Maribor 1-0 Aberdeen: Referee let us down - Graeme Shinnie

Graeme Shinnie
Graeme Shinnie saw a first half effort saved by Jasmin Handanovic

Graeme Shinnie said Bulgarian referee Nikola Popov had "let Aberdeen down" after they bowed out of the Europa League with a 1-0 defeat to Maribor.

Popov awarded a penalty instead of allowing Niall McGinn's goal to stand, with Adam Rooney missing from the spot.

Substitute Jayden Stockley then received two yellow cards within 12 minutes of coming on.

"I think Jayden's sending off is shocking, I don't think it's a sending off at all," Shinnie told BBC Scotland.

"Overall it's been a poor night for the ref."

Aberdeen travelled to Slovenia needing to score after drawing the first leg 1-1 at Pittodrie.

The Dons looked the better side for much of the game but were up against it following Stockley's second half dismissal.

To add further insult to injury they conceded in time added on when Shinnie's back-pass bobbled past goalkeeper Joe Lewis to give the hosts a 1-0 win on the night.

"I think over the two legs we were the better team," said Shinnie. "We wanted it more, we showed more urgency, and created enough chances to go through in the tie. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"The referee has let us down, especially in the second half. Every time the ball was going into their box he seemed to be blowing and we couldn't get going, we couldn't get in and about their box."

Kenny Mclean (left), Jayden Stockley and Ryan Jack
Kenny Mclean (left), Jayden Stockley and Ryan Jack remonstrate with referee Nikola Popov

The main talking point of the game came when Rooney was fouled in the box by goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic.

McGinn sent the loose ball into the net but play was pulled back to award a penalty, a decision Shinnie felt was wrong.

"McGinn's tapped the ball in, we've scored - there's no reason why he can't give it," he said.

"I asked him why the 'keeper's not been sent off, we were getting no advantage from it. He's telling me it's a new rule which is fair enough, but let the goal be and we'll get on with it."

Aberdeen must now pick themselves up for the start of the Scottish Premiership season on Sunday, with Derek McInnes' side travelling to McDairmid Park to face St Johnstone.

"There's loads of positives to take from the game," added Shinnie. "We created good opportunities, especially in the first game. We can't dwell on it, the season starts on Sunday and the preparations start for that.

"Everyone saying they expect Adam to score shows how well he's done on penalties for us. The goalkeeper has saved it, there's nothing to blame on Adam, he's been phenomenal on the penalties for us.

"If we get a penalty on Sunday he'll definitely be there to step up and slot it home."

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