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  • Thistle lose out to Social on penalties

    <img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/danny.jpg">The cruelty of penalties ended Thistle's hopes of an appearance in the Pattison Cup final next week, as Invergordon Social Club rode their luck to advance at a sunny Grant Park. <br /><br />The game finished 1-1 after ninety minutes, and extra time heralded no further goals. In the end, the shootout settled the issue, with Social's Kenny Ross scoring the decisive kick.<br /><br />Manager Arron Christie made changes to the side which struggled against Ross Club midweek, Michael Brand dropped in favour of Paul Cowie, while Liam Rostock came in to replace Calum Macdonald. Kyle Oliver was also reintroduced.<br /><br />The Tain men got off to a promising start when Darran Goller found his header saved by Barry Nimmons, but a fifteen minute spell of pressure from a young and pacey Social side saw them take the lead on 23 minutes, when Kenny Ross headed a cross past Martin from 2 yards. <br /><br />The goal followed a series of ISC attacks and was well deserved, Social having seen two efforts palmed wide by Martin, another hit the woodwork, and Martin saving again, this time a penalty from Ross. Thistle fought back into the game gradually, but were the weaker team of a high tempo first half.<br /><br />Thistle re-emerged for the second half a different side, dominating most of the play. Wingers Rostock and Goller both tested Nimmons but the Social keeper was up to the challenge, and Reid, later replaced by Durrand, missed a chance in front of goal, that should have been easier to score!<br /><br />As Thistle pushed for the equalizer, shoddy discipline from the Social Club saw them pick up bookings left right and centre, and soon, a straight red followed for Rob Mitchell after an assault on the felled Arron Christie. <br /><br />A rattled Social struggled to cope with the late pressure, and soon Tain found the net. Keith Dingwall was the man on hand to get the final touch on a goalmouth stramash that even goalkeeper Stevie Martin was up to join.<br /><br />Playing with the man advantage, Thistle had the better of extra time, but failed to find the elusive winner, having seen efforts from Goller, Rostock and Daniel Christie saved by Nimmons.<br /><br />The inevitable was the penalty shoot-out, and ten spot kicks later, Social Club had secured a place in the Pattison Cup final, by 3 kicks to 2. It was Thistle own ineptness from the spot which was their undoing, Steve Martin having done tremendously well to save two of Social's efforts. Thistle's Arron Christie and Oliver found the net while Farquhar hit the bar, Daniel Christie placed wide and Rostock's kick was saved by Nimmons.<br /><br />In the other semi, Ross-shire Club dumped League Cup winners Alness Athletic, 3-0. In league action, Inver held Balintore at bay to record a 3-2 win.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Martin, Rice (McGaw), Farquhar, Dingwall, A Christie, Oliver, D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Cowie (Macdonald), Reid (Durrand)<br /><br /><b>Subs not used:</b><br />Austin, Nimmons<br /><br /><b>Scorer:</b><br />Keith Dingwall 90<br /><br /><b>Bookings:</b><br />A Christie, Farquhar, Martin, D Christie<br /><br /><b>Man of the Match:</b><br />Steven Martin

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Tain Juniors (U17s) 2-1 Dingwall (U17s)

    Tain Juniors notched a massive 2-1 win over league rivals Dingwall at Grant Park last night, with goals from Martin Smith and Ayah Rattanaphithak.<br /><br />Team:<br />Allan, Johnston, Sutherland, Gordon, Matheson, Bell, Smith, Stewart, Mein (McKenna), Maclellan

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Invergordon (U15s) 1-6 Tain Juniors (U15s)

    Tain Juniors continued the trend of beating Invergordon's youth sides with a thundering 6-1 win away from home this past Tuesday; Stewart Greenless scoring all six of the visitor's goals.<br /><br />Tain started slowly, allowing Invergordon to take the lead, but it wasn't long before Greenlees knocked home his first of the night. A second quickly followed, before he hit the hat trick with the pick of the bunch -- a first time volley, making it 3-1 at half time.<br /><br />Coach Wilfie Campbell made substitutions at half time, injecting some new legs into a game they were dominating. The pressure continued as the fourth was scored, Greenlees again fnding the net.<br /><br />Centre half Ben McIvor was unlucky not to join Greenlees on the scoresheet, as he hit the woodwork twice in the final moments, but it was Keiran Allison up front who enabled Greenlees to score his final two of his night.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Allan, Allison, Maclean, MacIvor, Smith, Joy, Cunningham, Smart, Kidd, Greenlees, Durrand<br /><br /><b>Subs:</b><br />Murray, Melville, Macleod<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Stewart Greenlees x 6

