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  • Muir United 1, Tain Thistle 3

    Thistle's friendly match of the pre-season ended in comfortable victory as Darren Mackay's depleted Jags battled to a 3-1 win over Muir of Ord United.<br /><br />Run by former Tain striker Stu Ross, Muir of Ord United had played Thistle three years ago under their former name of Dores FC in a Christmas friendly. That day the game ended in a 7-7 draw in bitterly cold and wet conditions. Thankfully, the weather made for a much better game today. Missing several of their regular side, Thistle took only twelve players to Muir of Ord for the game.<br /><br />The Jags got off to a flier after only one minute of play when the speedy Darran Goller capitalised on lackadaisical defending to run past the keeper with ease and score.<br /><br />The next twenty minutes of the game, though, belonged to Muir as they began to press the Thistle back line. Despite a couple of debatable offside calls going the home team's way, Muir were unable to take their chances, blasting shots high and wide. <br /><br />At the other end, Paul Cowie was desperately unlucky not to score when he rattled the crossbar on the 20 minute mark. Six minutes later though, a free kick for the Jags led to a second goal. Floating the ball into the eighteen yard box with precision, Arron Christie found Goller who volleyed the ball home to make it 2-0.<br /><br />With only one man on the bench, Thistle did well to cope against the frequent introduction of fresh legs in the Muir ranks in the second half and should have made it 3-0 on the hour mark when Goller again found himself in on the keeper. Finding himself with his back to goal though, he could only back heel, and the chance went awry.<br /><br />The score remained at 2-0 until the 79th minute when the referee awarded a penalty to Muir, amidst much protestation - goalkeeper Robert Ross being booked for dissent during the furore. For Muir, Alan Smith made no mistake with the spot kick to reduce the deficit to one.<br /><br />Tain wasted no time from the restart and from a Chippie Mailley through ball, Goller was on hand once again to dance past the keeper and walk the ball into the net for his hat-trick. <br /><br />With Liam Rostock leaving the field with an ankle injury, Paul Cowie replaced him up front towards the end of the game, and nearly made it 4-1 in the dying moments with a curled effort that hit the woodwork. The score, however, remained 3-1 and Thistle recorded their first win of the pre-season in style.<br /><br /><b>Team from:</b><br />R Ross, G Davis, A Durrand, M Brand, J Sutherland, G Smart, P Cowie, L Rostock, C Mailley, A Christie, D Ross, D Goller

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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

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