There was a foul in the build-up, but just because you don’t give that doesn’t mean you don’t give the other. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
But Robinson said: “The referee did say that he had made a mistake – because it was a foul on John Mousinho.
“They will moan about the penalty, but the right decision was to award us a free-kick.
“It should never have got to making a decision over a foul in the penalty area.”
The entertaining goalless draw saw both sides edge closer to the automatic promotion places, but it meant Ipswich missed the chance to climb into the top two.
“I thought we were excellent,” Lambert said.
“We passed the ball well and I thought we were the better side.”
But Robinson felt his side had the better chances.
“Overall I thought it was a game played by two very good teams,” he said.
“It reminded me of a Championship game out there.
“I thought we had the better chances out there and overall it’s a pleasing point for us.
“We managed the game very well, and had we taken our chances, it could have been a very different outcome.”