Muir of Ord continued to show their home dominance with a thumping second half display at Pavilion Park today, dumping Tain Thistle 6-1 with six goals in forty minutes.
Thistle boss John Oliver was forced into a number of changes this week with winger Darran Goller suspended and captain Arron Christie on trial with Brora Rangers. Martyn Farquhar and Craig Sutherland both returned to the starting lineup, with injury concern Lee Morrison and Martin Smith taking places on the bench. Striker Russell Lawrie and goalkeeper Ali Matheson also returned to the starting eleven following a fortnight layoff for both.
With half an hour gone, Muir had the best chance of a first half devoid of any real activity, when Ewan Dance found himself clean through on the returning Matheson. The striker however, could only place his shot wide.
Thistle could have taken the lead at the other end soon after however when Ashley Mills fired a shot on target, but goalkeeper Martin Rae was up to the task.
Despite a number of corners to follow, the game finished goalless at half time.
Muir of Ord started the second half in dominant fashion, and within five minutes had taken the lead. Picking up the ball in the final third, Scott Morrison dribbled through a dazzled Thistle defence and placed a shot into the bottom left corner of Ali Matheson’s net.
The home side’s lead was short lived however as a corner at the other end led to an equalizer for Tain on 52 minutes. Martyn Farquhar had made a clever tackle on the edge of the Muir box to maintain pressure from the corner, before crossing from the byline for top scorer Russell Lawrie to head the ball home.
A good-tempered game took an ugly turn soon after, as Muir’s (number 7) was booked for simulation, handing Thistle a free kick in their eighteen-yard box.
By the hour mark, Thistle’s equalizer was not enough to prevent Rovers’ second half flurry of attacks however, as the home side rattled in two goals in quick succession, exposing a sleepy defence to go 3-1 up, leaving Tain stunned.
On 72 minutes, Muir made it 4-1, converting a controversial penalty award following a refereeing decision that was disputed even by the home side. Adding to Thistle’s injury concerns Russell Lawrie was forced to withdraw from the field of play with a sore foot, replaced by the debuting Darren Oliver.
Muir of Ord rounded off a horrendous second half for Thistle with two further goals in the final ten minutes, taking the final score to 6-1.
In other news, Thurso took all three points with a stunning 3-2 win over Halkirk and Balintore secured a 2-1 win at Bonar Bridge. The bottom of the table clash between Fort William and Invergordon was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Fort William. The only other game of the day saw Dingwall beat Golspie 1-0.
Matheson, Farquhar, Sutherland, Mackay, K Oliver, Austin, Mills, Mailley, Durrand (Smith), D Christie, Lawrie (D Oliver)
Subs not used:
Mailley, D Christie
Man of the Match:
Football Manager 2010 was launched this week for PC and Mac, and fans of Tain Thistle can now play as the Jags manager by downloading the HL-NCL patch, which allows you take control of North Caledonian league teams and play in the Second XI league for the first time!
The patch includes:
- Ten team North Caledonian league
- North Caley, SWL, Jock Mackay and Football Times cup competitions
Right click here and select Save As/Save Target As to download the file, and save it to the following location:
C:/ Documents and Settings/ (whateveryourusernameis)/ My Documents/ Sports Interactive/ Football Manager 2010/ editor data
When loading a new Football Manager 2010 game, be sure to select Change and ensure that NCL is selected in the following window.
**You must have the most up to date version of the FM2010 game (10.1) to run this patch!!**
If you have any problems, please contact the Webmaster via the Contact Us option.
Winger Darran Goller has been issued an immediate one match ban by the SFA disciplinary committee following his dismissal against Thurso last Saturday. The action follows his on-the-pitch scuffle with Thurso's Martin Sutherland, who was also sent off.
The suspension means that Goller will miss Thistle's trip to Muir of Ord, tomorrow, October 31st.
It was a simple case of night and day at Grant Park this afternoon. With no resemblance other than the bright white strips of the same Tain Thistle who battled for 90 minutes at Sir Georges Park in September, a dominant Thurso destroyed the Grant Park men by 7 goals to nil in miserable conditions.
At their weakest with call offs and absences, Thistle boss John Oliver handed a first team debut to 17 year old Martin Smith, while Andy Murray also made his first start of the season. Trialist Ian Bartlett stepped in between the sticks as a total of six first team regulars, namely Ashley Mills, Paul Austin, Gordy Oman, Russell Lawrie, Martyn Farquhar and Ali Matheson made up the absentee list, giving Thistle their biggest challenge of the season to date.
