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    Golspie Sutherland 3-1 Tain Thistle

    A closely fought encounter between mid table sides Golspie Sutherland and Tain Thistle ended with the points going to 'home' side last night, thanks to late goals from Kristof Mikula and Neil Stewart. Golspie had foregone their home advantage to play the game at Tain upon the request of the Ross-shire side.<br /><br />The match was Tain's first North Caledonian fixture to be played as an evening game since they joined the league in July 2008. Assistant manager Ian Christie took the side for the game, having to contend with the suspension of Darran Goller while Michael Brand, Kyle Oliver, Russell Lawrie and Martin Smith were also injured/unavailable. <br /><br />Thistle started the match brightly, surprising Golspie with a couple of chances in the first five minutes. Daniel Christie bettered his counterpart on the left wing to send a ball across the six yard box for Paul Cowie, but the midfielder failed to connect with the ball. Shortly after, a looped ball from Martyn Farquhar found an advancing Andy Durrand; goalkeeper Stephen Campbell up to the challenge with a save from close range.<br /><br />Golspie took the bull by the horns as they reached the half hour mark however, forcing a number of saves from Steven Martin, most notably when Kristof Mikula powered an effort down the middle of the goal only for Martin to palm the shot away.<br /><br />Thistle's good luck ran out on 33 minutes however as Mikula was felled on the edge of the box. Despite protests, referee Jason Hasson awarded a penalty to Golspie; Shane Sutherland making no mistake with the spot kick to give his side the lead.<br /><br />Just before the half time break, Thistle again found themselves with a goalscoring opportunity, full back Andy Murray this time failing to turn and shoot in good time within the six yard box, after being played in by Christie.<br /><br />Thistle will have felt aggrieved to have finished the first half a goal down having been their opponent's equal throughout. Despite the deficit, they were undeterred after the break, Durrand and Sutherland switching on the right flank to create new attacking opportunities. <br /><br />Thistle's hard work finally paid off just before the hour mark when Craig Sutherland's persistent play down the right wing enabled him to find Martyn Farquhar in an advanced position; the midfielder slotting past Stephen Campbell with ease to make it 1-1.<br /><br />The game eventually took its toll on Paul Cowie who is still carrying a knee injury and his substitution saw the introduction of youngster Ayah Rattanaphithak to the fold; the Thai winger impressing quickly with a series of runs down the left.<br /><br />But it was Golspie's Mikula who had the final say on the outcome of the game, bursting past the Thistle defence to round Steven Martin and score. Thistle's protests that the Polish forward was offside were waved off.<br /><br />A late chance for David Mackay following a burst forward from defence proved to be Tain's final chance of the game, as the centre half forced a save from Campbell. Neil Stewart had better luck at the other end of the park almost straight after however as he placed a shot beyond to Steven Martin to make the final score 3-1.<br /><br />Thistle now have one game remaining in their North Caledonian league season, at home to Muir of Ord Rovers next Wednesday, with a 6.30pm kick off. <br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Martin, Durrand, Murray, Mackay, Mailley, Cowie (Rattanaphithak 64), Farquhar, Burry, D Christie, Sutherland, Cameron<br /><br /><B>Subs not used:</b><br />Matheson<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Martyn Farquhar 55<br /><br /><b>Bookings:</b><br />None

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