Perrier-Doumbe secures Celtic victory

Dunfermline 0 Celtic 1

Dunfermline 0 Celtic 1

Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe scored his first goal for Celtic to clinch the Tennent’s Scottish Cup and complete a domestic double for the Scottish champions.

The final at Hampden had remained deadlocked until the 84th minute as relegated Dunfermline fought a brave battle to end a 39-year wait for the trophy, while Celtic produced another uninspiring display.

But it was defender Doumbe who proved the difference between the sides, his late winner allowing Neil Lennon to lift the Scottish Cup in his final act as Celtic captain.

The first real chance of the match fell to Dunfermline when Scott Muirhead punted a long ball up to Jim McIntyre, who set up Mark Burchill for the shot.

The effort was struck well enough but flashed across the face of goal before falling inches wide of the target.

The Pars then claimed a penalty when Burchill went to ground under pressure from Paul Hartley but referee Kenny Clark was unimpressed.

At the other end, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink released Kenny Miller into the box but goalkeeper Dorus De Vries was first to the ball and managed to smother before the Celtic striker could pull the trigger.

Shunsuke Nakamura had the ball in the net for Celtic with 21 minutes gone but the referee had already awarded a foul for a Hartley challenge on De Vries.

Dunfermline then had the chance to pile on the pressure when Burchill was bundled over by Lee Naylor only for Scott Morrison’s free-kick from 35 yards to dip just over the crossbar.

However, the best chance of the game so far came on the half-hour mark when Miller’s cross was met by a diving header from Vennegoor of Hesselink in front of an empty goal, but he managed to nod wide of the upright.

Two minutes later, Aiden McGeady was booked for a late tackle on Greg Shields. Burchill and Doumbe were then added to the referee’s book shortly after for clashing on the touchline.

Morrison could have snatched the lead for the Pars on the half-time whistle - but rifled agonisingly wide of the post.

The second half began as dramatically as the first half had ended, Miller throwing himself in front of a McGeady cross from the left only to send his point-blank diving header straight into the arms of De Vries.

It proved to be Miller’s last involvement in the game and he was replaced by Craig Beattie 10 minutes after the restart – seconds after Steven Pressley had added himself to the bookings with a cynical challenge on Adam Hammill.

Naylor could have been the man to spark this final into life when he exchanged a one-two with Vennegoor of Hesselink before unleashing a powerful drive at goal, but he was denied his moment of glory by the Pars keeper who blocked with his legs.

Then came a surprise move from the Celtic camp, when outgoing skipper Lennon was swapped for Gary Caldwell with more than 20 minutes to go.

His departure sparked a chorus of ’Only one Neil Lennon’ from the green and white half of Hampden – but the player had already disappeared down the tunnel by then.

Dunfermline made a change of their own, Morrison making way for Stevie Crawford. McIntyre was then replaced by Jim Hamilton.

Celtic may have had the best of the chances but their finishing had let them down and Beattie joined that list when his shot whistled across the goalmouth and harmlessly wide.

When the breakthrough finally came after 84 minutes, the identity of the Celtic goalscorer could hardly have been more surprising.

It was Doumbe who began the move, spraying a pass out to Beattie on the right flank, who duly returned the ball as the on-loan Rennes defender raced into the box before stabbing home the winner.

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