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Cup semi fever hits Tain

    <img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/brandorob.jpg">As the days close in on this weekend's Pattison Cup semi tie between Tain Thistle and Invergordon Social Club, both sides will fancy their chances of reaching the 2009 season's second cup final.<br /><br />Tain Thistle, the 2007 winners, will be hopeful of a repeat of the last time the sides met at Grant Park last July, when the Jags demolished the Social Club, by 5 goals to 1. Liam Rostock (who has re-signed for the 2009 campaign) notched a superb hat trick against a flat footed Social side, with Thistle favourites Paul Cowie and Martyn Farquhar also getting on the scoresheet.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/tpl/matchdetails.php?id=17" target=blank>When last they met</a><br /><br />Social Club bear few changes from the side which struggled to cope with the pace and attacking force of a Tain side challenging for the Ross-shire Welfare league, while the Recreation Park men sat misersably at the bottom of the table. Social regulars Barry Nimmons, Rob McCormack and Kenny Ross have all turned out again for the Invergordon side this season.<br /><br />But experienced midfielder Rob Nicolson believes his side have matured, and their recent form is the result of persistence and consistency in the side.<br /><br /><i>"We are playing well as a team, and Dave MacGruer has been amazing on the left wing. To have three players on 6 goals each is a credit to the work we've put in."</i><br /><br />The Social played host, albeit by default, to Invergordon rivals the Sutor Inn tonight, in their belated 5th league fixture. Running out 6-2 winners, they proved again that they are having no trouble finding the back of the net, taking their league goals tally to nineteen. Unfortunately for Thistle however, the win takes Social to the top of the table, two points ahead of the Tain side going into the weekend's game. A confident Nicolson does not believe the closeness of the Social's league fixture to the weekend will play any factor.<br /><br /><i>"We are a young team with good fitness. Our conditioning played a big factor in the end of tonight's game. Tain will be next!"</i><br /><br />Leg inuries to Thistle men Andy Murray and Paul Cowie will almost certainly rule both out of the match, but the Jags can expect to see the return of blistering forward Liam Rostock, who missed the club's first round tie, and midweek league clash with Ross-shire Club.<br /><br />This weekend's cup tie is perfectly poised, with both sides unbeaten in their past six games. There can only be one winner however, and even if the eventuality of extra time and penalties is required, the winners will travel to Portmahomack on Saturday, June 6th to meet either Alness Athletic or Ross-shire Club in the final.

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Murray optimistic about doctor's view

    <img class="imgleft" align="left" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/murray2009.jpg">Tomorrow, Tain Thistle’s Andy Murray travels to Raigmore Hospital to hear the prognosis on his knee injury; news that could see the tenacious utility man ruled out for the season or more hopefully set on a road to recovery that would see his season get back on track.<br /><br />Andy Murray is no stranger to football and its quandaries, as he entertains this latest setback seventeen years after Wattie Stewart first sent him to the now defunct Inverness Thistle as an aspiring youth. Reflecting on a storied career amidst his latest setback, Murray recalls how he got his start.<br /><br /><i>“I played through all of the youth teams at Invergordon before I left for Inverness Thistle when I was 17. Invergordon didn’t have an Under 18 side at the time, so Wattie sent me down there and I got my first taste of 2nd XI football.”<br /><br />“I was there for a year before Willie Macrae took me to Fearn, and I was there for three seasons. I haven’t won many medals in my time, but I won my first at Fearn, in a cup final.”</i><br /><br />Despite starting life as a right winger, Murray settled as a central midfielder before moving back to his home side of Invergordon, and later Bonar Bridge and Golspie Sutherland. <br /><br />Murray made a brief return to Invergordon in 2007 before completing a surprise move to Tain during their first North Caledonian campaign, in a move he intends to be the final of his career.<br /><br /><i>“Scott Morrison was involved with Tain at the time, and he asked me to come along to training, and soon after Robbie (Ross) secured my release from Invergordon.” <br /><br />“I would gladly see out my playing days at Tain Thistle. I love it here. We play as a team and there’s never any arguing within the squad. We battle for each other and are full of encouragement. This is a big factor in how well we’re playing at the moment.”</i><br /><br />Now playing as a full back for Thistle in the Welfare league, Murray impressed manager Arron Christie in pre-season and won a starting place, culminating in a man of the match performance against former side, the Sutor Inn in May. During the league match, Murray assisted Mark Reid for the opener and more satisfyingly got on the scoresheet himself to secure the win.<br /><br />Unfortunately, Murray’s next game resulted in the defender being carried off after only 5 minutes with his eventual knee injury, initially suspected to be a damaged cruciate ligament. But the veteran is optimistic about his future.<br /><br /><i>“I’m hoping that it’s just a bad twist, or at worst a partial rupture to my medial ligament. I did that before when I was in my early twenties. My instincts are that it isn’t anymore serious than that.”<br /><br />“This latest injury has been the most annoying of my career. I’m the fittest I’ve been for about ten years and I’m playing with a bit of confidence. The timing is awful.”<br /><br />“I have a visit to the Physio on Wednesday to determine the problem, but I’m fairly confident that I’ll be back playing in about 2-4 weeks.”</i><br /><br />Thistle supporters will be hoping Mr Murray is right.

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