Following their 15-2 demolition of Invergordon Social Club this afternoon, Tain Thistle will now travel to Cromarty for the Coronation Cup semi final, on Saturday, August 7th. Cromarty were also involved in a high scoring cup game today, beating Inver 8-6 in an early kick off.
The history books were rewritten once again last night as Tain Thistle recorded their biggest ever win, handing the underachieving Invergordon Social Club a 15-2 humping at Grant Park in the first round of the Coronation Cup. The win tops the club's previous record of 11-1 against Tain United in 2002.
The tie started in disjointed fashion as the Social Club goalkeeper, Jamie Murphy, failed to appear, forcing defender Daniel Cormack to take his place between the sticks again as he had done on the opening day of the season against Thistle. Referee Gary McCarthy, having delayed kick off to allow Social extra time to produce an eleventh player eventually blew the whistle to start the game off at 3.17pm.
Thistle were without Michael Brand, Brian Cameron and Daniel Christie, but manager Arron Christie was able to reintroduce himself and Craig Nimmons, with Ryan Cowie back in the first team fold.
With only ten men to begin, a Social side countered their uphill struggle by playing with an element of determination at the start of the game, quickly finding the net through Scott Stirling, as the Invergordon man headed home a James McKidd cross to cancel out Erich Golabek's calamitous own goal opener for Tain moments earlier.
At 1-1, the game was beginning to look like a goalfeast, however the superior attacking prowess of Thistle quickly shone through; Darran Goller breezing past the Social defence to slot home a second after only ten minutes. Robbie Ross was next to capitalize, with a mis-hit strike in the six yard box sent trundling beyond Cormack to make it 3-1 on the quarter hour mark.
Neil Stephens was able to pull a goal back for Social a few minutes later, but as quickly as they scored, any semblance of winning hope immediately flew out of the window.
Stepping up a gear, Thistle began to play the flowing football that has eluded them for most of the season and soon found a fourth goal through Liam Rostock, before Colin Burry watched his effort deflected into the net to make it 5-2. In his final game of the season before his return to the United States, Garry Perks netted the sixth, placing a shot beyond Cormack after dribbling with ease past a near static Social back line.
Christie introduced Ryan Johnston for Robbie Ross as the second half began, with the tie already all but over. 16 year old John Maclellan reopened the floodgates at the start of the second period, shamelessly robbing Martyn Farquhar of the final touch on a clever piece of play in the 18 yard box, to score his third of the season. Shortly after Perks added his second to make it 8-2, Farquhar indeed got on the scoresheet, drilling a shot past Cormack for Thistle's ninth.
A defensive calamity led to Thistle's tenth, as Perks netted his hat-trick by simply walking the ball into the net, and only moments after taking his place as a second half substitute, player-boss Christie netted a beautiful long range shot from 30 yards, directly into the top corner to make it 11-2.
Rostock added Thistle's twelvth goal with a rifled shot underneath Cormack, before Perks netted his fourth. With ten minutes remaining, it was up to Darran Goller to wrap up proceedings. After a flurry of missed efforts by Rostock, substitute Craig Nimmons and his cousin Dave, Goller netted to end an eight minute barren spell, thumping a shot in at the near post to make it fourteen. Goller achieved a personal best two minutes later at the end of time by netting his first competitive hat-trick for Thistle, having done the same only a week prior in the Macrae/MacAngus testimonial.
The emphatic win sends Thistle into the semi final of the Coronation Cup, when they will meet Cromarty at Victoria Park. The tie will be played on Saturday, August 7th with a 3pm kick off at Cromarty.
