Thistle continued their pre-season with a friendly win over Lairg Rovers at TRACC last night, winning by 2 goals to 1. Goals from Liam Rostock in the first and second half gave the Jags a 2-0 lead before a late and rather fortunate goal for Lairg reduced the deficit to one. Thistle now travel to Dornoch on Sunday for a 2pm kick off for their third test.
On Monday, Liam Rostock collected a cheque on behalf of the club from Evanton based Isleburn Ltd as part of the HSE Incentive Scheme funded by BP. The club wishes to extend many thanks to Isleburn and BP for this very kind donation.
The first episode of JagsTV is now online here, featuring first half highlights of the club's opening friendly against Golspie Stafford and an exclusive interview with last week's Tweeter of the Week, Chris Gordon.
Anyone wishing to "Sponsor a Player" for just £20 this season, whether you are a club or an individual, please use the Contact Us link at the top of the page, or call 01862 892116.
Tain Thistle ambled their way to victory against a Lairg Rovers side set up to contain the Jags. The match was the Jags' second friendly of the pre-season, having beaten Golspie Stafford two weeks ago.
With manager Robert Ross himself unavailable and the only notable absentees being the vacationing Ayah Rattanaphithak, a work-hungry Martyn Farquhar and professional learners John Maclellan and Ryan Johnston, Thistle welcomed additions Andy Ripley, Chris Mailley and Mark Munro to the side.
In goal for the first half, young John Allan enjoyed a quiet time of things as Thistle pressed. They struggled, however, to find their stride against a stubborn Lairg back line.
Darran Goller could have scored early on with an impressive volley, forcing a save before Brand's effort on the rebound was also held. Only minutes later, Daniel Christie missed a chance to put Tain ahead when he sent a free kick over the bar.
The Rovers nearly stunned Tain on the break after a quarter hour of play however, with a header that flew inches wide from close range.
The quick forward play of Goller and Rostock paid off on 21 minutes, as the former laid off for the latter to tap home from close range. Goller could have extended the Jags lead moments later, but his effort flew over.
Ian Christie, standing in for the gaffer, substituted six players at half time, introducing Ripley and Mailley, along with goalkeeper Steven Wemyss, Chris Gordon, Kieran Cunningham and in action for the first time this year, Andrew Sutherland.
With the wind picking up and blowing in Lairg's favour, Thistle found themselves prone to the counter, but clever defensive positioning from Sutherland and Christie, later replaced by Munro, saw them quick to react.
Despite the weather disadvantage, the Jags kept possession and pushed for a breakthrough amidst a packed Rovers' box.
Despite efforts from Andy Durrand, Gordon and Goller, and some clever creative play from Cunningham, the second finally came from Rostock, as the forward's blistering run was finished with finesse, curling a right foot shot into the top corner.
Any comfort that the second goal offered was quickly written off as a laxed Thistle defence allowed Lairg in behind to beat goalkeeper Wemyss to make it 2-1.
With a few minutes left, Rostock could have had his hat-trick but his shot flew over.
Allan (Wemyss), Cameron (Gordon), Graham (Mailley), A Christie, Brand (Sutherland), Munro (Cunningham), Cowie, Rostock (Ripley), Goller, D Christie, Durrand
Rostock 21, 82
The committee and members of the Ross-shire Welfare football association met on Thursday evening to kick off the new season, registering six of their existing member clubs. Balintore and Cromarty, the latter now having confirmed since the meeting that they will play this season, did not register. It is expected that Balintore will register in the next week. In other news, clubs agreed to keep the allowance of signed Second XI players at eight, with a limit of six named on a teamsheet.
Thistle's next friendly will be against Lairg Rovers at the TRACC All-Weather pitch this Wednesday evening with a 7.05pm kick off. The match follows on from the Jags' victory over another Sutherland side in Golspie Stafford, two weeks ago.
The Legends XI is expected to take to the field once again for a match in mid-April to mark the reopening of the Links playing field and the redeveloped showers in the changing rooms.
Website visitors can expect the first episode of JagsTV to follow this week, with brief highlights of the friendly against Golspie Sutherland, club house update and a player interview.
Finally, this week's Tweeter of the Week is Chris Gordon.
Work on the clubhouse changing rooms continues. Thanks once again to the continued efforts of Steven Wemyss, the away showers have now been full kitted out with brand new Selkie panels and are looking glossy!
On April 1st, Tain Thistle will play Dornoch City in a friendly at Dornoch's Meadows Park with a 2pm kick off.
The clubs and committee of the Ross-shire Welfare Football Association will meet for the first time this year on Thursday, March 22nd to discuss season plans and register for competition.
