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  • Tain Thistle 4-3 Alness United

    Tain Thistle battled their way to their first points and more importantly, their first victory of the 2008/09 North Caledonian league campaign, with a 4-3 home win over Tommy Regan’s young Alness United side.<br /><br /><img class="imgleft" align="left" alt="Fiddle played the lone striker role against Alness" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/fiddle.jpg">Jags’ boss Robbie Ross made two changes to the previous week’s side, with towering debut man Scottie Innes coming in for Andy Durrand, and Daniel Christie, returning from suspension, to replace Darran Goller.<br /><br />Thistle began the game with the same fervor and determination that had seen them take a 2nd minute lead in Helmsdale the week prior. Right-winger for the day, Colin Burry, came closest to opening the scoring in the first few minutes of the game, as his looping shot hit the top corner of Grant Robertson’s right-hand post and fell past.<br /><br />But it was a seemingly all-to-typical lapse in the home side’s concentration which led to the opening goal, with Alness’s Jamie MacDonald slotting home a fallen cross within the 6 yard box.<br /><br />Undeterred, Thistle continued their push for a goal, coming closest with an Arron Christie free kick on the half hour mark. The trio of Gordie Oman, Paul Austin and Chris Mailley bossed the midfield as they had done against Bunillidh, but it was Colin Burry who cemented his contribution with the equalizer. Cutting in from the right, the stalwart launched a 30-yard screamer past Robertson to make it 1-1 just over five minutes from half time.<br /><br />The second half started slowly, with Thistle having lost some of their first half momentum, and again, a geared up Alness found the net, with David Manson reaching a through-ball to place his shot past Barry Nimmons.<br /><br />2-1 down, Thistle continued to battle, reacting as they had in the first half by pushing forward; the combined attacking efforts of Daniel Christie and Scott Morrison putting the Alness defence under pressure with regularity, winning numerous corners.<br /><br />Indeed, it was after a corner when Tain equalized once more, as the ball fell to a host of feet for a goalmouth scramble. Debut man Scottie Innes pounced on the loose ball to coast it along the goal line off the far post, bringing the scores level at 2-2 just before the hour mark.<br /><br />Rattled, the Alness defence began to struggle to contain the attacking force of the home side, as they pushed with a renewed venom and desire to take the lead. Already with a goal under his belt, centre half Scottie Innes looked to score again, as his bullet long range effort cannoned off an unsuspecting Steven MacLean for a corner.<br /><br />But Alness’s frustration was soon to be their undoing as the away side’s keeper ploughed through Tain’s Gordie Oman to concede a penalty, picking up a booking in the process. Calm and composed, winger Daniel Christie placed the ball to Robertson’s left to put Thistle 3-2 up, sending the club’s supporters into a frenzy.<br /><br />Alness could do little to break Tain’s momentum, as they watched pacey substitute Darran Goller add further misery to their afternoon, pulling the United defence wide and exposed. Taking advantage of the freedom of space once again, it was man of the match Colin Burry who cemented the win with another tremendous goal. In a near carbon copy of his unsuccessful first half effort, Burry looped a shot round Robertson from distance, to this time dip the ball past the tired keeper into the far top corner, to make it 4-2.<br /><br />A nervous remaining half hour provided few goal scoring opportunities but plenty of drama, as both Thistle’s Paul Austin and United’s Johnny Bremner picked up bookings. The drama culminated in an 85th penalty awarded to Alness, following a Gordon Duff tackle which the home side believed to have been a yard outside the box. Calmly, Alness midfielder Craig Munro scored the penalty to give Tain a nervous five minute finale.<br /><br />Despite a couple of chances for the visitors, the strong and committed Tain Thistle dealt with the pressure of the final minutes to take the victory and their first three points of the season.<br /><br />In other action this weekend, Thurso defeated Invergordon by four goals to nil, Golspie Sutherland issued Bunillidh with yet another heavy defeat and Balintore overcame the high flying Halkirk United by a single goal.

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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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