Jim Duffy blasted referee Duncan Williams’ ‘baffling’ decision not to award Dumbarton a first-half penalty in the 1-0 loss to Raith Rovers on Saturday.

Stefan McCluskey went down under a challenge but was booked for simulation, despite requiring treatment for a number of minutes after the coming together.

A challenge from Rovers left-back Kieran MacDonald 36 minutes in left the Sons new boy in a heap only for the ref to waive it away.

And it was a decision that left the Sons boss frustrated in a tightly contested game.

Read more: Dumbarton fall to opening day defeat as Raith nick late winner

He said: “The first-half penalty decision to me was just baffling.

“I’m not going to say we’d have scored it, you never know, but everybody thought it was a penalty other than the referee.

“Stef’s got a big lump on his shin with a stud mark in it and the ref said there was no contact so that baffles me.

“That was a really poor decision and a very important decision in a game where if you can get your noses in front it can make a huge difference to the players and a huge difference to the confidence.

“It was always going to be a difficult game but a fair bit of it hinged on a decision in the first-half.”

Sons shipped 12 goals in their Betfred Cup campaign but looked more organised and disciplined on Saturday.

Despite one lapse in concentration in the closing stages costing his side a point, Duffy is pleased with the progress his side is making.

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He added: “We’ve only played a couple of games and it’s going to take time for everyone to gel.

“In general, we were organised and harder to break down.

“In open play I think we competed very well with Raith who are a team who will be looking to compete for the title.

“I’m disappointed we lost the game because I think the players put an awful lot into it. They deserved a point for the work they put in.”