Scottish Football: No place like home for the 'Blue Brazil'

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The Independent Online
COWDENBEATH shared the headlines with Scotland's elite on Saturday after ending the worst home record in British football, writes David McKinney.

Three weeks short of the second anniversary of their last home league win, Willie Callaghan - the son of the team's kitman - scored with a 25-yard shot in the 75th minute to give Cowdenbeath a 1-0 win over Arbroath. There might have been a crowd of just 225 to witness it but after 38 winless games at Central Park, the Second Division club had something to shout about at last. The team known self-mockingly as the 'Blue Brazil' - because they play in blue and have the debts of a third-world country - are still two points adrift at the foot of the table. They are sure to be playing in the new Third Division next year, but for now, no one cares.

Their predicament contrasts sharply with the fortunes of Rangers, who remain on course for a sixth league title after their 1-1 draw at Ibrox with Aberdeen. And in a week when Tommy Burns, the former Celtic and Scotland player and now Kilmarnock manager, bemoaned a lack of skill and entertainment in the Scottish game, both sides produced a match tingling with raw excitement.

Stuart McCall put Rangers ahead, Paul Kane equalised in the second half and it took a late goal- line clearance by Alex McLeish from Gordon Durie to protect a point for Aberdeen. Rangers have a five-point lead with eight games left, but their manager, Walter Smith, said: 'Too many people are telling us the championship has been won, which isn't the case.'

Celtic's aim is to reach a European qualifying place, and their hopes were raised with a dominant performance at Dundee United. Willie Falconer, their pounds 350,000 signing from Sheffield United, scored his first goal for the club, then was fouled before half-time, allowing John Collins to score with a penalty. Tony Mowbray added a third. In a clear plea to the new chief executive at Parkhead, Fergus McCann, Lou Macari, Celtic's manager, said: 'Don't judge me on the players I have inherited. I am expected to be successful without changing the side, and would like to be judged after spending pounds 20m of somebody's money.'

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