Matheson, D Nimmons, Cowie, Sutherland (A Christie), Ross (Johnston), Farquhar, Burry (C Nimmons), Goller, Rostock, Maclellan, Perks
Galabrci o.g. 3, Goller 10, 88, 90, Ross 15, Rostock 23, 79, Burry 28, Perks 32, 62, 71, 80, Maclellan 48, Farquhar 65, A Christie 73
Man of the Match:
Balintore secured their first Ross-shire Welfare league title since 2006, as they cast Social Club aside in an 8-0 win at Invergordon. The win marks completion of a near perfect season for the seasiders, as they remain unbeaten in league competition with only Cromarty to play next week.
In other action, Inver dropped three points at home to Alness Athletic, losing by 2 goals to 1 thanks to a second half penalty for the visitors, while Cromarty fought back late to secure a point at Grant Park against Tain Thistle.
In other game of the evening, Vertex won the battle of Dingwall, as they recorded a 2-0 win over Ross-shire Club.
Tain Thistle were pegged back to a draw at Grant Park this evening, by a determined and resilient Cromarty. Goals from Liam Rostock and Darran Goller gave the Jags a second half 3-1 lead before a fight back in the last five minutes saw the Victoria Park men claw out a point.
Both sides started the evening on 16 points, chasing third place in the league. Stand-in gaffer Craig Nimmons had a sizable squad to choose from, with Garry Perks returning to action. Back between the sticks was Davie Matheson, as Steven Martin departs to begin pre-season training with Brora Rangers.
Upon kick-off, Thistle couldn't have gotten off to a worse start as Cromarty found themselves a goal up after only three minutes. A shambolic series of goalmouth scrambles eventually saw the ball turned into the net, with Thistle completely unable to send the ball clear.
But it wasn't long until Thistle stamped their authority on the game. With clever play down the left from Colin Burry and Liam Rostock, Thistle found themselves winning a series of corners, narrowly missing out on an opener with Robbie Ross and Garry Perks both shooting wide.
Cromarty were determined to extend their lead however and continued their pressure on Matheson's goal, hitting the crossbar and the post in quick succession.
Thistle finally found an equalizer through Rostock. The pacey Darran Goller found his way down the right flank to place a simple ball across the face of goal; Rostock tucking a shot beyond the keeper with ease from close range.
At 1-1, Thistle moved into cruise control and could very well have gone 2-1 ahead instantly following the equalizer, as Rostock found himself one on one with the Cromarty stopper. Rostock however opted to chance a lob and the winger's effort was headed off the line.
Rostock made amends moments later however as he found the net for a second time with a well struck shot beyond the keeper. The first half should very well have ended 3-1 were it not for a lack of composure. Garry Perks meandered his way into the 6 yard box with a mazey dribble - but Ross in the box could not connect with the cut back.
The second half began as the first had ended with Thistle forcing the Cromarty back line wide with the clever runs of Goller. It was Goller involved again for Thistle's third in fact, laying the ball to Ross for a simple return and a confident finish to the left of Craig Maclean.
The 3-1 lead should have given Thistle the confidence to see the job through but with instruction from the sidelines, the Croms threw men forward in the final twenty minutes to rattle the Thistle defence.
Two one on one saves from Matheson saved the blushes of the Tain back line as Cromarty piled on the pressure but on eighty minutes he could do nothing to prevent their second. At 3-2, the Cromarty tails were up.
Inevitably, their third followed for the equaliser, with only injury time remaining. More messy defending led to an all too easy chance for Phil Macdonald as he cooly placed a high shot past Matheson.
Despite late pushes from both teams, the score remained at 3-3 as referee Eric Robertson drew a close to proceedings.
Matheson, D Nimmons, Burry, Sutherland, Farquhar, Brand, D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Perks, Ross
Subs not used:
Cameron, Maclellan, Johnston, Stein, Cowie
Rostock 26, 41, Goller 59
Man of the Match:
Tain Thistle and the Legends XI locked horns this past Saturday in a testimonial game. The twelve goal thriller was held in excellent spirits, as former manager Gordon Burry returned to assemble a team of former players and committee members to take on Thistle's current XI.
