Dumbarton chief executive Gilbert Lawrie apologised to fans, players and officials of both his club and Raith Rovers after their First Division meeting at the Bet Butler Stadium was called off just over an hour before kick-off last night.
The Sons had requested an afternoon inspection after becoming concerned when part of their pitch became solid, and Grade One referee Barry Cook passed the pitch and the Kirkcaldy side set off on their travels after the game got the thumbs-up at 4pm. Match Official Bobby Madden thought otherwise when he inspected the pitch shortly after arriving, to leave Lawrie saying: “It was a very disappointing outcome, especially for the fans that 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.”
Team manager Ian Murray was also frustrated, saying: “We were away to begin our warm-up. The referee felt that part of the pitch was too hard and that was that. It was felt that it would be okay in the afternoon and the ironic thing for me is that no-one bats an eyelid when pitches are hard during the summer but with frost it is deemed unplayable. It is the referee’s call and, if he feels that the player’s safety could be compromised, then we have to respect that.”
Opposite number 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. If Bobby Madden thinks it is unplayable, there is not much we can do about it.”