Dunfermline Athletic

1966: Dunfermline 4 Celtic 5

Memorable Match #87
Scottish First Division
East End Park
Saturday 19th November 1966

“It was either the greatest fight back in Celtic’s long history or it was the greatest piece of daylight robbery ever carried out at East End Park - it all depended on which colours you were wearing” wrote Jack Harkness in the next day’s Sunday Post.

“But before going on to the doubtful part of the story let’s get one point straight. This was assuredly the most exciting, exhilarating, palpitating 90 minutes of football ever played at Dunfermline‘s ground. With the most dramatic moment of all being the last.

“The game, which was going like a bomb, suddenly blew it stop midway through the first half. Three goals went smashing home in three devastating minutes the first two to Dunfermline then one to Celtic.”

Above: League Table at kick off

Kick off was delayed for 12 minutes to allow the extensive queues at the turnstile to get in. Celtic brought back Jimmy Johnstone at the expense of Charlie Gallagher. The Pars were without the services of Tommy Callaghan who was recovering from an “incomplete” break to his right leg.

It had been end to end stuff before Hugh ROBERTSON shot the Pars ahead in 32 minutes from 18 yards. This began a real deluge of goals with Pat DELANEY scrambling in a second for the Athletic in 34th minute and a minute later a Roy Barry header hit Bobby MURDOCH and rolled into the net for Celtic’s opener. 2-1

Bert PATON took advantage of hesitancy in the visiting defence to score in 39th minute but Celtic reduce the leeway two minutes before the break through JOHNSTONE.

If ever half-time was required by the 22 players 20,000 spectators dozens of newspaper reporters and the staff of trainers it was certainly here.

Half time: Dunfermline 3 Celtic 2

After a dramatic first half there was more to come. Four minutes into the second half the Pars went two ahead thanks to a Hugh Robertson dummy which caught out the Celtic defence and allowed Alex FERGUSON the easiest of chances.

At 4-2 down it looked curtains for Celtic. Their great undefeated record in ten league games, had surely reached the end of the road however, there was 40 minutes remaining.

Team of `66: Standing: Ian Hunter, Willie Callaghan, Jim Thomson, Eric Martin, David Anderson, Pat Delaney, John Lunn, Tom Callaghan, Jim Maclean. Seated: Alex Edwards, Bert Paton, Jim Fleming, Alex Ferguson and Hugh Robertson

It almost got even better for the Fifers as Jim Fleming’s shot hit the post then curiously the refereeing decisions which had been fine all day suddenly became hard to understand. Celtic pressed forward and pulled one back through Bertie AULD in the 67 minute with a low shot from 25 yards to beat Eric Martin. Two minutes later Joe McBRIDE took a Chalmers pass in his stride and blasted in an equaliser. 4-4

Picture the excitement now as the game stormed its way through its final 20 minutes. Pandemonium in both goalmouths, balls flashing past the upright at one end and next flashing over the crossbar at the other.

Many thought that the referee was blowing for full time when he had actually awarded Celtic a free kick well out on the left. From this injury time free kick Chalmers, despite being marked tightly by Barry, headed wide.

Referee Wharton awarded a goal kick then after being surrounded by Celtic players, went over to consult his linesman and returned pointing to the penalty spot. McBRIDE scored and Celtic had achieved an unlikely and undeserved victory.

Not one Pars fan understood what the penalty was given for and there was something really tragic in the defeat.

DUNFERMLINE: Eric Martin: Willie Callaghan, Alex Totten, Jim Thomson, Jim Maclean, Roy Barry, Jim Fleming, Bert Paton, Pat Delaney, Alex Ferguson, Hugh Robertson.
SCORERS: Robertson (32), Delaney (34), Paton (39), Ferguson (49)

CELTIC: Ronnie Simpson: Tommy Gemmell, Willie O’Neil, Bobby Murdoch, Billy McNeill, John Clark, Jimmy Johnstone, Stevie Chalmers, Joe McBride, Bobby Lennox, Bertie Auld.
SCORERS: Murdoch (35), Johnstone (43), Auld (67), McBride (69, 89 pen.)

REFEREE: T Wharton, Glasgow
ATTENDANCE: 20000



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