Although still an arithmetic possibility to avoid relegation, reality is that Dunfermline are back in Division One. Six points behind Dundee United but Pars with a woeful goal difference in comparison to the Arabs. This Pars team was just not good enough to play in the SPL and seldomly competed in the true sense of the word.

Celtic came to East End Park without Boyd, Riseth and Mahe. Then we were awarded Willie Young to referee the match but failure to pick up a point from a ten man Celtic side sent the Pars crashing out of the top flight. Andy Tod yet again led the team out but Dunfermline were without Jamie Dolan (suspended) and mysteriously David Graham who one can only assume was injured.

Celtic scored with their first move up the field as Englishman Tommy Johnson was left unmarked inside the penalty box and left with a simple conversion. Owen Coyle managed to miss two sitters and Marc Miller tested Kerr with a fierce shot after Petrie lined him up for a drive from the edge of the box. Larsson and O’Donnell burst through and the Swede should have scored but decided to draw the keeper and slip a pass for his offside team mate to net.

Viduka reacted badly to a 43rd minute foul and was red carded for spitting on Marc Millar. Celtic however scored from the set piece, Johnson again - 44th minute.

Second half started with Brattback replacing O’Donnell. Marc Millar was deemed to handle inside the box and Lee Butler saved Henrik Larsson’s 53rd minute penalty. Luck might have turned but the Fifers did not seem to realise that they were poised for the drop until the last 15 minutes. There followed a spirited final push from the homesters and despite Owen Coyle scoring in the 83rd minute the Celtic defence held out to see Dunfermline down.

Dick Campbell said after the match that “we were a credit to the Premier League. If it’s us this year it will be somebody else next year.”

With such powers of observation maybe Dick will soon notice that Owen Coyle is a disaster and the rest of his squad with an odd exception will have found their level when they trot out at Love Street, Brockville, Shyberry, Almondvale and Starks Park.

The Norrie McCathie stand faithful sang “We’ll support you evermore” pity it wasn’t “We’re not awa to bide awa” but then even they are not that confident!

DUNFERMLINE: Butler, Shields, Tod, Ireland, Dair (Shaw 69); Thomson, Huxford (Britton 64), Millar, Petrie; Smith, Coyle.
Subs not used: Ferguson, Hay (GK), McGroarty
Scorer: Coyle 83
Yellow Card: Shields (77)

Referee W Young (Clarkston)
Attendance: 8809
League Position 10th
Next match v Dundee (away) Saturday 15th May 1999

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