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  • Tain Thistle 0-0 Thurso

    It was honours even at Grant Park, as Tain Thistle hosted the Sir Georges Park men, Thurso in the club's tenth North Caledonian league match. Manager Robbie Ross will have felt aggrieved to have taken only one point from a game in which a rejuvenated Tain Thistle side enjoyed a vast amount of possession and chances.<br /><br />Ross made several changes to the side, with the suspended Duff and absent MacGruer making way for Andy Durrand and Martyn Farquhar, who were returning from duty with Brora Rangers Under 19s. Also returning was trialist Martin Mackay, who slotted in at left back for Arron Christie, who in turn pushed into the left wing position vacated by the absent Colin Burry. The midfield remained mostly unchanged with Michael Brand coming in to make it a five. Scott Morrison retained his place as the lone striker, with Barry Nimmons returning between the sticks.<br /><br />Thistle suffered at the hands of a cruel wind upon their October visit to Thurso, and early on it appeared that the opposition manager had invited the weather with him on the visiting bus - as the rain blew upon kick off. Starting in a much more settled fashion, returning to a proven 4-5-1, Thistle enjoyed early dominance in midfield using the winging Christie brothers to pull apart a prone and nervy Thurso defence.<br /><br />Paul Austin had the first chance of the game, heading a Daniel Christie cross into the arms of Asa Sinclair after five minutes, and soon after it was the former whose shot fired just wide of the post.<br /><br />Thurso goalkeeper Asa Sinclair began to emerge as an early man of the match candidate, commanding his defence well against a determined and persistant Thistle attack. Forward Scott Morrison did well on 20 minutes to turn and strike against the constant pressure of Steven and Sinclair; his shot falling wide.<br /><br />As the half hour mark approached, Thistle goal keeper Barry Nimmons could have easily been away for a pie, as Thurso finally made their first attack; Gavin Bremner forcing a save from the returning stopper on 35 minutes.<br /><br />Just as the half-time whistle approached, it was Chris Mailley who almost certainly should have opened the scoring; his driving effort from outside the eighteen yard box just sailing wide of Sinclair's left hand post.<br /><br />The teams emerged for the second half in similar fashion, the wind mildly assising the home side, but it was Thurso who stepped up their performance from the start, with Tain's Scottie Innes a tower at the back.<br /><br />Thurso manager Stevie Reid made an early change, introducing Andy Cumming into the fray, and it wasn't long before Tain's relentless pressure was pulled back into a more even end to end game. Nevertheless, the resilient back four of Durrand, Farquhar, Innes and Mackay stood tall and defiant to ensure that Nimmons again had a quiet half.<br /><br />Thistle's chances came again after the hour mark, as centre half Scottie Innes launched a blistering free kick which was tipped by Sinclair and cannoned off the crossbar for a corner. A barrage of corners and clever wing play led to a number of scrambles in the six yard box; the ball never falling to the right colour of shirt.<br /><br />As the game reached a close, the manager brought on Gordie Oman along with the surprise introduction of himself, replacing Morrison up front. <br /><br />A frantic final ten minutes saw end to end football, including two Thistle defenders go into the book for last ditch tackles - Scott Innes and Martyn Farquhar seeing yellow.<br /><br />In injury time, a late opportunity for Martin Mackay could have clinched the game as Mailley played him through on goal, but the trialist looped the ball into the arms of the consistent Thurso keeper for almost the final kick of the ball.<br /><br />The game finished 0-0 but despite the point, Thistle will feel that they lost two, from a match they most certainly controlled.

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  •   League Table

    Team Pld GD Pts
    Brora Wandrs 0 0 0
    Golspie Stafford 0 0 0
    Helmsdale Utd 0 0 0
    Lairg Rovers 0 0 0
    Lochinver 0 0 0
    Tain Thistle 0 0 0

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