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  • Tain Thistle win the Cordiner Cup

    Tain Thistle, the Ross-shire Welfare league leaders, have won the Cordiner Cup, after beating challengers Inver 3-1, after extra time. Goals from Darran Goller, Liam Rostock and Michael Brand were enough for Thistle, as Inver's Andrew Ripley offered their only reply.<br /><br />In what is believed to be a record attendance for Tain Thistle at their Grant Park home, close to 350 spectators gathered round the field to watch the game, both teams backed superbly throughout. Add to that an abundance of parked cars around the field and the competing teams, the spectacle will take some matching, for any Welfare game this season.<br /><br />The game commenced to the tune of the bagpipes, which could be heard playing on Tain High Street as part of the town's Help for Heroes parade. Thistle winger Darran Goller could very well have become a first half hero, when he tested Inver stopper Ross Henderson straight from the kick off; cleverly put through by Daniel Christie.<br /><br /><img class="imgleft" align="left" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/cordiner3.jpg">Inver, having looked sharp in their pre-match warm up, were not to be deterred by Tain's bright beginnings, as they quickly took control of play, pinning the Thistle defence deep into their own half. Resolute defending in the opening ten was to the benefit of Thistle, as David Calderwood and Andrew Ripley both failed to turn and shoot with the ball at their feet, for a first half lead.<br /><br />It was Ross Powell though, who first drew a gasp from the big crowd. Thistle keeper Steven Martin kicked from outside his box, and the Inver midfielder returned almost instantly, with cat like quickness, not unlike a young Pete Sampras, to strike a shot goalward toward the empty net. Luckily for Tain, the shot bounced over the bar.<br /><br />Thistle appeared to come into the game on the half hour, with right winger Liam Rostock running his flank expertly, but failing to play the necessary cross for either Robbie Ross or Mark Reid to connect with. Rostock, however, came closest for Thistle in the first period, when his clever dribbling allowed him to get into space for a shot on goal; Henderson only able to tip the powerful strike over the bar for a corner.<br /><br />Thistle would have been confident going in at the break having controlled the last ten, but disaster struck two minutes from time, when diminutive forward Andrew Ripley broke forward and danced into a neat position, before slotting ball across the face and into the far corner of Martin's goal -- much to the elation of the Inver bench, as they went 1-0 ahead.<br /><br />Referee Eric Robertson blew almost exactly on the 45, as Inver retired to the changing rooms. A defiant Thistle remained on the pitchside, as they regrouped. Manager Arron Christie was joined by mentor John Oliver, to deliver instructions for the second half, where the objective was simple.<br /><br />Unlike the first half, the second took several minutes to get started, with play concentrated in the middle of the park, but it took a series of Thistle corners to rejuvenate the excitement in the game. Christie the elder was excellent in his delivery of corners, with Keith Dingwall, Liam Rostock and Darran Goller all coming close to finding an equalizer, in front of goal.<br /><br />Mark Reid, too, was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions as he skipped into a forward position against the tired legs of Inver's defence. Their keeper Henderson, a match for him every time.<br /><br />True to Thistle's recent form and resilience, it would emerge that they were not to be beaten, as a goalmouth stramash initiated by Robbie Ross was walked in by Darran Goller, beyond a helpless, felled Henderson. The equalizer split the game open and from then the game adopted a frenetic pace, with only fifteen minutes left on the clock.<br /><br />Thistle pushed for a winner; the memories of extra time and penalties against the Social Club still fresh in the minds of supporters, hopeful of a result before that eventuality. Despite chances for Daniel Christie, and an Arron Christie free kick, which hit the Inver wall, the score stayed the same, and extra time followed.<br /><br />Extra time began, with both sides showing signs of fatigue. The beating sun and the intense heat was hard to endure for the 90 minutes itself, let alone the addition of a further thirty.<br /><br /><img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/cordiner2.jpg">Continuing their pressure though, it was Thistle who enjoyed most of the attacking play with Goller and Rostock opening the Inver defence, who had grown tired against the already faster legs of Tain's wingers. Their pace paid off after ten minutes, when Liam Rostock blasted the ball past Henderson from close range, to make it 2-1. The goal came after a period of Tain pressure, countered only by some breaking runs from Inver's Billy Ferries, who came close to pulling a goal back for the challengers. Daniel Christie did well throughout to stifle Inver's midfield pressure, as did the fresh legged substitute Kyle Oliver.<br /><br />At 2-1, Thistle were headed for glory, but the inevitability of a further fifteen minutes had the Tain technical area biting their nails. The introduction of Calum Macdonald, for forward Mark Reid showed that Tain had no intentions of resting on their goal advantage.<br /><br />Rostock, who had delivered so much during the game, including his goal, was forced to leave the field in the second period due to excessive cramp. To his credit, he attempted to finish the game, but his legs showed no co-operation. Darren McGaw was introduced, injecting new pace to challenge an exhausted Inver back four.<br /><br />In the end, Thistle's superior fitness and momentum shone through, as Michael Brand, who had earlier been unfortunate with a mazy run toward goal, bulleted a header past Henderson to make the score academic, at 3-1. The opportunity had come from a free kick, awarded by Robertson when Ross was hauled back by Ferries upon his approach to goal.<br /><br />The afternoon was topped off with a clever piece of play from the outstanding Andy Durrand, who nutmegged former Ross County star Billy Ferries following a confident break down the left wing, sending the Thistle supporter into rapturous cheers. The moment capped a phenomenal performance from the young full back, who not only excelled during the final, but has done so since replacing the holidaying James Rice two weeks ago.<br /><br />Alan Nimmons, manager of the Railway Hotel (sponsors of the 2009 Cordiner Cup) presented the trophy to a jubilant captain, Daniel Christie, at the end of the game. Medals were presented by Welfare represenative Jimmy Patullo, at the Railway Hotel.<br /><br /><img align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/cordiner1.JPG"><br /><br />The cup win, Thistle's first since 2007, marks only the second time the club have captured a piece of competitive silverwear in the Ross-shire Welfare league. More pleasing for the manager however, was that it was his second in three seasons -- the result of the persistence and hard work of a club who have worked together from top to bottom.<br /><br />Niall Harkiss reserved special praise for the club, at the end of the match. <br /><br /><i>"Today has been a great reward for everybody who has worked hard to make this club a success. From Graham Macrae painting the goalposts, to Norman Macangus, cleaning out and making the clubhouse presentable, Dale Finlayson, Alan, Lauren and Kerri for organising and preparing food on the day, Sandy Mackenzie and Alasdair Rhind for their help making the park a tremendous venue for football -- the best supported it's been in the town for several years, Arron and Steven for the phenomenal job they have done with a wonderful group of players, each and every one of them winners and fantastic contributors to one the most special clubs in Ross-shire. “<br /><br />“The game today was a fantastic advert for football in Tain, and for the Ross-shire Welfare league. Jimmy Patullo and John Macleod do tremendously well to keep this league going, and its days and occasions like this that reinforce the fact that it is one of the greatest sporting associations in the area. I’d like to thank Gary Ross and Darren Mackay for their assistance in introducing the first Welfare cup final programme, which was on sale at the game. Due to the co-operation of two well supported teams, who came with excellent support, the game proved a huge success and was played in great spirit."</i><br /><br />In other news, the Chairman won Jimmy's raffle, and Peeps' shirt won the contents.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Martin, Durrand, Brand, A Christie, Dingwall, Farquhar (Oliver), D Christie, Goller, Rostock (McGaw), Ross, Reid (Macdonald)<br /><br /><b>Subs not used:</b><br />Swann, Nimmons<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Goller 76, Rostock 101, Brand 116<br /><br /><b>Man of the Match:</b><br />Arron Christie (Choice of sponsor Alan Nimmons)