Thistle seemed to get off to a decent start in the dreech, wet and windy conditions as Daniel Christie found himself with a chance to score, putting the ball just wide after good forward play from Darran Goller. The start was weathered quickly however, as Thurso began their pursuit of an opener. The forward line of Nichol, MacDougall and Mackenzie enjoyed an inventive ten minute spell, wreaking havoc on the Thistle goal, before taking a 1-0 lead. A cross into the Thistle box went unmet by the oncoming Bartlett, as the ball was gently knocked beyond him into the net.
Thistle looked as though they might form a fightback but any semblance of chance was quickly eradicated when returnee Andy Murray, already booked for an earlier challenge, shoved a Thurso forward in the eighteen yard box. Referee Graham Elder pointed to the spot and Thurso's Mark Nichol made no mistake with the penalty; Murray escaping with only a warning.
2-0 down, Thistle's young forward pairing of Darran Goller and Martin Smith tried but struggled to make any impact in the first half. In fact, it was winger Daniel Christie who was the only man to find the target in the first period, rattling the crossbar with a free kick ten minutes before the break.
Thurso made the second half seem somewhat academic however with a third first half goal, Thistle again caught sleeping at the back for a simple tap in.
The second half initially brought a further two goals for Thurso, taking the score to 5-0 but will make the headlines more for the cards issued to both sides. The half saw no fewer than five yellow and two red cards, with Thistle's Darran Goller the first to be dismissed for shoving Martin Sutherland. Sutherland, who saw yellow for his trouble was sent off immediately after, as he had already been booked for an altercation with Martin Smith ten minutes prior.
With 20 men left on the park, Thurso netted a further two goals, first from the spot following an Arron Christie infringement and again two minutes later.
The hugely disappointing defeat surprisingly does not alter Thistle's current league position; the Jags men remaining in 6th place as Thurso march ahead in 1st. In other league action, Golspie came back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Balintore 2-1. Meanwhile, Muir of Ord secured the first silverware of the season, beating Halkirk by 2 goals to 1 to win the Lindsays of Golspie North Caledonian Cup.
Bartlett, Durrand, Murray (Sutherland), Mackay, Morrison, K Oliver, D Christie, Mailley, Goller, Smith, A Christie
Subs not used:
Tain Thistle today missed out on a chance to go top of the table, losing 2-1 to the visiting Halkirk United in a closely fought contest, at Grant Park this afternoon.
Manager John Oliver had to deal with a number of personnel changes, most significantly in the goalkeeping spot; drafting in former Invergordon youth keeper Sean Broadbent for a last minute debut. Paul Austin returned to action and the surprise bench addition of Paul Cowie, still recovering from a knee injury, boosted the side's options.
Halkirk, a side flying high in the league with sixteen goals to their name already were expected to be a force, but Thistle were hopeful of continuing the good form that had seen climb to 3rd in the league after 5 games.
United's goalscoring prowess was evident in the first half as Kyle Ross gave the visitors a 24th minute lead. Arron Christie went close with a free kick at the other end but failed to hit the target.
On the half hour mark, following an attempted clearance, Craig Sutherland netted in his own net to put Halkirk 2-0 ahead at the break.
Ever resilient however, the Thistle men fought back to score through Lee Morrison in the second half, but could not find an equalizer. The goal followed a near certain goalscoring opportunity for Darran Goller, who though impressive throughout the game failed to strike with authority into the open goal and Halkirk cleared.
The game finished 2-1 to Halkirk, putting the Caithness side into the top spot. In other action, Invergordon were beaten 6-1 by a rejuvenated Golspie and Bonar Bridge were trounced by a rampant Muir of Ord side.
Broadbent, Durrand (Murray), Farquhar, Mackay, Morrison, Austin (Cowie), Mills, K Oliver, Goller, Sutherland, A Christie
Subs not used:
Man of the Match:
John Oliver's squad will be at its thinnest for one of the biggest games of the season thus far, when 3rd placed Tain Thistle play host to 2nd placed Halkirk United.
Thistle will be without the suspended Gordy Oman and are expected to be missing impressive keeper Ali Matheson, birthday boy Russell Lawrie and September player of the month Chris Mailley.
Returning to action however should be Paul Austin.
Fort William's second string made the long trip up to Tain for an early kick off yesterday, as their side continued their chase for their first win in the North Caledonian League. But it was Thistle who took all three, making it four wins in a row to push themselves up to 3rd place in the table.
Manager John Oliver re-introduced Gordy Oman to the starting eleven, slotting in for the released Robbie Ross at centre half, while Darran Goller and David Mackay made returns to the side, replacing Ashley Mills and Andy Durrand, respectively. More pleasingly for the fans, club mascot Andy Murray returned to the lineup today, named as a substitute.
