Van Hooydonk's last-gasp equaliser

 

DUTCH international front man Pierre Van Hooydonk powered home a last gasp equaliser to keep Celtic's title hopes alive and deny battling Kilmarnock victory at Parkhead last night.

The Premier Division's leading scorer netted his 28th goal of the campaign from Simon Donnelly's 89th minute cross, but Celtic, who went behind to Jim McIntyre's 45th minute, opener, were unable to force a winner.

That left them frustrated on a night when Rangers slumped 2-0 at Hearts and the Ibrox side's advantage could have been sliced to two, rather than four points.

At the other end of the table, third from bottom Kilmarnock have a five point advantage over nearest rivals Partick. Despite having a game in hand they look set to battle it out with basement club Falkirk for the right to feature in the play off with the first division runners up rather than go down automatically.

It was a night of high drama at Parkhead, where Kilmarnock goalkeeper Dragoje Lekovic produced a string of excellent saves. The best came 10 minutes from time when a point blank effort by Dane Morten Wieghorst was parried to safety.

Having survived a series of home attacks in which Andreas Thom, Van Hooydonk and Donnelly were regularly prominent, Killmarnock silenced the home support with a fine opening goal.

Around the halfway line and despite being surrounded by three defenders, Kilmarnock's lone raider Paul Wright sent a perfect 35 yard lob to the edge of the penalty area, where McIntyre chipped over advancing goalkeeper Gordon Marshall.

On the resumption almost everything but the Parkhead kitchen sink was thrown at Kilmarnock, with Tosh McKinlay and Jackie McNamara supplying a regular service of precision crosses into the packed visitors goalmouth.

Attack after attack was repulsed until Van Hooydonk popped up in the nick of time to save a point.