DUMBARTON chief executive Gilbert Lawrie issued a public apology after last night's first division clash with Raith Rovers was postponed less than 90 minutes before kick-off.

The rescheduled fixture had passed a pitch inspection by local whistler Barry Cook at 4.00pm.

However, match referee Bobby Madden ruled the surface a potential danger to players at 6.30pm.

Frustrated Lawrie declared: "It is a very disappointing outcome especially for supporters who had set off after hearing the first inspection had been passed.

"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused especially to fans who were travelling a good distance and to our colleagues from Raith Rovers.

"We thought we were doing the right thing in calling for an inspection in the afternoon."

Sons player-manager Ian Murray added: "The referee felt that part of the pitch was too hard and that was that.

"It's the ref's call and if he feels that players' safety could be compromised then we have to respect that."

Rovers counterpart Grant Murray said: "We set off after the game had passed the first inspection and went for a pre-match meal unaware that things would change.

"However, if Bobby Madden thinks it's unplayable there is not much we can do about it.

"Unfortunately, we've spent a bit of money on the pre-match meal and our fans have been inconvenienced as well."

Last night's KO, mirroring similar episodes in the past, is sure to lead to further calls for consistency in assessing the state of pitches.