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  • Tain Thistle 2-4 Invergordon

    The much anticipated encounter between Tain Thistle and Invergordon ended in a 4-2 win for the visitors, following two penalties, a dismissal and a series of gristly moments.<br /><br />Thistle manager Robbie Ross made a few changes to the side which lost 3-1 to Bonar Bridge a fortnight ago, as Gordie Oman returned to the side to replace Paul Austin, and the injured Daniel Christie was replaced by Darran Goller. Also returning was Paul Cowie, who slotted in at right back for the benched Dickie Durrand.<br /><br />A below-par Arron Christie enjoyed his best spell of form in the opening minutes, only narrowly hitting the top of the net with a looping effort which had the Invergordon keeper flummoxed. It was Gordie Oman who was first to capitalize on early Tain pressure however as he found himself barged to the ground for a penalty award. A unique combination of efforts between Christie and Oman, saw the former spot the ball, step back, then step aside as Oman trundled the ball into the bottom left corner beyond Stevie Campbell to make it 1-0 for Tain.<br /><br />Thistle maintained their lead for a good quarter hour until Invergordon found themselves clean through on Gordon Duff's goal. Duff did well to get a hand to the visitors' initial effort but the advancing Stevie Murray made sure of a goal with a deflected charge which saw the ball whizz into the corner of the net, levelling the scores at 1-1.<br /><br />Before long, Thistle found themselves chasing a game they had controlled earlier, as Alan Stone found the net with ease, after Scott Innes failed to clear as the final man.<br /><br />Tain's earlier motivation and drive turned to misjudgement and over-zealousness, as within five minutes of each other, Paul Cowie and Gordie Oman were shown yellow cards for dissent and a needless tackle.<br /><br />The game took an ugly turn on forty minutes, when Thistle captain Scottie Innes was shown the red card for a handball in the 6 yard box. An aerial scuffle had seen Innes tumble the ground, only for an Invergordon effort to career off the big man's hand. Referee Graham Elder was ruthless in his punishment, issuing the red for "deliberate hand ball" and awarding Invergordon a penalty kick. Former Thistle target Chris Cooper made no mistake from the spot, and now at 3-1, Thistle faced a stern second half challenge with only ten men.<br /><br />The teams emerged for the second half in a makeshift 4-3-2 formation, with man of the match Chris Mailley and Gordie Oman still commanding the midfield. Mailley enjoyed a couple of opportunities in a more attacking role; the best of his efforts powered into the chest of a confident Campbell.<br /><br />Indeed, Thistle had the better of a messy second half and when they finally clawed a goal back in the latter stages, it was again the running Gordie Oman who took the best of a 50/50 challenge with Steve Campbell, seeing his contribution to the clattering stramash deflect past the Invergordon keeper for Tain's second of the afternoon. <br /><br />At 3-2, the game should have been poised for a nervy final ten minutes, but a needless defensive error saw Chris Cooper ease the ball past Gordon Duff to make the score academic, and wrap up three satisfying points for Invergordon.<br /><br />The date of Thistle's final league fixture against Alness Utd is still to be arranged, but likely dates include February 14th and March 7th, the latter forcing a change to the date of the forthcoming Thistle vs St Duthus XI exhibition match.

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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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