SPL: DUNFERMLINE 2 CELTIC 2: 17/10/98

BRILLIANT LEE SAVES A POINT

Englishman Lee Butler yet again was the star as he thwarted the champions’ hopes of victory at East End Park on Saturday. Three fantastic blocking saves kept the second half goalless and gave the Pars their seventh draw in the last eight matches. It was the kind of performance that would send Craig Brown off to check on the nationality of the keeper’s grandparents. The Pars were twice ahead but Celtic equalised on both occasions

After 12 minutes George Shaw was felled by Jonathan Gould on the edge of the six yard box. The Pars forward was unable to continue. Gould escaped without a yellow card but Gerry BRITTON scored from the penalty spot to put the Pars ahead. Craig Faulconbridge was introduced but only minutes later Celtic equalised. Henrik Larsson was allowed to ghost in close as a free kick arrived from the right and the Swede made the Pars defence look like the vegetables as they failed to react.

Craig Faulconbridge has waited all season to get the opportunity to show what he could do for the first team. His pace upfront was refreshing and just what was needed to counter the constant Celtic threat. In 27 minutes he certainly took his chance as he skilfully rounded the Celtic defence to set up a drive from Hamish FRENCH that made it 2-1.

Half time: Dunfermline 2 Celtic 1

Predictably the second half never really caught fire in the same way as the first. An extremely tired looking Gerry Britton was left on the park far too long and Craig Faulconbridge demonstrated some marvellous first touches to really impress. Celtic had three good second half chances but on each occasion Lee Butler performed heroics to preserve the draw that the Pars deserved.

This Saturday it is vital to get three points at Dundee. Last week every fit and available member of the first team squad was stripped including the bandaged Andy Tod. Shaw and Squires were injured against Celtic so Manager Paton will be hoping that some of his crocks, and in particular Templeman, Thomson and Ferguson, will have recovered for the trip to Dens.





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