Why John Beaton gave Rangers late penalty against Aberdeen

Aberdeen were a ten minutes away from a massive win at Rangers when they were “undone”, according to boss Stephen Glass.

Referee John Beaton awarded a late penalty to Rangers against Aberdeen. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

John Beaton awarded Rangers a hotly-disputed penalty for a foul from David Bates on Fashion Sakala when the Dons were leading 2-1.

James Tavernier stepped up and brought the Ibrox side level in the 81st minute.

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“It’s not a penalty kick,” Glass said in the aftermath. “It is a little bit of a coming together, it isn’t a penalty kick. I am happy with a point but I think we could have walked away with more.”

Sakala, with arm raised, drifts off Bates before making a dart in behind.

However, analysing the incident there is reason behind Beaton's decision.

Fashion Sakala drifts to Bates’ right and makes a dash in behind towards goal as Tavernier floats a pass into him.

The Dons defender gets caught out and when the chipped pass is delivered is facing towards his own goal, unaware of where the ball is, he has his hands all over the Rangers forward’s back.

With Sakala goal side, Bates’ hands come off the striker’s back and down to the defender's side, yet he maintains a very subtle hold of the Rangers player's shirt.

In this image you can see Bates has turned away from the ball to the point his number is facing the pass from Tavernier as he grapples with Sakala.

It is easy to see why Glass and many Aberdeen fans are aggrieved by such a decision. The decision is very much in the ‘soft’ category – perhaps even ‘very soft’ – but it doesn’t make it any less a penalty.

Bates gets caught out by a Sakala’s movement and a ball clipped over his head. He tried to get back in and prevent the Rangers forward from scoring but he did so in an untidy and clumsy manner.

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David Bates has a subtle tug of Sakala's jersey.

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