Any doubts over Thistle's positivity for the game following their cup defeat to Thurso were quickly put to bed as Russell Lawrie opened the scoring for Tain. Expert wing play from Daniel Christie led to a cross which Lawrie collected and hammered home with authority; young Fort keeper Ryan Hunter helpless to prevent it.
The goal should have been quickly followed however, with battling defender Lee Morrison unlucky not to finish a number of aerial efforts in the box. Midfielder Kyle Oliver also found himself with chances, most notably on the half hour mark when, one on one with Hunter, he placed his effort off-target.
The second goal finally came from the clever build up of Arron Christie. Clever position on the left led to ball across the face of goal which, although initially missed by brother Daniel, was eventually rattled past Hunter by the waiting Lawrie for his second.
Fort William's best chance of the first half came when a loss of composure from Gordy Oman on the outside of the box, provided them with a free kick; Oman also booked for his trouble. The free kick, however, did not find the target.
Thistle were unable to extend their lead upon the restart, despite good chances for Darran Goller and Arron Christie. At 2-0, Thistle introduced the towering 17 year old youth striker Martin Smith for Lawrie and Ashley Mills for Goller in an attempt to boost the goal threat. A series of verbal exchanges and bad tackles soon changed the mood of the match however with Chris Mailley and David Mackay both being shown yellow cards.
The temper of the match changed, and soon Fort William found their stride. Mis-communication in the defence led to a confident finish from Darren Quigg to pull it back to 2-1 and Thistle looked rattled for a spell. Events got uglier still, as a frustrated Gordy Oman was dismissed when he received a second yellow card for kicking the ball away after a foul.
10 man Thistle were now up against it, but maintained their fight for a third goal. Substitute Martin Smith could very well have been provider, but his effort one-on-one with Hunter sailed over the bar. Smith, however, did find the net minutes later, only for assistant referee Keith Middleton to chalk the goal off for an infringement.
The next goal came for Fort William with Martyn Glen making it 2-2 from a corner. With five minutes remaining, it looked as though the spoils may have to be shared.
But it was the hard working Daniel Christie, earlier the assistant, who was the hero for the Jags. A 90th minute push after last ditch efforts from Arron Christie and Ashley Mills saw Daniel Christie dribble inside the box to fire a shot beyond the outstretched hands of Hunter and into the net.
Thistle will feel disappointed not to have sewn the match up earlier and will feel the loss of Oman for next week's top of the table clash with Halkirk. However, the 3-2 win takes Thistle to 3rd in the table, two points ahead of 4th placed Dingwall and three ahead of Golspie Sutherland.
In other action, Halkirk United travelled to Bonar Bridge and secured 5-2 win, while Golspie Sutherland were on the receiving end of an unlikely 6-1 thrashing away to Thurso. Invergordon continue without a win after losing 4-1 to Dingwall at the Rec, while in the only other game, Balintore were dropped 6-1 at Muir of Ord.
Matheson, Mackay, Farquhar, Morrison, Oman, Mailley, Goller (Mills), Oliver (Sutherland), D Christie, Lawrie (Smith), A Christie
Subs not used:
Lawrie 8, 35, D Christie 90
Oman, Mailley, Mackay
Man of the Match:
Christopher Mailley was yesterday presented with the first ever Tain Thistle Player of the Month award, sponsored by the Railway Hotel.
Mailley received the award for his performances during the month of September, having received the most votes from his peers. Railway Hotel manager Alan Nimmons presented Mailley with the award prior to the postponement of Saturday's game against Golspie Sutherland.
The tenacious midfielder has played a variety of roles on the park since the start of season, from centre half, to the left wing, to his native central midfield role, picking up two man of the match awards and netting his first goal for the club during their 3-0 rout of Invergordon.
Today's league game between Tain Thistle and Golspie Sutherland has been called off due to adverse weather conditions. The decision was made prior to kick off by the referee after already blustered conditions worsened with rain.
In the only league game of the day, Bonar Bridge trounced Invergordon 5-0 at Balintore, while Halkirk and Muir of Ord both progressed to the Lindsays of Golspie North Caledonian Cup Final.
The first issue of new monthly magazine, the Tain Football Post, was released today for the month of October.
This month's issue includes a retrospective look at the 1920s Pattison Cup winning St Duthus side, an interview with young star Ayah Rattanaphithak and all the latest news and updates regarding Tain Thistle and Tain Juniors.
The issue is available for sale at Grants Bakery, Sunflowers Cafe, Novel Idea and the Home & Music Emporium, in Tain.