Football: Celtic show resolve

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Aberdeen. .1

Celtic. . .1

CELTIC showed great resilience to bounce back from their Scottish Cup exit to secure a much-needed point against the Premier Division title-chasing Aberdeen.

As the Parkhead side now concentrate on securing a place in Europe for next season, the result will surely give them confidence for the challenge which lies ahead.

It took a header in the 76th minute from a substitute, Andy Payton, to secure the point. The English striker left the home defence static to meet a right-wing cross from Tommy Boyd.

However, Celtic could have taken both points. They held the key to this match withsome great lead-up work but without a cutting edge in front of goal. Four times in the first half Theo Snelders came to the Dons rescue foiling Brian O'Neil, Paul McStay, John Collins and then Tommy Coyne on the half-time whistle.

However, it was the home side who went in with a one-goal lead, against the run of play, at the interval. Mixu Paatelainen scored at the third attempt from a Duncan Shearer cross which the goalkeeper Pat Bonner should have kept out.

The second half saw the Dons still pinned back but they could have secured both points in 57 minutes when their substitute, Scott Booth, was foiled by the quick intervention by Bonner.

The result will be a disappointment for the Dons who have now lost ground on the champions, Rangers, and may well have to settle at aiming for Scottish Cup success this season.

Aberdeen: T Snelders; S Wright, D Winnie, B Grant, B Irvine, A McLeish, L Richardson, R Aitken, E Jess, D Shearer (S Booth, 53 min), M Paatelainen. Sub not used: P Kane. Manager: W Miller.

Celtic: P Bonner; T Boyd, D Wdowczyck, B O'Neil (R Vata, 88 min), M McNally, M Galloway, S Slater (A Payton, 71 min), P McStay, F McAvennie, T Coyne, J Collins. Manager: L Brady.

Referee: D Hope (Erskine).

Goals: Paatelainen (1-0, 40 min); Payton (1-1, 76 min).

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