DUMBARTON manager Stevie Aitken called the penalty decision against his side “harsh” after confronting the referee in Sons’ 2-1 loss to Morton on Saturday.

Darren Barr’s foul on Aidan Nesbitt was the big talking point at Cappielow, the Celtic loanee appeared to trip over his feet before going down in the box.

But referee John Beaton pointed to the spot, much to the dismay of the Sons players and management.

But Aitken said his side’s slow start was what ultimately cost them.

He said: “If the penalty was for me of course I would take it, but Darren has not got a clue about it. He’s focused on the ball and the player runs into him and falls over his own feet so it’s disappointing.

“It’s harsh. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t, but credit to our players. They got the ball back and we had a wee chance towards the end.

“We could have got a draw out of it but I think the damage for me was done in the first 25 minutes.”

The visitors fell behind to a Gregor Buchanan own goal after 19 minutes and their woes were compounded when goalkeeper Alan Martin was forced off with by injury.

Aitken said it was merely a precaution and he should be back in time for the game against Hibernian on Saturday.

He said: “He struggled yesterday with his back. It seized up on Thursday night and it seized up yesterday, it tightened up in the game again so we couldn’t take any chances."