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Sandy Clark, St Johnstone manager
"Our problem all season's been goalscoring"
 real 28k

Kenny Dalglish, Celtic interim manager
"I've never seen a player sent off for swearing at the crowd"
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Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Nine-man Celtic hold out
Tommy Johnson
Tommy Johnson sees red after a late challenge
St Johnstone 0-0 Celtic

Celtic's dismal season continued as Lubomir Moravcik and Tommy Johnson were ordered off during the goalless draw at St Johnstone.

Moravcik did not return for the second half having been sent off by referee Willie Young after an altercation in the tunnel, believed to be with a fan, leaving Celtic down to ten men at the start of the period.

Just seven minutes after the interval, striker Johnson also received his marching orders for a late challenge on Keith O'Halloran, his second bookable offence.


Colin Healy
Colin Healy is stretchered off
But the nine remaining Celtic players were relieved to be up against an impotent Saints side who could not break through to secure their first win of the season over the Parkhead side.

Saints were almost handed an opening goal after just 18 seconds when a straightforward Alan Stubbs backpass was miskicked completely by goalkeeper Stewart Kerr.

Striker Keigan Parker raced onto the chance but Johann Mjallby was more alert than his keeper and cleared to the audible relief of the travelling fans.

It was a particularly nervy opening by the away side.

Early chances

But interim boss Kenny Dalglish will have been pleased that his team finally found their feet and Johnson forced a save from Stephen Robertson after nine minutes when he turned swiftly on Eyal Berkovic's through ball.

Moravcik then tried his luck from the edge of the area and Robertson could not hold, but Berkovic was adjudged offside when he collected the ball.

The Israeli international should have scored when he flashed Colin Healy's ball across the goal.

Saints youngster Parker was guilty of squandering a great opportunity when he collected Paul Kane's long ball.

Parker opted to try and find fellow striker Graeme Jones instead of hitting the ball first time, allowing Mjallby to clear.

Frustration

After 33 minutes Stubbs attempted to break the deadlock with a drive from the edge of the box but Robertson pushed the ball away.

The Celtic fans' frustration was cemented after the break when they were informed that Moravcik had been dismissed for an altercation with a fan as the teams left the field.

Celtic's problems were compounded just seven minutes into the second half when Johnson, who had already been cautioned, was dismissed for a foul on O'Halloran.

Nine-man Celtic were in danger of being pulled apart by the home side and Gary Bollan was unlucky to see his shot rebound off Kerr's post.

But a lack of potency up front for Saints threatened to annul their two-man advantage and Saints struggled to make any significant breakthrough.

Carried off

The misery continued for Celtic when Healy was carried from the field after a challenge with Bollan six minutes from time.

Afterwards, interim manager Kenny Dalglish said: "Colin has ligament damage on his knee, but we won't know the full extent until we get back to Glasgow and have a proper look at him.

"It was a totally committed challenge from both lads who were totally focused on the ball and there is nothing anyone can do about it."

Connolly snatched at a chance to hand Saints their first win over the Hoops in the dying moments of the game.

And defender Jim Weir struck the crossbar with a late header to frighten the visitors.

St Johnstone manager Sandy Clark was disappointed his side could not capitalise on their two man advantage.

"I am very disappointed we didn't create anything," said Clark.

"When it's eleven against nine we should win.

"I suppose there is some credit to the boys, they hit the post, they hit the bar and had one cleared off the line.

"But we did not create enough goalscoring chances and goalscoring has been a problem for us all season."

Teams

St Johnstone: Robertson, Weir, O'Neil, Kane, Bollan, O'Halloran, McBride, Millar, Dods, Parker, Jones.
Subs: Gow, Connolly, McAnespie, Crosier, Frail.

Celtic: Kerr, Healy, Mjallby, Mahe, Crainey, Berkovic, Burchill, Johnson, Lambert, Stubbs, Moravcik.
Subs: Gould, Shields, Smith, Kennedy, Fotheringham.

Referee: Willie Young (Scotland)

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