Steven Gerrard had every right to blow his top at Livingston on Wednesday night. But the Rangers boss was let down by more than just John Beaton.

Don’t get me wrong, as soon as Alfredo Morelos went down inside the box I thought it was a stonewall penalty and I couldn’t understand why ref Beaton didn’t call it.

Even worse, when he then pulled out a yellow card and showed it to the Colombian I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

And yes, the ref probably handled it badly again when Gerrard came on to the pitch at half time asking for explanation. It’s no wonder the Rangers manager felt his blood boiling when Beaton refused even to speak to him about it.

Emotions were running high because there is so much at stake so I have no problem with the way Gerrard let off steam.

By letting rip at the official he probably galvanised his own team at the break to go on and wrap up another three points which have now got them to within touching distance of the title.

But, even though I think it was over the top to red card him as he made his way back off the pitch, I do have some sympathy for Beaton at the same time.

His emotions must have been going through the roof too because he was badly let down by the very people who are meant to be there to help him.

You’re not allowed to call them linesmen anymore and I have no idea what that’s all about. But let’s just say the ‘assistant referee’ who was closest to the incident left the man in charge hanging out to dry.

What was he? About 15 to 20 yards max away? With an absolutely clear view of Morelos, the ball and Livi keeper Max Stryjek?

So I have to ask, how the hell did the guy not give Beaton a hand when he needed him?

Beaton made a mistake. It happens. Referees are only human and the job they have must be almost impossible at times. But that’s why they have assistants. Because they are meant to assist.

There’s also a fourth official standing there in front of a TV screen on the sidelines but, for whatever reason, neither he nor the linesman – sorry ‘assistant referee’ – were brave enough to get in John’s ear and let him know he had got it badly wrong.

So, yes, I can imagine that the ref was probably raging himself when he was coming off the pitch at half time. He was left to carry the can and he probably had a gut feeling that Gerrard was right.

I must say, I loved the manager’s post-match interview because he was spot on in everything he said.

Alfredo Morelos challenges for the ball
Morelos was booked for an alleged dive but replays showed there was contact

It’s OK for one official to make a mistake during a game. But it’s not acceptable for three of them to get it wrong at the same time.

The only thing I wasn’t so sure about was the mental image of Morelos dancing around the dressing room to Sweet Caroline with his top off. That’s one I could’ve done without.

But Gerrard went on to say he’ll take his medicine as far as punishment is concerned even if it means he’ll be sitting in the stand when his team gets this title over the line.

He knows he overstepped the mark by dropping the F bomb and, in the cold light of day, he’ll probably wish he hadn’t.

But what he won’t regret is the reaction he got out of his players in the second half. His flashpoint with Beaton provided them with the spark they needed to get on top of the game and make sure they didn’t leave another couple of points behind in West Lothian.

He may also have felt he had to make a point of protecting Morelos and standing up for a guy who, on this occasion, was an innocent victim. There have been plenty of times in the past when Gerrard hasn’t had that opportunity.

But, and I hate saying this, I do feel Beaton was guilty of judging the incident based upon the reputation which Morelos has earned for himself over the years.

John Beaton books Alfredo Morelos for an alleged dive
Rangers have appealed the decision

So I must admit, I was delighted for him when he popped up with the winning goal late on in the game because he thoroughly deserved it.

Let’s cut the guy some slack here. I know people think he’s a loose cannon who can’t control his own temper but Morelos didn’t throw a strop when Beaton booked him for diving. He picked himself up and got on with the game.

This is also the guy who stopped an attack against Royal Antwerp last week when an opponent pulled up with a hamstring.

So maybe it’s time he got a bit of credit for his good behaviour rather than painted as some kind of villain.

I’ve almost always stuck up for him because, trust me, there’s a top class striker in there and when he’s playing like he did against the Belgians last week, the guy is out of this world.

I know Gerrard joked afterwards that Morelos enjoys playing in the Europa League because he knows clubs from all the biggest leagues will be watching him.

I also know that Rangers will need to sell one or two of their biggest assets to keep the club financially stable.

But Morelos looks settled and highly motivated right now – I even saw a wee smile out of him the other night – and I actually wonder if he’s already got one eye on making a mark on next season’s Champions League.

Yes, he’s made a big impact in Europe already but the Champions League is where players really show what they’ve got. That’s the pinnacle.

Just hearing that music blast out before kick-off sends a shiver down the spine and that’s exactly where Morelos will want to be performing. He’s about to have the chance to do it in a Rangers shirt next season and it could present him with the ideal platform to take his career to another stratosphere.

I think he realises now how badly he is needed by the rest of his team-mates. Morelos at his best makes Rangers a better team.

I’d love to see him doing that next season under the floodlights on the greatest stage of all.