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Tain Juniors 17s round off good week

    The Tain Juniors Under 17 side rounded off a good week with a 5-1 win over Wester Ross at the Grant Park tonight, after seeing off Aird Athletic, 4-2 in Aird on Tuesday.<br /><br />This past Tuesday in Aird, the Juniors took a commanding two goal lead thanks to an Ayah Rattanaphithak brace, before Aird levelled, to make it 2-1 at half time.<br /><br />John McLennan scored in 47th minute to make it 3-1, but the 17s were made to work hard and whilst creating a lot of chances, hitting the woodwork twice, they lost a poor 2nd goal in the 78th minute.<br /><br />After a couple of positional changes, the Juniors were able to score their 4th through Martin Smith to make the score 4-2 on the night.<br /><br />Coach Gavin MacDonald reflected on the result, as an "excellent result, winning an important three points for the team".<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Allan, Gordon, Johnstone, Sutherland, Matheson, Mein, Bell, Smith, Rattanaphithak, Stewart, Maclellan<br /><br /><b>Subs:</b><br />Robertson, Mackintosh, Shearer, McKenna, Phillips<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Rattanaphithak x 2, Maclellan, Smith<br /><br />In last night's game, with Martin Smith and Andy Bell dropped ahead of the Cordiner Cup final on Saturday, John Maclellan opened the scoring for the 17s, before the newly introduced Under 15 Ben McIvor notched his first of the season for the 17s, to make it 2-1 at half time.<br /><br />Maclellan hit the hat trick early in the second half, and a late fifth from Ayah Rattanaphithak, described by coach Rob Nicolson as "a peach". Wester Ross had no further reply, and the game finished at 5-1.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Allan, Gordon, Johnstone, Mein, Shearer, McKenna, Rattanaphithak, Stewart, Maclellan, Robertson, McIvor<br /><br /><b>Subs:</b><br />Bell, Smith<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Maclellan x 3, McIvor, Rattanaphithak<br /><br />The wins push the 17s further ahead at the top of the SWL Ross-shire League table, with two games in hand over rivals, Dingwall.

