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  • Thistle destroy Cromarty to reach final

    The last time Tain Thistle visited Victoria Park in Cromarty for a semi final, they walked away badly beaten, on the wrong side of a 9-1 drubbing. The result of this afternoon's League Cup semi final would prove to be almost a complete reversal.<br /><br />Manager Robbie Ross had only one late call-off to cope with, as flu stricken Ryan Johnston was forced to withdraw after two impressive displays against Inver. Arron Christie made his return to the side, with Farquhar returning to the midfield, while Kevin Graham dropped back to the left side of the defence.<br /><br />Showing the same confidence and determination in the early stages they showed a week prior, the Thistle boys wasted no time in asserting their authority with a spell of pressure on the Cromarty goal; Martyn Farquhar eventually connecting with the necessary touch to put the Jags 1-0 ahead.<br /><br />Scythed out of play in the 18 yard box, Darran Goller won Thistle a chance to extend their lead on 25 minutes, but penalty taker Daniel Christie could only fire at the Cromarty keeper from the spot, then striking the bar with the rebound.<br /><br />With the penalty miss, and a one-on-one effort for Christie also squandered, it seemed as though Cromarty may have cashed in their lifeline and just moments later they were unlucky not to score with a speculative free kick, palmed away by Ross as it made its way to the top corner.<br /><br />Thistle's second came ten minutes later however thanks to Andy Durrand, who showed coolness in slotting the ball home after a flurry of Thistle shots on goal.<br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/newstest/data/upimages/cromstain1.jpg"><br /><br />Unlucky not to have scored once or twice himself in the first half taking advantage of a sleepy Cromarty defence, Goller eventually proved to the creator for Thistle's third, taking the ball to the byline before squaring an effort for Farquhar to pirouette the ball over the line for 3-0.<br /><br />It took Thistle only seven minutes to extend their lead in the second half, with Michael Brand beating the ball beyond the Cromarty stopper for a fourth before Daniel Christie made amends for his penalty miss on 55 minutes. At 5-0, the tie looked all but wrapped up.<br /><br />Referee Mike Stainke showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot once again, this time on the hour mark, after Arron Christie was adjudged to have fouled Phil Macdonald during the Cromarty striker's attempt to bicycle kick a shot towards goal. Macdonald, making no mistake with the spot kick, placed the ball down the gullet of Ross's goal to bring the score back to 1-5.<br /><br />Any chance of a Cromarty fight back was killed off just six minutes later however when Farquhar headed home for Thistle's sixth and his first ever hat-trick for the club.<br /><br />A meandering Goller finally netted a goal of his own against a ragged Cromarty back line, knocking the ball past two defenders before battered a shot past the keeper to make it 7-1. The goal signalled the end of the Jags' top scorer's contribution, who was replaced by Craig Nimmons with twenty minutes left on the clock.<br /><br />As it was in the last cup round, it was up to Andy Durrand to round off the scoring with his second of the afternoon, beating the offside trap to run through and slot the ball home with ease.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Ross, Cameron, Graham (D Nimmons), Sutherland, A Christie, Brand, Farquhar, Burry (Reid), Durrand, D Christie, Goller (C Nimmons)<br /><br /><b>Subs not used:</b><br />Maclellan<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Farquhar 7, 39, 66, Durrand 35, 85, Brand 48, D Christie 51, Goller 70<br /><br /><b>Bookings:</b><br />Goller<br /><br /><b>Man of the Match:</b><br />Martyn Farquhar<br /><br /><b>Match details:</b><br /><a href="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/matchdetails.php?id=448">http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/matchdetails.php?id=448</a><br /><br /><b>Match gallery:</b><br /><a href="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/media.php?dir=2011/05.07%20vs.%20Cromarty">http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/media.php?dir=2011/05.07%20vs.%20Cromarty</a><br /><br />Post-match, the Thistle team and committee were treated very well at the home side's sponsoring bar and restaurant, the Cromarty Arms, where pies and chips were the order of the day.<br /><br />In the other semi final, Balintore made short work of Invergordon Social Club at the eliminated side's Recreation Grounds. Goals from Ross Powell, Jamie Martin, Andy Ripley, Craig McCourt, Dave MacGruer and an unfortunate own goal for Social's Allan Campbell were enough to overcome a brace from Paul Austin for the home side.<br /><br />Thistle will now travel to Balintore this Saturday, May 14th for what will be their second consecutive League Cup final appearance. Losing out by 2 goals to 1 last year to rivals Inver, the Jags will be hoping for a different outcome this time against a Balintore side that will have a home advantage.

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    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