The testimonial had been arranged by Tain Thistle in honour of two of its longest standing committee members, Graham "Peeps" Macrae and Norman Macangus, who have been with the club since its 1996 formation.
Peeps, a former goalkeeper for the club, did not pull on the jersey for the game however his cohort Norman, who played for many clubs in the area but never Thistle - pulled on the white of Burry's XI in his first ever game for the Jags.
The testimonial pair were presented with club tankards to mark the occasion by Burry and player Martyn Farquhar.
Also making an appearance for Burry's side were striker Darren Gilmour, club co-founder Ronnie Mackie, goalkeeper Will Macrae, Neil McHardy, Brian MacAngus, Bob Swann, Brian Waddell, Andy Murray, Murray Taylor, David Shaw, among others. In a spot of transfer dealing, Burry also negotiated the signing of three current players, in his son Colin, forward Robbie Ross and goalkeeper Steven Martin.
On the day, it finished 8-4 to the current side, a modest scoreline and certainly not a disheartening one for the weary legs of the Legends; Robbie Ross netting twice before second half goals from Gilmour and an unnamed trialist gave some hope of a comeback.
Assistant coach for the Legends XI, Brian MacAngus was delighted with the outing.
"Saturday was a great success. It was great to see so many old faces. This is what its all about."
Tain Thistle legends past and present prepare to make a return to Grant Park for the much anticipated Macrae/MacAngus testimonial game this coming Saturday.
Management team Gordon Burry and Brian MacAngus have been touting names such as Mike McKenna, Will Macrae, Darren Gilmour along with the coaches themselves to fill the starting eleven.
The current Thistle XI will not be taking the challenge likely however, with a near full strength team available for the game.
The game kicks off this Saturday July 24th, at 12.30pm.
(Last night's match report provided by Steven Martin.)
Tain started brightly and looked the sharper of the two teams as Balti struggled to settle on the wet park. Darran Goller looked dangerous on the break down the right on a number of occasions in the opening spells.
The first controversial incident came only 10 minutes in when a long hopeful clearance from stand in sweeper Robbie Ross deceived Henderson in the Balintore goal and bounced over his head and in to the back of the net. Gary McCarthy had judged there to be a foul on the stopper by Tain's young striker John McClellan, much to the amazement of all 22 players and coaching staff of both teams.
After this match changing decision the home team were able to get a foothold in the game playing some excellent football, spreading the ball round a solid back three of Calderwood, Stainkie and Ross.
Both teams were now looking to break the deadlock in what was turning into a rather exciting encounter, Martyn Farquhar and Daniel Christie coming close for Thistle.
Andrew Ripley and Jamie Martin both had chances for the seaboard men which were dealt with comfortably by Steven Martin Michael Brand respectively.
25 minutes saw the first goal of the night when a hopeful Gus Macdonald cross looped into the top corner of the net; the goal scorer admitting after the game that it was a fluke.
The game slowed down after the goal with both teams keeping good position of the ball. The only other chance of note in the first period came after 40 minutes when Ally Macdonald hit a ferocious drive from 25 yards, Martin got a finger tip to it, but with the effort still flying goalwards Goller stood strong and saved the effort with his face, Mccarthy waived away a weak call for handball by awarding the corner kick.
Half time 1-0
The second half saw the league favourites taking firm grip of the match, and looking to build on their slender lead. Andrew Ripley and Ross Powell were starting to cause the Thistle back line some problems; however, Ryan Cowie, Andrew Sutherland and Robbie Ross were battling well and keeping the threats on goal to a minimum.
The second and decisive goal came after 55 minutes when Jamie Martin was able to slip round the outside after a poor headed clearance from Cowie, as the full back tried to recover to block the cross, the ball deflected off of his trailing leg and deflected into the net despite the best efforts of Steven Martin and Ross on the goal line.
Thistle continued to battle away but the home side still looked the more dangerous on the break. Jamie Martin thought he had added a third on the hour mark, but the goal was correctly chalked off as the midfielder had used an arm to put the ball over the line.
