Supersub Beattie keeps Celtic in pole position

Heart Of Midlothian 1 - Celtic 2
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The Independent Online

Craig Beattie outshone his much-vaunted striking colleagues by coming off the bench at Tynecastle yesterday to push Celtic to within reach of the Scottish Premier League title.

Craig Beattie outshone his much-vaunted striking colleagues by coming off the bench at Tynecastle yesterday to push Celtic to within reach of the Scottish Premier League title.

The youngster replaced 30-goal John Hartson and justified Martin O'Neill's judgement by grabbing the winner with 13 minutes left as Celtic appeared to have handed control of the race back to Rangers.

Paul Hartley's equaliser for Hearts threatened to send Celtic into the last day behind Rangers on goal difference, but Beattie changed all that and it is the champions who have a two-point lead again. If they win at Motherwell on Sunday, the championship will be theirs.

Stilian Petrov's counter-attack set up Beattie's rampaging run on goal, with the youngster even knocking Craig Bellamy out of the way to get in his shot, which flew past Craig Gordon to an explosion of noise from Celtic fans behind that goal.

"Young Craig was fantastic," declared O'Neill. "He has a big future at this club."

Celtic went ahead after 25 minutes through Alan Thompson before Hartley restored parity.

Heart of Midlothian (4-4-2): C Gordon; R Neilson, S Pressley, A Webster, L Wallace; S Mikolunas (D McGeown; 71), N MacFarlane (S Simmons; 71), P Hartley, J Hamill; L Miller, G Weir (H Thorarinsson; 81). Substitutes not used: T Moilanen, D Wyness, M Stewart, C Sives.

Celtic (4-4-2): R Douglas; D Agathe, B Baldé, S Varga, J McNamara; S Petrov, N Lennon, C Sutton, A Thompson; C Bellamy, J Hartson (C Beattie, 66). Substitutes not used: D Marshall, J Valgaeren, P Lambert, U Laursen, S Maloney, A McGeady.

Referee: W Young.

Booked: Hearts Mikolunas, Pressley, Hartley. Celtic: Baldé, Thompson, Sutton, Bellamy.

Sent off: Pressley (90).

Man of the match: Beattie

Attendance: 15,927

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