Football: O'Neill joy tempered by `crass' criticism of Balde

Dunfermline Athletic 0 Celtic 3
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The Independent Online
CELTIC WON the battle yesterday to reach the Scottish Cup quarter- finals, but they will be demanding full reparation from the war of words that ensued at East End Park.

The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, responded to remarks by the Dunfermline chairman, John Yorkston, that Celtic's defender Bobo Balde was a bigger menace than the artificial pitch on which John Hartson's brace of goals and one from Chris Sutton secured progress for the holders.

O'Neill, who left out Craig Bellamy because he did not want to risk the player's knee on a plastic surface, demanded punishment from the SFA for Yorkston's pre-match radio interview. "These remarks are crass and ignorant," O'Neill said. "It's disgraceful to say that about Balde. We will want action and we will want a big apology." Yorkston said his remarks were "tongue-in-cheek" but his defence was as flimsy as his team's.

Dunfermline Athletic (3-5-2): Stillie; Skerla, Wilson (Hristov, 53), Tod; Ross, Makel, Young (Hunt, 46), Mason, Thomson; Christiansen, Nicholson. Substitutes not used: Langfield (gk), Donnelly, Campbell.

Celtic (4-4-2): Douglas; Henchoz, Varga, Balde, Laursen; Petrov (Lambert, 75), Lennon, McGeady, Thompson (Juninho, 55); Hartson (Wallace, 74), Sutton. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), McManus.

Referee: C Richmond.

Booked: Dunfermline: Ross. Celtic: Balde, Hartson.

Man of the match: Sutton.

Attendance: 8,014.