WHITEHILL WELFARE: 0, CELTIC: 3.

 

WHITEHILL Welfare's Scottish Cup fairytale ended in defeat by Celtic yesterday - but not before the part timers had scripted another glorious chapter in cup romance. It took holders Celtic 39 minutes to break the deadlock against their East of Scotland League opponents at Easter Road in Edinburgh.

Dutchman Perre Van Hooydonk, the man whose goal won Celtic's first trophy in six years last May, did the damage to breach the stubborn resistance of postman goalkeeper Scott Cantley.

But Tommy Burns' side had an anxious wait before substitute Simon Donnelly's 76th minute second made sure as Whitehill continued to dream of a replay before Van Hooydonk netted his second.

Substitute Ricky Smith enjoyed a 72nd minute chance but Celtic survived that, and a couple of other scares, to earn a home fourth round meeting with Raith Rovers.

But after Highland League Keith's ignominious 10-1 hiding at the hands of Rangers yesterday, Whitehill were undoubtedly crowned Scotland's Cup Minnows for 1996.

Defeat is not something Whitehill are used to. Last week they surrendered a 42 match unbeaten run - and yesterday's reverse was the first time they have lost two in a row for five years.

For goalkeeper Cantley, an Edinburgh postman, it was an unforgettable afternoon as he defied Celtic time and again with some super saves.

The 29 year old is an amateur - he does not even pick up the £3 a week the Whitehill players earn to combine football with their jobs.

Manager Dave Smith, a 38 year old systems analyst who played senior football with Dunfermline, had made no secret beforehand of his desire to move on in the management game.

His side did not let him down and the club from the Midlothian village of Rosewell had the consolation of a cheque for around £40,000 to redevelop of their tiny Ferguson Park home.

Club chairman Derek Waterson, a newsagent, had hoped to see his side "Take Di off the front pages with a sensational victory but it was not to be.

Celtic boss Burns gave former Dundee mid fielder Morten Wieghorst his full debut for the club in place of the injured Phil O'Donnell, while right back Jackie McNamara returned, after a broken jaw.

He enjoyed a reunion with a schoolboy football team mate - Welfare striker Ross Middlemist.

Whitehill enjoyed the backing of some 4,000 fans - double the population of their home village Rosewell.

Those fans could hardly believe their eyes in the first 39 minutes as time seemed to stand still, with the scoreline staying blankety blank.

That is how long it took for Van Hooydonk to break the deadlock as Whitehill survived 10 corners and heavy pressure.

Goalkeeper Cantley, valued at £300 by his manager last week, performed heroics: after 11 minutes he used his feet to stop a McNamara shot, then in the 14th minute he made a marvellous one handed stop from a John Hughes'

header.

By the time Keith had been 5-0 down to Rangers 24 hours previously, Cantley was still defying Celtic, tipping over an Andy Walker drive and then holding a John Collins effort.

Celtic's faces grew visibly redder as Collins totally mis kicked on one occasion before he and Walker fashioned the opportunity which Van Hooydonk flicked in for his 18th goal of the season.

The second half took on a similar pattern although Whitehill forced their first corner after 47 minutes.

And Celtic's hearts must have missed a beat after 61 minutes when Marshall mis hit his clearance from a Tom Boyd passback but graduate Middlemist was crowded out at the expense of a Welfare corner.

Celtic substitute Simon Donnelly hit the post but headed home after 76 minutes when Wieghorst headed on a Collins cross.

With nine minutes left, Van Hooydonk took advantage of Celtic's 17th corner to nod in his 19th goal of the season.

With seven minutes left, Celtic gave defender Brian O'Neill his first appearance for nine months as he returns after a serious knee injury..

But when referee Louis Thow blew for fulltime Whitehill were hailed as heroes as Cantley's display earned him the Man of the Match award.