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1997-03-22: Dunfermline 2-2 Celtic, Premier Division
| Match Pictures | Matches: 1996 - 1997 | 1996-1997 Pictures|
- Brian O’Neil was out on loan to Nottingham Forest and would remain there to the end of the season. MacKay and di Canio were suspended and Stubbs and Annoni out injured.
- After his post-game red card Paolo di Canio vowed to stay at Celtic and help them win the treble the following season. Meanwhile Cadete was fast moving into the realms of contract dispute. He believed he was worth more and was holding out for a better deal. McCann said that the club would stick to it’s principles in an implicit reference to the departed van Hooijdonk.
- Billy Stark flew to Turin to run the rule over Stale Stensaas who was being considered by Celtic. Rosenborg were playing Juventus in the Champions League. Alain Boghossian, the French midfielder with Napoli turned down a 4 year deal worth £2.2mill to move to Celtic
- Tony Shepherd, ex-Celt signed for Albion Rovers. He had returned to Scotland after playing for Portadown in Ireland.
- Immediately prior to the game Tommy Burns learnt that the decision to offer him a new contract had been put on hold, however he did receive the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from the Chief Executive and the rest of the Board.
ReviewAnother nail in Tommy Burns Celtic managerial coffin. Particularly as Rangers lost at home. At the end of the game Cadete threw his top to the fans suggesting that he might be off.
Westwater; Den Bieman, Tod, Robertson, Welsh; Fleming (Miller 69), Curran (Millar 70), Smith (Moore 79), Sharp; French, Britton.
Yellow cards: Westwater (Dunfermline)
Scorers: Britton (16) 1-0; Curran (29)
Kerr; McNamara, Hannah, Boyd, McKinlay; Donnelly, O'Donnell, McStay, McLaughlin, Hay, (Thom 63), Cadete.
Non Used Subs: Grant, Gray,
Scorers: O'Donnell (61) 2-1; Donnelly (72) 2-2.
Yellow cards: Boyd (Celtic).
Referee: R Orr (Kilbarchan).
- Match Report (see below)
Dunfermline Celt short by the endScotland on Sunday 23/03/1997
Dunfermline Ath 2 Celtic 2
THEN there were five. That's the number of matches Celtic have left to make up the seven-point deficit on Rangers. The odds on that happening are on a par with the Loch Ness monster making a personal appearance to present the championship trophy to Paul McStay. With Rangers losing at Ibrox, this draw has to go down as yet another missed opportunity.
All in all, it has been a week to forget for those whose footballing sympathies lie in the East End of Glasgow. As though Sunday's defeat by Rangers was not enough to contend with -and it surely was - not a day has gone by since without a fresh row breaking out.
The manager Tommy Burns attacked Rangers for a lack of dignity in victory, prompting Walter Smith to respond in kind. Then the meddlesome tabloids, like sharks tasting blood in the water, went for Celtic's wounded carcass. Paolo di Canio, it was claimed, wanted to play in England. Jorge Cadete, whose wife and child have returned to Portugal and who is unhappy at earning less than half as much as Andreas Thom, allegedly told friends he was being treated like a dog by the club and, according to reports, a host of clubs are ready to sign both players.
With fallen idol Pierre van Hooijdonk sold to Nottingham Forest as the title run-in approached meltdown, Celtic supporters could be excused for feeling disillusioned. To them, Tommy Burns' words of defiance: "A hell of a lot can happen in six games," had a hollow ring to them.
Burns had implored the club's followers not to drift away from the remaining fixtures but, unlike those who represent them, the supporters did not let the club down.
The aforementioned Thom again found himself on the bench leapfrogged by the likes of Brian McLaughlin and Chris Hay, a sure sign that the door marked "exit" beckons.
Celtic's problems were compounded by the enforced absence through suspension of Di Canio and Malky Mackay as well as injured pair Alan Stubbs and Enrico Annoni. Even so, they created the first opening of the afternoon in the third minute when Hay's pass left Cadete with only Ian Westwater to beat.
It was a chance the Portuguese striker would normally have expected to bury but, perhaps distracted by home thoughts from abroad or even of his budgie McCann, he shot against the advancing goalkeeper.
Six minutes later, a rising left foot shot from the striker just cleared the crossbar following an incisive run from Jackie McNamara. The visitors were indebted to Stewart Kerr, though, for a superb reflex save which kept out a Gerry Britton volley from Raymond Sharp's cross.
Britton wasn't to be denied, however, and he opened the scoring against his former club in the 15th minute. It was a route one goal: Iwo den Bieman's long throw was nodded on by Andy Tod and Britton, at the near post, glanced a header behind Kerr.
Dunfermline should have gone further ahead two minutes later but Hamish French snatched at Britton's knock down and his half volley from 12 yards was a yard too high. Kerr saved Celtic again in the 26th minute, bravely blocking French's point-blank shot.
The second goal, when it arrived three minutes later, was already overdue. With the Celtic defence in complete disarray, the tireless Britton was allowed to win the ball in a packed penalty area and lay it back for Harry Curran, whose cross-shot clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net.
Boyd, returning from a three match ban, was cautioned for hauling down Britton as Celtic continued to struggle. As was almost inevitable, they crept back into the game eventually and Westwater did well to turn behind a full-blooded 20-yard drive from McLaughlin on the stroke of half time.
Burns chose not to make changes at the interval and, for a spell, his team continued to struggle. Boyd was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for pulling back Britton: instead, Westwater was cautioned for handling the ball outside his penalty area.
Tod came close following a one-two with Britton before Celtic pulled one back on the hour. McLaughlin created the goal with a perfectly cushioned lay-off allowing Phil O'Donnell to beat Westwater low to his left with an angled drive.
Thom replaced Hay as the search for the equaliser was stepped up and it arrived in the 72nd minute. Simon Donnelly brilliantly killed Tosh McKinlay's 50 yard pass with his first touch and left-footed the ball under Westwater with his second.
Donnelly had a chance to snatch all three points at the death but his side-footed shot from Thom's cutback was blocked by a wall of black and white shirts. To be honest, a win would have flattered them.
- Manager Interview
"This result kept us hanging in there and we will keep going right to the death. Over the piece, I thought it was a real team effort and I have to be pleased with our reaction after last week's Old Firm game," he stressed.
On Cadete’s shirt throwing:
"He was told by the police, the referee and myself not to do it, but he still did.
"What that proves, I just don't know, especially after the Rangers defeat.
"I'll not be kidded by it, and neither will the fans.
"There were 11 players out there who would have loved to throw their jerseys to the fans but they didn't.
"They just got on with the job they're paid to do."
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