DEREK McInnes has defended Aberdeen right back Dominic Ball - and claimed that Rangers winger Josh Windass had gone to ground too easily at Pittodrie yesterday.

Steven Gerrard, the Ibrox manager, felt that Ball had deserved to be sent off by referee Kevin Clancy for bringing down Windass inside his own area and giving away a spot kick.

However, McInnes, whose team drew the game after Bruce Anderson levelled in injury-time, dismissed that suggestion and described the penalty award as “soft”.

He also backed up the match official’s decision to red card Alfredo Morelos for kicking out at Scott McKenna early on in the Ladbrokes Premiership match.

Asked if he thought Ball was lucky to remain on the park, McInnes said: “No I don’t think so. I think it was soft.

“It doesn’t take a lot for Josh Windass to go down a lot of times anyway, but my staff have looked at it and they thought it was a penalty. I don’t know if it’s a red card.

“I’m disappointed with a lot of the decisions at time today. But my team kept their composure and their discipline, which was always very important in these types of games.”

Asked about the Morelos sending off, he said: “It doesn’t matter how hard you kick,” he said. “If you kick you put yourself at risk. So I don’t think he can have any complaints.

“For me, if you lift your feet and go to kick out and lash out the laws of the game don’t say how hard the kick is. He clearly kicked. Discipline is very important.”

McInnes also singled out Bruce Anderson, the teenage striker who came off the bench to level the game in injury-time on his debut, for special praise.

“Wee Bruce brought us inspiration and freshness,” he said. “The thing I love about the boy is that he goes onto the pitch expecting to get chances. He went on and won a header against a boy that’s a foot taller than him.

“Then he went looking for space and didn’t just stand up against defenders. It was a brilliant finish against a very good goalie in Allan McGregor.

“That gave our supporters something to cheer and it was great to see my players celebrate with them with the Rangers players on their knees. It’s a good point for us in the end

“I didn’t think there was a lot in the game other than Rangers keeping within their shape well and credit to them for that.”