The third goal was to come shortly afterward, the back line of the jags switching off for the first time in the match to allow a quick short corner to be played to the feet of Gus MacDonald who was able to turn his man and fire a low drive into the bottom corner and effectively kill off the game.
The action however was far from over and Thistle seemed to get a lift for the final 20 minutes of the match. The now more advanced Farquhar and Christie linked up well and the latter forced a top drawer save from Henderson diving to his left and at full stretch guiding the ball over the cross bar.
The home side had a chance to add to the score line with 10 minutes remaining when Martin in the Thistle goal was adjudged to have fouled the leagues top scorer Andy Ripley in the area, much to the surprise of the nippy striker the ref awarded a penalty kick. The striker dusted himself down to take the spot kick, he placed the ball low to Martin's left, but the stopper was equal to the effort and was able to push the ball round for a corner.
The Jags survived one final scare when the impressive Ally MacDonald was able to skip between the tiring back line of Ross and Nimmons and was able to lift the ball over the advancing Martin, only for Ryan Cowie to sprint back from 8 yards to slide the ball off of the goal line under pressure from Ripley.
Balti were reduced to 10 men in the final minutes when stalwart Alan Stainkie mistimed a challenge on McClellan, the forward doing well to get his standing foot off the ground in time.
Final Score 3-0
Team:Martin, Ross, Cowie, Sutherland, Farquhar, D. Nimmons (Johnson), Brand, Goller, Rostock (C. Nimmons), D. Christie, McClellan
Subs not used: Matheson
A testimonial game has been arranged to be played on Saturday, July 24th to honour two of Tain Thistle's longest serving committee members, in Graham Macrae and Norman MacAngus.
The match will pit the current Tain Thistle team against a Legends XI, consisting of Tain Thistle players of the past, managed by the club's inaugural manager Gordon Burry and his able-bodied assistant, former chairman Brian MacAngus.
Former players are encouraged to call Gordon and Brian on 01862 893099 if they wish to be involved.
The game will kick off at 12.30pm on Saturday, July 24th.
Terry Stirling's Alness Athletic side were fighting against last place in the Maclean Electrical Ross-shire Welfare league last season when they held title contenders Ross-shire Club to a surprise 1-1 draw in Dingwall with two games left to play. The draw put Tain Thistle into pole position for the championship, leaving them with the task of beating Invergordon Social Club to secure the title.
This Wednesday, Stirling will no doubt be looking to Tain to return the favour as Athletic sit behind league favourites Balintore. The Thistle men head to Seaboard-ville to meet local rivals and league favourites Balintore for their tenth league game of the season and suffering from injuries, holidays and absences in recent weeks, Thistle boss Arron Christie will hope that training will provide some good news ahead of the fixture, as they also try to make amends for their earlier 4-1 loss at Grant Park.
The full results from last weekend's Tom Hunter Memorial Cup 2nd Round are as follows:
Bishopmill Villa 2-0 Tomintoul
Burghead 5-2 Lossiemouth
Moray Social 4-1 Elgin Albion
Cullen 3-1 Buckie United
Tain Thistle 2-5 Lhanbryde United
Port Gordon 6-1 Merkinch
Rothes 3-2 Hopeman
Crimmond 1-5 Aberlour
Depleted, short of key players and continuing a trend of under-performing this season, Tain Thistle were hammered at Cromarty by 8 goals to 3, as the Jags watched another chance at silverware vanish, in the first round of the Seaboard Cup.
First half reply from Darran Goller and a penalty from Liam Rostock pulled the issue back to 4-2 at half time before Cromarty knocked a further four goals beyond Matheson in the second half. John Maclellan scored Tain's only goal of the second half.
The result is Thistle's worst since July 2005, when they were on the receiving end of a 10-3 thrashing at the hands of eventual league winners Invergordon Social Club. Thistle went on to finish 2nd in the league that year however.
