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  • Thistle fall short in Tom Hunter Cup | Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Thistle fall short in Tom Hunter Cup

    Despite dominating the game for large spells, Tain Thistle could not find the scoring touch to eliminate Lhanbryde United side from the Tom Hunter Highland Welfare Cup, as they fell 5-2. Coping with multiple absences, assistant coach Steven Martin called in old faces Calum Macdonald and Gary Austin, while Colin Burry returned to the side for the first time since May.<br /><br />Simple chances for Daniel Christie and Darran Goller should have seen Thistle go 2-0 up after only 3 minutes, before Goller again found himself clean through only to blaze a shot wide. <br /><br />Thistle found themselves camping in the Lhanbryde half for the majority of the opening quarter hour, before a lapse in concentration allowed Graham Ingram to slip past Ryan Cowie to round Martin for the opener. As quickly as the first had happened, a burst forward from defender Lewis Anderson saw the Thistle defense sleeping to make it 2-0.<br /><br />Though stunned by the scoreline, Thistle continued to pressurize, again coming within inches of scoring, Calum Macdonald most notably with a shot off the post from a Perks free kick before too many touches right in front of goal between Goller and Christie saw an effort shot straight at the keeper. Christie was unfortunate once more before the half hour mark when his headed effort bounced off the crossbar.<br /><br />Feeling as though they should be winning the game and comfortably, Thistle were in for another shock. Caught at the back once again, Ryan Cowie was caught short of defending some clever wing play from a Lhanbryde side on the break; Martin once again rounded for the cut back and tap in. A fourth followed as Thistle heads in identical circumstances as Steve Ingram netted a few minutes later. Thistle's inability to cope with the long ball counter on the left wing was obvious and costing them dear, despite their countless chances to score.<br /><br />The second half started much as the first had ended with another Lhanbryde goal. Martin, in an attempt to clear the ball played the ball out to Ryan Cowie, but the full back was dispossessed, leaving Lhanbryde to take care of the inevitable - cut back and tap in for Graham Ingram's hat trick.<br /><br />The remainder of the second half was all Thistle, as they adjusted to take care of the basic threat of Lhanbryde. Goller again should have scored but shot the ball over before a Macdonald effort was shot straight at the keeper. The inventiveness of Goller and Perks created numerous opportunities in front of goal as the half progressed but in dealing with crosses, Dey was often successful.<br /><br />The goal finally came after what seemed like 15-20 glaring chances, as Garry Perks curled a ball home. A second followed for Perks before time, as he was fouled in the box. Referee John Nicolson awarded a penalty and the forward netted with ease to score a brace. Coincidentally, the goal was Perks' 71st for Thistle, a record for himself and for the club at Welfare level.<br /><br />The cup outing will come as an eye opener for Thistle, who certainly showed spectators that the Ross-shire Welfare brand of football is certainly of a good standard. Thistle will be especially disappointed to have lost today as for large spells they were clearly the more creative and talented side. However, Lhanbryde supporters will certainly agree there is a lot to be said for the simple long ball approach.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Martin, Sutherland (Austin), Cowie, Farquhar, Brand, Cameron, Perks, Goller, Burry, Macdonald (D Nimmons), D Christie<br /><br /><b>Subs not used:</b><br />MacRitchie, C Nimmons, Matheson<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Perks 72, pen 90<br /><br /><i>(Pictured below, the first Tain Thistle Tom Hunter Cup squad)</i><br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/IMG_4736.jpg">

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    Team Pld GD Pts
    Tain Thistle 10 30 27
    Golspie Stafford 10 15 19
    Helmsdale Utd 10 2 14
    Brora Wandrs 10 -3 13
    Lochinver 10 -18 11
    Melvich 10 -26 3