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  • Tain Thistle 4-1 Social Club (aet)

    Tain Thistle got themselves off to a winning start this afternoon with a first round victory over Invergordon Social Club to advance to the semi final of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup, but not without hard work. Manager Arron Christie handed the reigns to father Ian in his absence and Christie the elder named a strong eleven; boosted also by the return of winger Liam Rostock.<br /><br />The Tain men got off to the perfect start when last season's top goalscorer Robbie Ross beat goalkeeper Daniel Cormack to put the home side 1-0 up after only nine minutes, opening his and Thistle's account for the summer.<br /><br />The pressure on the Social's goal continued throughout the first half with young striker John Maclellan coming close with a shot off the post before turning the rebound wide, leaving Thistle wondering if it was going to one of those days.<br /><br />The second half continued as the first had ended, with Maclellan again coming close before the the crowd witnessed miss of the game, credited to Liam Rostock, who shot the ball over the bar from four yards after a clever through ball from Ross. Ross could have scored not long after following clever link up play between Rostock and Ayah Rattanaphithak but his shot was sent wide.<br /><br />Under continued pressure, it looked as though things were only getting worse for Social as forward Ali Connell, who had received an earlier caution for dissent, was eventually dismissed for a wild tackle on Darran Goller outside the box leaving Social with ten men for the remainder of the game.<br /><br />But it was the Invergordon men who found the net in the second period; Neil Stevens surprising Thistle keeper David Matheson with an angled looped shot into the top corner. The goal had been Social's first significant shot on target during the ninety minutes of play, and it also confirmed that extra time would be needed to separate the sides, much to the astonishment and frustration of the Tain support.<br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/burrysocial.jpg"><br /><br />Matheson was forced to withdraw before extra time commenced due to vision problems and the change saw Thistle make their final substitution, with Ryan Johnston making his debut for the club while scorer Ross pulled on the goalkeeper's jersey. The loss of Ross's threat up front was countered when left back Colin Burry was pushed into midfield, while Rostock was moved from the wing to the front.<br /><br />Despite resurgent Social attacks in the first spell of extra time (Social still buoyed by their goal), centre-backs Martyn Farquhar and Andrew Sutherland both showed steely determination to protect their goal as they had done during normal time.<br /><br />Winger Darran Goller lit up the extra time period up front finally in the second half with a moment of brilliance; cutting into the box on the left hand side to drill a shot home with his right foot, much to the relief of the Tain touchline. The tricky Rattanaphithak picked up an assist for Goller's second goal soon after, as he crossed for the winger to thump the ball beyond Cormack to make it 3-1.<br /><br />With the game all but finished, Rattanaphithak nicked a goal of his own, adding the finishing touch on a Goller effort launched from the left hand side.<br /><br />The win advances Thistle to the semi of the League Cup, with another home tie looming. The opposition proved to be Alness Athletic, who handed Ross-shire Club an 8-2 drubbing at Dingwall. In other action, Dingwall's other team in Vertex were drubbed 5-0 at home by Cromarty, while Graham Davis, Stuart Wood and Greig Mitchell scored the goals necessary for Inver to beat Balintore 3-1 after extra time in Portmahomack.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Matheson (Johnston), Cowie, Burry, Farquhar, Sutherland, Cameron (Durrand), D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Ross, Maclellan (Rattanaphithak)<br /><br /><b>Sub not used:</b><br />Stein<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Ross 9, Goller 109, 113, Rattanaphithak 116<br /><br /><b>Bookings:</b><br />Rostock 63<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=388">http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/matchdetails.php?id=388</a><br /><br />The semi finals of the League Cup will be played this Saturday, May 8th with a 3pm kick off.<br /><br />Tain Thistle vs Alness Athletic<br />Cromarty vs Inver

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