Matheson, Sutherland (C Nimmons), Johnston, Stewart, Farquhar, Brand, Cameron, Goller, Burry, Rostock, Maclellan
Subs not used:
Goller 20, Rostock pen 42, Maclellan 50
Absences aplenty are expected to play havoc with Thistle's Seaboard Cup 1st round tie against Cromarty this Saturday. A combination of holidays, injuries and T in the Park see Tain going into the game with no fewer than 11 players missing.
Arron Christie, Daniel Christie, Steven Martin, Dave Nimmons, Garry Perks, James Rice, Ayah Rattanaphithak, Ryan Cowie, Robbie Ross, Michael Stein and Martin Mackay are all on the unavailable list.
Tain Thistle skipped back to winning ways with a rare 2-0 win over Dingwall Vertex, tonight. Late goals from Garry Perks and substitute Craig Nimmons put the contact centre men to the sword after a largely uneventful first hour.
Full back David Nimmons was handed his first start of the season while David "Embo" Matheson stepped in for Steven Martin between the sticks. Still missing through injury were James Rice and Kyle Oliver.
A quiet first half had few highlights in front of goal but was not lacking in spots of brief entertainment. In goal, Tain's Matheson looked very comfortable, dealing with frequent Vertex counter-attacks until being mercilessly capsized on the edge of his box -- his knee twisting unnaturally on the way down. Ever a trooper, Matheson continued on.
Liam Rostock enjoyed the best chance of the first half, his effort from 18 yards breezing past the post. Moments later, Garry Perks passed on a glorious opportunity to open the scoring following a Darran Goller cutback when he let the ball go by him for an unsuspecting Rostock.
Referee Keith Middleton became the star of the first half, for his sharp awareness of the rules and outstanding attention to detail -- the whistler gained applause for spotting an infringement following a Vertex corner, as the taker was illegally first to receive his own rebound off the woodwork. Crafty however, was Vertex right back Lewis Sinclair, who managed to stay out of Middleton's sight, taking all of his throw-ins in the first half while on the park.
Despite not scoring, Thistle rarely looked in danger during the first half, with the back four of David Nimmons, Martyn Farquhar, Andy Sutherland and Colin Burry in good form.
The second half started more brightly, with substitute Arron Christie adding a new dimension to the attack opportunities. Midfielder Brian Cameron could very well have opened the scoring with a long range effort held by Vertex stopper Del Welsh.
Vertex themselves could very well have scored soon after as the otherwise resolute central defensive pairing of Thistle left Matheson with a one-on-one to deal with - but the capable stopper was able to adjust his position to tip the slow moving strike that followed, round the post.
Thistle finally nicked an opener in the 72nd minute, when Garry Perks scored his tenth goal of the season in unconventional fashion as he headed home from a deep Arron Christie cross.
Substitute Craig Nimmons made an almost immediate impact when he replaced Liam Rostock, playing as a winger. It was down to Nimmons to wrap the game up in the end, as he dribbled into the Vertex box to rifle the ball home for Thistle's second.
Matheson, D Nimmons, Burry, Sutherland, Farquhar, Cameron, Brand, D Christie (A Christie), Goller, Rostock (C Nimmons)
Subs not used:
Perks 72, C Nimmons 90
Man of the Match:
Following his two goals against Lhanbryde on Sunday, Garry Perks has broken the record for Welfare goals scored for Tain Thistle. Only one behind the legendary Robbie Ross before the weekend, Perks now stands as the club's all-time record goalscorer with 71 goals.
Despite dominating the game for large spells, Tain Thistle could not find the scoring touch to eliminate Lhanbryde United side from the Tom Hunter Highland Welfare Cup, as they fell 5-2. Coping with multiple absences, assistant coach Steven Martin called in old faces Calum Macdonald and Gary Austin, while Colin Burry returned to the side for the first time since May.
