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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 16, 2006

SPL: Celtic stay top after win over Dunfermline

GLASGOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Celtic beat Dunfermline 1-0 at home to boost their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League on Saturday thanks to a first half goal from defender Stephen McManus.

He headed home from close range after 31 minutes following a corner by Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura.

Dunfermline's Dutch keeper Jan De Vries pulled off a series of fine saves but he was beaten again in the first half by Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen only for the ball to crash back off the bar.

In other matches Aberdeen won 2-0 at Falkirk, Kilmarnock won 1-0 St Mirren and Inverness Caledonian Thistle drew 0-0 at home with Dundee United.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan told BBC Radio Scotland: "I was pleased (with the result) and I thought the first half performance was fantastic especially after all the excitement on Wednesday (against Manchester United in the Champions League).

"It could have been a comfortable lead at halftime, but credit to their keeper for his saves. I tell yhou what, I'd love to see the first half stats for the first half."

Celtic suffered several injuries, according to Strachan, he commented: "We took a few sore ones and it is like the Titanic in the dressing room - everyone has a bit of ice on them!"

St Mirren lost at home to Kilmarnock after Saints' defender Kirk Broadfoot turned the ball into his own net.

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies told the BBC: "We have bounced back after last week and that is a massive three points for us."

Second placed Rangers, with 12 points from six games, play at Hibernian on Sunday and Motherwell are at home to Hearts who have 10 points from six matches.

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