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Thistle and Inver prepare for Cordiner Cup Final

    Preparations for the Cordiner Cup Final rage on with both teams facing absences as the kick off ticks closer.<br /><br />Thistle are expected to be without Paul Cowie, Andy Murray and Gary Austin, while Martyn Farquhar and Kyle Oliver face late fitness tests.<br /><br />Inver are reported to be without the golfing Billy Ferries and Christopher Mailley, but time will tell on their availability.

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Tain Thistle 3-2 Sutor Inn

    Tain Thistle threw away a 3-0 lead to narrowly edge past the Sutor Inn tonight, three goals to two, to go five points clear at the top of the Ross-shire Welfare league table.<br /><br />Missing from the side was assistant manager and in-form goalkeeper Steven Martin, who was ably replaced by reserve stopped and former St Duthus player David Matheson. Mark Reid also returned, replacing Darren McGaw up front. Arron Christie and Martyn Farquhar also switched places, with the former joining the midfield for the first time this season.<br /><br />A weakened Sutor Inn side saw themselves on the wrong side of the score sheet early on, when Daniel Christie opened the scoring on ten minutes. The nippy midfielder launched a 30 yard shot down the middle of the unorthodox Chris Cooper's goal, and the shot sailed in. At 1-0, Thistle were coasting.<br /><br />They could have taken the lead five minutes earlier however, when the expert kicking of Matheson saw the goalkeeper outfox his counterpart Cooper with a 70 yard launch. The effort bounced over the collapsed frame of Cooper before drifting just wide.<br /><br />Arron Christie could have extended the lead on 20 minutes his powerfully struck shot sailed goalward, but Cooper parried and held the swirling effort well.<br /><br />Christie found himself party to a goal only six minutes later however when his spinning cross careered in off the Sutor's centre half David Kennedy, to make it 2-0.<br /><br />Sutor rarely threatened in the first half, with goalkeeper Matheson doing what was asked of him in a quiet period. The second proved different however as Sutor passed up a glorious chance to pull a goal back. A slip by Dingwall allowed the Sutor in on goal. The attacking player glided past Matheson before slotting the ball goalward, but in bizarre fashion, Sutor forward Reece Brown trapped and touched the ball away from his target, saving Dingwall's blushes!<br /><br />After an hour, Mark Reid notched a third for Thistle, after missing a string of chances and at 3-0 the game looked dead and buried.<br /><br />Despite the score, a resilient Sutor fought back and for the final twenty minutes it looked as though they may nick a draw. Player/manager Stephen Campbell sclaffed a ball into the net to pull the affair back before Ashley Mills long shot deflected past Matheson to make it 2-3.<br /><br />Despite late pressure, Thistle held on to their lead and recorded the win, Matheson touching the best chance of an equalizer beyond for a corner.<br /><br />The victory takes Thistle five points clear of rivals Balintore, who were soundly beaten by Alness and six clear of Ross-shire Club, who won 3-1 at the Recreation Grounds against the Social. In other action, Cromarty recorded an upset, beating Cordiner Cup finalists Inver, 4-3.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Matheson, Durrand, Brand, Dingwall, Farquhar (Nimmons), D Christie, A Christie, Goller, Rostock, Reid (McGaw), Ross<br /><br /><b>Subs not used:</b><br />Swann, Oliver<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />D Christie 10, Kennedy og 26, Reid 62<br /><br /><b>Bookings:</b><br />Brand<br /><br /><b>Man of the Match:</b><br />Michael Brand<br /><br /><b>Match details:</b><br /><a href="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/match.php?id=195">http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/tpl/matchdetails.php?id=195</a>

  • Latest News | Tain Thistle AFC
  • Tain Juniors (U15s) 3-1 Dingwall (U15s)

    Last Tuesday, the Tain Juniors Under 15s brought the curtain down on their short league campaign. With the news that Cunningham had been sidelined, going up against an unbeaten Dingwall side, who had already won the title, was always going to be a tall order.<br /><br />Nevertheless, it was Tain who looked like the champions, pressing for an early advantage with a number of chances to take the lead; a young Ferries looking particularly promising.<br /><br />Against the run of play, it was Dingwall who took the lead however. Smart had a chance as did Greenlees, but it was the latter who registered the equalizer, rounding the Dingwall keeper to make it 1-1.<br /><br />Second half, changes in the formation paid off as Tain took the lead through Greenlees, scoring again. Before long, Greenlees had his hat trick, capitalizing on an expert through ball by Ferries for what proved to be the winner.<br /><br />Post-match, coach Robert Farquhar commented, "It was a great result today. This young Tain team finished in second place on their own. Both myself and Wilfie reflected on what has been a good year and to coach this squad this year with little hassle has been great. I hope they go on to do well for the 17s and eventually play for Tain Thistle."<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Allan, Smith, Maclean, McIvor, Allison, Ferries, Joy, Smart, Codie, Greenlees, Cooper<br /><br /><b>Subs:</b><br />Macleod, Kidd, Warren, Durrand<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Greenlees x 3

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