ABERDEEN manager Derek McInnes lashed out at the performance of Bulgarian referee Nikola Popov after Aberdeen exited the Europa League last night to Maribor.

The Pittodrie side were furious about a string of dodgy decisions from the official, culminating in the sending off of sub Jayden Stockley for two alleged elbowing offences just eight minutes after he came on as a second half sub.

McInnes was also unhappy at why he never played advantage when Adam Rooney was tripped by the Maribor keeper in the box and Niall McGinn then stroked the ball into an empty net. He also only showed the home keeper a yellow card after the summer change of the 'double jeopardy' rules which would have previously seen a red card automatically shown.

READ MORE: Maribor 1 Aberdeen 0: Doom and gloom for Dons as they crash out of Europa League qualifiersHeraldScotland: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS

Popov also seemed to blow for a foul against an Aberdeen player practically every time the ball was in the air.

McInnes said: "You saw it for yourself, the referee and all the officials was really poor tonight. Games are decided on key moments and you could talk about Rooney’s penalty miss but we still had to overcome the officials.

READ MORE: Maribor 1 Aberdeen 0: Doom and gloom for Dons as they crash out of Europa League qualifiers

"And tonight I think the officials played the biggest part on the whole thing. Football is a contact sport but right from the outset he blew his whistle at the slightest thing.

"He didn’t let the game flow and the sending off is ridiculous. I don’t think you’d see that in any other country, I don’t even think either were a booking because Jayden has just used his arm for leverage.

"There was no elbows and it very unusual you see a red card for things like that.

"Even at the penalty award, he was very quick to blow for the penalty when Niall McGinn was running through to put the ball into the net. He was clearly getting onto the ball and my feeling at the time as that the goal should stand.

"The ref was too eager to blow his whistle. Why does he need to blow it when Niall’s got every chance of scoring."

And McInnes refused to attach any blame to either penalty sinner Adam Rooney or keeper Joe Lewis who was beaten by a bobble from a Graeme Shinnie passback in injury time.

McInnes pointed out: "Adam is usually very reliable and I can’t remember him missing a penalty. We don’t apportion blame to him for that, he’s been brilliant for us over the years.

“The same goes for Joe Lewis, it was a horrendous bobble. I’ve watched it back and it comes six inches off the ground.

“It was down to the pitch and there’s nothing you can do about that."