Ferguson laments Dunfermline fall

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The Independent Online

Ian Ferguson's 100 per cent home League record as Dunfermline captain is no more. Celtic saw to that in Monday night's 2-1 win at East End Park, but the former Rangers player was more concerned about the way his team lost the Scottish Premier League tie than the result itself.

Ian Ferguson's 100 per cent home League record as Dunfermline captain is no more. Celtic saw to that in Monday night's 2-1 win at East End Park, but the former Rangers player was more concerned about the way his team lost the Scottish Premier League tie than the result itself.

Ferguson was judged to have pulled down Paul Lambert inside the box just one minute after Stevie Crawford had given the hosts the lead from the penalty spot. The Dunfermline captain believes television evidence clears him of making any contact with the Scotland international, but claims the game will still embolden his team as they prepare to face Hibernian this weekend. "I didn't realise that it was the first home game I had lost until the manager pointed it out," he said.

"I'm not a stats man - I didn't realise that - but I'm very disappointed in the manner in which we lost the game. We put so much effort into the game but we can't keep on feeling sorry for ourselves. We've got a hard game against Hibs on Saturday, and that's going to be another hard test."

Sound defending by the home side allowed Dunfermline to head into the interval on level terms with Celtic. Martin O'Neill's perfect record since taking over at Parkhead looked in danger when Crawford converted on 59 minutes after Chris Sutton handled in the area.

However, a minute later the referee, Willie Young, pointed to the spot again when he ruled Ferguson had tripped Lambert in the penalty area. Henrik Larsson made no mistake way from the spot kick.

Dunfermline looked like holding on for a point when Larsson pounced again. This time the Swede latched on to a Sutton pass and - despite appeals for offside from the home support - rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home the winner.

The three points allowed Celtic to reclaim their place at the top of the table, but O'Neill admitted it was one of their poorer performances.

He said: "They could easily have chucked it because they thought it was not going to be their evening - but they made it their evening in the end."

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