Simple chances for Daniel Christie and Darran Goller should have seen Thistle go 2-0 up after only 3 minutes, before Goller again found himself clean through only to blaze a shot wide.
Thistle found themselves camping in the Lhanbryde half for the majority of the opening quarter hour, before a lapse in concentration allowed Graham Ingram to slip past Ryan Cowie to round Martin for the opener. As quickly as the first had happened, a burst forward from defender Lewis Anderson saw the Thistle defense sleeping to make it 2-0.
Though stunned by the scoreline, Thistle continued to pressurize, again coming within inches of scoring, Calum Macdonald most notably with a shot off the post from a Perks free kick before too many touches right in front of goal between Goller and Christie saw an effort shot straight at the keeper. Christie was unfortunate once more before the half hour mark when his headed effort bounced off the crossbar.
Feeling as though they should be winning the game and comfortably, Thistle were in for another shock. Caught at the back once again, Ryan Cowie was caught short of defending some clever wing play from a Lhanbryde side on the break; Martin once again rounded for the cut back and tap in. A fourth followed as Thistle heads in identical circumstances as Steve Ingram netted a few minutes later. Thistle's inability to cope with the long ball counter on the left wing was obvious and costing them dear, despite their countless chances to score.
The second half started much as the first had ended with another Lhanbryde goal. Martin, in an attempt to clear the ball played the ball out to Ryan Cowie, but the full back was dispossessed, leaving Lhanbryde to take care of the inevitable - cut back and tap in for Graham Ingram's hat trick.
The remainder of the second half was all Thistle, as they adjusted to take care of the basic threat of Lhanbryde. Goller again should have scored but shot the ball over before a Macdonald effort was shot straight at the keeper. The inventiveness of Goller and Perks created numerous opportunities in front of goal as the half progressed but in dealing with crosses, Dey was often successful.
The goal finally came after what seemed like 15-20 glaring chances, as Garry Perks curled a ball home. A second followed for Perks before time, as he was fouled in the box. Referee John Nicolson awarded a penalty and the forward netted with ease to score a brace. Coincidentally, the goal was Perks' 71st for Thistle, a record for himself and for the club at Welfare level.
The cup outing will come as an eye opener for Thistle, who certainly showed spectators that the Ross-shire Welfare brand of football is certainly of a good standard. Thistle will be especially disappointed to have lost today as for large spells they were clearly the more creative and talented side. However, Lhanbryde supporters will certainly agree there is a lot to be said for the simple long ball approach.
Martin, Sutherland (Austin), Cowie, Farquhar, Brand, Cameron, Perks, Goller, Burry, Macdonald (D Nimmons), D Christie
Subs not used:
MacRitchie, C Nimmons, Matheson
Perks 72, pen 90
(Pictured below, the first Tain Thistle Tom Hunter Cup squad)
Gala spectators turned out in their droves for a double header of football festivities this past week as individuals aged six to sixty took part in the sporting proceedings.
On Wednesday night, the primary schools 6s and 7s teams competed on two freshly marked pitches on the bottom Links park, with many a good showing in front of close to a hundred spectators on the hills at the park.
Two days later on Friday night, the veterans of St Duthus football club got together once again for a match against the Black Isle Golden Oldies. The Gala Queen, Princess and Attendant were also on hand, to kick the game off. The St Duthus men are pictured below.
As they head into their first ever Highland Welfare Cup tie, Tain Thistle are confirmed to be without player/manager Arron Christie, forward Liam Rostock and utility man Robbie Ross. In addition to that, James Rice, Ayah Rattanaphithak and Ryan Johnston all remain unavailable while on holiday.
In a boost for the side however, goalkeeper Steven Martin is expected to return to action, along with Kyle Oliver and Colin Burry.
Just when you thought you'd seen enough football with the World Cup on every TV station, Tain's Grant Park will now play host to five different games across the next six days.
