Football: Jackson's recovery aided by Parkhead goal

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The Independent Online
Celtic's Darren Jackson was back on target yesterday, just two months after undergoing brain surgery.

Jackson, making his first appearance at Parkhead since his operation, equalised for the reserves in their 2-2 draw against Dunfermline. He put Celtic level after 72 minutes when he steered home Tommy Johnson's knock- down from six yards.

Jackson had earlier shown no reservations about heading the ball when he powered an effort against the crossbar. He played for the full 90 minutes and coach Wim Jansen, watching from the stand, must have been impressed with his player's third comeback match, although Celtic's first Old Firm derby of the season with Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday may be too soon for him.

However, Jackson was delighted to get back on target 24 hours after he was named in the Scotland squad to face France in St Etienne next Wednesday.

Jackson said: "I am feeling a lot sharper now and my fitness is coming back. I feel fine and my progress is OK. It meant a lot to get a goal today as we had been trailing 2-0. It was a striker's goal. I am not usually renowned for getting them in the six-yard area.

"The result was important as we had a lot of young boys in the team."

Two goals from David Bingham - one from the penalty spot - put Dunfermline ahead against a Celtic side fielding seven first-team players.

In Italy, the former Queen's Park Rangers striker Danny Dichio is hugely popular after guiding Lecce to their second victory of the season, a 2-0 home win over Brescia, on his debut last weekend.

Dichio, greeted with the headline "Former Male Model Scores Goal" by the Italian press, is delighted with his move to southern Italy, and with coach Claudio Prandelli.

"I couldn't have made a better start," said Dichio, who had a short and unhappy spell with Sampdoria earlier this season. "I'm particularly pleased for Prandelli, because right from the start he's worked hard to help me fit in. Before moving to Lecce, I had the chance to go back to England, but wanted to take my chance in the toughest league in the world."

Dichio had predicted he would score on Saturday morning. "Now I'm hoping to score a few more," he said. "This team deserves to stay in Serie A."