Strach earns first silverware
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Celtic remembered Jimmy Johnstone as they beat Dunfermline 3-0 in the CIS Cup final.
Celtic paid tribute to the memory of Jimmy Johnstone in the best possible way as a 3-0 win over Dunfermline gave Gordon Strachan his first piece of managerial silverware in the CIS Insurance Cup final.
In what was the first game for the Glasgow side since the passing of the Lisbon Lion on Monday, it was fittingly Celtic's modern day number seven Maciej Zurawski who opened the scoring at Hampden Park.
An emotional week ended on a joyful occasion, although tinged with sadness, as The Bhoys added two more through the outstanding Shaun Maloney and Dion Dublin and coasted to a victory over the SPL relegation candidates to claim their 13th victory in the competition.
After a rousing minute's applause in honour of the legendary Johnstone, Celtic took the field with every man wearing the number seven on his shorts as a mark of respect for their departed hero.
The Bhoys never looked close to repeating their stunning 8-1 win over the same opposition in February, but Strachan's side dominated proceedings and hit the woodwork after just eight minutes when Bobo Balde saw his header from Shunsuke Nakamura's corner deflected onto the crossbar.
Maloney and Ross Wallace both called Dunfermline's on-loan Rangers keeper Allan McGregor into action in the first 20 minutes, but he reserved his best for a Roy Keane header that he palmed acrobatically over the bar.
The former Manchester United man had also chopped the keeper down on the edge of the box for a free kick, and Keane again caused panic at the heart of the Pars defence when his neat cut-back for Zurawski was cleared by Greg Shields.
Jim Leishman's side were not completely overawed and could have taken a shock lead when Frederic Daquin took advantage of some hesitancy from Wallace to find the side netting, whilst Greg Ross fired weakly at goal after more unconvincing play from Balde.
However, The Bhoys then took a deserved lead, albeit in fortunate circumstances, and appropriately it was the Celtic number seven Zurawski who benefited from a blunder by McGregor.
The keeper raced out to collect a neat flicked through-ball from Keane but in doing so collided with Aaron Labonte and let the ball run free to the Polish striker who needed to take a touch before rolling the ball home.
Strachan's side did not let their efforts drop after the break and Zurawski should have doubled his personal total but failed to beat McGregor after being played in by Maloney.
Dublin, introduced after an injury to Keane, somehow contrived to shoot wide after yet more bewitching build-up play from the young Maloney, and the former Leicester player then skied another attempt well over.
On a day Celtic remembered 'Jinky', their outstanding performance came from another tricky dribbler as Maloney claimed the goal his efforts deserved by lifting a free kick over the Dunfermline wall to beat McGregor, having been instrumental in the build-up that drew the foul.
Stilian Petrov, Maloney again and even Neil Lennon weighed in with further efforts, and Dublin again somehow drew a blank after McGregor spilled the ball at his feet with just minutes left, but the celebrations could start for Celtic as they ended an emotional time in the club's history with yet another major honour when Dublin steered the ball home from a Paul Telfer cross in injury time.