On Friday night, the Tain Gala will kick off proceedings as they present a friendly match between veterans of Tain St Duthus and a team from the Black Isle. On Saturday, the Railway Hotel sponsored Cordiner Cup final will take place between Cromarty FC and Alness Athletic FC and on Sunday, home team Tain Thistle will meet Morayshire's Lhanbryde United in a Highland Welfare Cup 2nd round tie.
The four-day consecutive fest will be completed when the Tain Juniors meet Aird Athletic in a Monday evening semi final for the Under 17s.
The park will receive only a one day reprieve before Tain Thistle entertain Dingwall Vertex in a league game on Wednesday night.
Friday 2nd July - St Duthus Oldies vs Black Isle Golden Oldies (7.15pm)
Sat 3rd July - Cordiner Cup final: Alness vs Cromarty (3pm)
Sun 4th July - Tain Thistle vs Lhanbryde Utd (2pm)
Mon 5th July - Tain Juniors U17s vs Aird Athletic U17s (7.30pm)
Wed 7th July - Tain Thistle vs Dingwall Vertex (7.30pm)
Football is at its cruelest when teams can play their best game of the season and still end up as the losing side. Last night was one of those nights for Tain Thistle, as they fell 2-0 to a strong and determined Alness Athletic.
The expected stand-in for missing first team goalkeeper Steven Martin was Steve Bannatyne but a bad case of "RSI of the neck and shoulder" led to the keeper being forced to withdraw from the squad. Davie Matheson was the third in line, taking the numberless goalkeeping jersey for only the second time this season. Through suspension, player/manager Arron Christie was also missing, with brother Daniel returning to the lineup to fill the void. Brian Cameron also returned to the first team, replacing the absent Kyle Oliver in central midfield.
Changes in personnel always force a period of readjustment, none moreso than when you have a different keeper between the sticks - but the introduction of Robbie Ross at sweeper certainly seemed to stem the flow of attacks that have left Thistle pinned back in many of their games this season. Ross, usually a forward, paired up well with youngster Andrew Sutherland to enjoy a flawless first half at the back, flanked by Ryan Cowie and Michael Brand, the latter playing as a full back for the first time since last season.
The most significant chance of the first half came to James Cochrane of Alness, finding himself clean through after breaking free down the right wing. Cochrane, last season's top goalscorer in the Welfare league, failed to hit the target however, blasting wide of the far post.
Thistle's interim stopper was called into action only once during the first half, when a Steven Alexander free kick forced a save; Matheson palming the effort away to his familiar right side.
Despite a confident defensive display and numerous attacking runs from a blisteringly fast Darran Goller, Tain failed to find a first half answer in the final third.
As quickly as the second half started however, front man Daniel Christie could very well have put Thistle into the lead, played in beyond the last line of defence by Garry Perks -- but Christie could only fire at the legs of oncoming keeper Scott MacGruer.
At the other end, luck was on Thistle's side for a moment as Alness blasted a long range effort goalward only for it to cannon off the crossbar. The capable feet of Michael Brand ushered the rebound to safety.
The luck would eventually run out however as an out-rushing Matheson was caught out of position and a goalmouth scramble ensued to clear the ball. Unfortunately for Thistle, it fell to the feet of Alness defender David Kennedy, who lashed the ball into the net for the opener.
Within minutes of his first, Kennedy netted a brace. Played in for the easiest of chances for a one-on-one with Matheson, he watched his shot trundle beyond the fallen keeper; wrong-footed and unable to prevent the inevitable to make it 2-0.
In search for a consolation, Thistle introduced young striker John Maclellan who made an immediate impact with a speculative cross into the box, only narrowly missed by an oncoming Darran Goller. The change was academic however as a resolute Alness defence held onto the their lead for the three points.
Matheson, Cowie (C Nimmons), Brand, Sutherland (Stein), Ross, Farquhar, Cameron, Rostock (Maclellan), Goller, D Christie, Perks
Man of the Match: