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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 August, 2003, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Pars make point against Celtic
Gary Mason clears from Celtic's Stilian Petrov
Celtic failed to score in the league for the first time in 21 months
Dunfermline Athletic 0-0 Celtic

Expected fireworks failed to materialise at East End Park as Dunfermline Athletic went some way to getting their own back on their critics from Celtic.

But the Pars had more than their fair share of the possession - and created a number of chances - and will be happy to have at least shown the Uefa Cup finalists that they are no pushovers.

The league flag was being unfurled at Ibrox, but the focus of most attention was on East End as Dunfermline ended a run of 13 defeats in a row to the Glasgow side.

Striker Chris Sutton had accused Dunfermline of lying down to Rangers on the final day of last season as Celtic were pipped for the title on goal difference.

Sutton was suspended after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, but the row had continued all summer, with Dunfermline captain Scott Thomson urging calm on the terracing but vowing to take revenge on the field of play.

The absence of Sutton and the injured John Hartson allowed Shaun Maloney a starting place up front for Celtic.

Thomson was also still missing for the injury-hit Pars, who gave debuts to summer signings Darren and Derek Young and defender Andy Tod.

Rab Douglas appears to have won his battle to be Celtic's first-choice goalkeeper again but spilled an early cross into the box and was grateful to see the ball cleared by Bobo Balde.

The first real chance was created at the other end, but Johan Mjallby nodded the ball over the bar then forced a good block on the line from goalkeeper Derek Stillie.

Jim Leishman thanks God for his return to Dunfermline
Former boss Jim Leishman returned to Dunfermline as chief executive
Dunfermline thereafter dominated possession and ought to have taken the lead when Stevie Crawford put striker Derek Young clear with only Douglas to beat inside the box only to chip weakly straight at the goalkeeper.

Young again tested Douglas after the break with one drive that stung the Scotland international's hands and another that flashed wide of the far post.

Scott Wilson shaved his own post trying to thwart a low cross from Didier Agathe then had to clear from the Pars line from the resulting corner as Celtic at last started to apply more pressure.

Mjallby sent another header well over the crossbar from 15 yards as Celtic again looked threatening from a set-piece.

Celtic's Swedish defender was on hand to clear off his own line after midfielder Darren Young had a shot blocked by Douglas then headed towards the unguarded net.

The visitor's extra power started to tell in the latter stages, but Dunfermline held out after Larsson - and Alan Thompson - uncharacteristically missed a couple of chances as Celtic failed to score in a league game for the first time in 21 months.

Dunfermline: Stillie, Skerla, Tod, Scott Wilson, Nicholson, Darren Young, Derek Young (Grondin 71), Mason, McGroarty, Crawford, Brewster.
Subs Not Used: Ruitenbeek, Walker, McNicol, Storrie.

Booked: Nicholson.

Celtic: Douglas, Valgaeren, Balde, Mjallby, Agathe, Lennon (Miller 71), Lambert (Smith 71), Petrov, Thompson, Larsson, Maloney.
Subs Not Used: Hedman, Varga, Beattie.

Attendance: 10,082

Referee: H Dallas.

BBC Five Live's Andy Gillies
"The Dunfermline players provided the perfect riposte"



Rangers off to perfect start
09 Aug 03  |  Scottish Premier

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