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Sunday, October 24, 1999 Published at 21:08 GMT


Celtic luck-in against Saints



St Johnstone 1-2 Celtic

St Johnstone were incensed when Celtic were awarded a last-gasp goal that appeared not to have crossed the line, denying them a point in a close match at McDiarmid Park.

Dane Morten Wieghorst scored the "goal" that even Celtic seemed to think had not gone in after the ball hit the woodwork in the closing minutes of the match.

Celtic trailed from the 29th minutes after Nathan Lowndes capitalised on an mistake by Paul Lambert to give the home side the advantage.

Larsson missed

But Mark Burchill, replacing Henrik Larsson after the Swede's horrific leg injury last week, pulled one back on 48 minutes.

Visiting supporters carried the name of their hero to Saints, with one set unfurling a banner reading "God Bless Henrik". Eyal Berkovic and Jackie McNamara are also out injured.

Celtic went into the match with five changes from the game in Lyon that cost them their star player, well aware that St Johnstone turned them over twice last season.

Mark Viduka and Stilian Petrov created chances, but Celtic badly missed Larsson's talents as they laboured through the first half.

Saints goal came as Lambert dallied on the ball and was dispossessed by Paul Kane. The pass went to George O'Boy whose through-ball found Lowndes and the back of the net.

They took their lead into the interval, but Celtic restored equilibrium three minutes into the next half as Burchill danced past John McQuillan and Stuart McCluskey, then hammered home a low driving shot.

On 70 minutes it looked as if Celtic's winning run was about to come to an abrupt halt, especially after Burchill's second attempt was ruled out for offside.

Wieghorst's hotly debated effort came at the death, but the officials remained unmoved by Saints' protests and handed all three points to the visitors.

Teams

St Johnstone: Main, McQuillan, Dasovic, O'Boyle, Kane, Lowndes, Bollan, Griffin, O'Halloran, McCluskey, McAnespie. Subs: Robertson, Simao, O'Neil, McBride, Thomas.

Celtic: Gould, Riseth, Tebily, Wieghorst, Stubbs, Lambert, Petta, Blinker, Petrov, Burchill, Viduka. Subs: Kharine, Burley, Mjallby, Healy, Moravcik.

Referee: Hugh Dallas (Scotland)



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