Finally, in a new feature, Thistle's tweeter of the week is Donald Matheson.
Thistle got off to a winning start in their pre-season on Wednesday, beating Golspie Stafford by 3 goals to 1. Darran Goller opened the scoring on the half hour mark, before doubling Thistle's lead only minutes later. Stafford scored just before half time to reduce the deficit to one, but Michael Brand netted with a long range effort in the second half to record a final score of 3-1.
Playing for the first time in Thistle colours this week were hot prospects Kieran Cunningham (17) and John Allan (15) formerly of the Tain Juniors. Both players put in a great shift during their second half debuts on Wednesday and are evidence once more of the continued great work of TJFC.
The club wishes to extend its thanks to Neil Munro of Tain Sports who kindly donated football pump valves for the forth-coming season, and has given the club a generous discount on training balls.
Supporters are encouraged to sign up for the Tain Thistle supporter's club as the season begins. At only £2.50 per month, your contribution, along with that of others, goes a long way. More info on our supporters club options can be found here: http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/sc.php.
Finally, Jags fans should keep an eye on the Thistle website for the forthcoming debut of JagsTV - the club's first foray into digital media, offering player interviews, match features and behind the scenes items.
A confident start to their pre-season saw Tain Thistle canter past Sutherland amateur champions Golspie Stafford at the Tain Royal Academy community complex this evening, thanks to goals from Darran Goller and Michael Brand.
Missing only a handful of last season's players, managers Arron Christie and Robbie Ross had a squad of sixteen to choose from for the tough visit of Golspie.
Last season's top goalscorer Darran Goller could very well have opened the scoring after only five minutes but he could only shoot wide. Again Goller found himself clean through on the ten minute mark, but the ball found its way over the bar.
The deadlock was eventually broken on the half hour mark when Goller slotted past the Stafford keeper, before doubling Thistle's lead only a few minutes later with a thunderous drive to make it 2-0.
At the end of what was otherwise quiet half for Steven Wemyss, Golspie found the net with a speculative shot to make it 2-1 at half time.
Young goalkeeper John Allan replaced Wemyss in goal for the second half, showing great confidence between the sticks to deny Golspie on two occasions.
Michael Brand then made it 3-1 on 75 minutes with an effort from distance that foxed the Stafford goalkeeper, while comeback man Paul Cowie nearly made it four but his shot drifted wide.
Youngsters Chris Gordon, Kieran Cunningham, Ayah Rattanaphithak and Donald Matheson impressed in the second half before keen local lad Ross Grant was given 10 minutes at centre half replacing player-manager Arron Christie.
Thistle were denied a fourth goal in the dying stages as Cunningham rattled a shot in off the crossbar with a bullet header, but referee Keith Middleton deemed the effort not to have crossed the line. Cunningham hit the woodwork once again only moments later with a long range effort off the crossbar.
Wemyss (Allan 46), Cameron (Gordon 70), Graham, Brand, A Christie (Grant 80), D Christie (Cunningham 70), Durrand (Rattanaphithak 70), Cowie, Ross (Matheson 62), Rostock, Goller
Goller 30, 34, Brand 75
Tain Thistle will get their pre-season underway this coming week with a friendly against Sutherland amateur champions Golspie Stafford this Wednesday March 14th. The game, to be played at the Tain Royal Academy community complex all-weather pitch, is expected to kick off at 7.05pm.
As a new season looms, committee and players are beginning to get back into the Jags groove.
The club wishes to thank existing members of the TTFC supporter's club for their continuous membership and encourage others to follow suit by following the instructions here: Supporters' Club.
The committee met for the first time in 2012 last Wednesday. Robert Ross and Arron Christie were confirmed as the coaching team for the summer welfare team, while the team also confirmed their desire to play on the Links pitch, giving Grant Park a much needed rest, while also bringing football back to the Jags' spiritual home.
It is expected that the club could play it's first friendly of the year next Wednesday 14th against Golspie Stafford on the TRACC all-weather pitch.
Development of the new clubhouse showers continues with thanks in abundance to Jenn Simpson of Rearo Laminates, Inverness, who kindly donated Selkie panels and new worktops to ensure that the shower and changing areas can be made safe for the seniors and juniors using them.
As ever, the club are looking for sponsorship for the forth coming season, and willing sponsors are invited to contact the club via phone on 01862 892116, email (using the Contact Us link) or via post at 15 Academy Street, Tain, IV19 1ED.
For as little as around eight pence a day, you can show your support for the Jags, while also benefiting from online features such as never before seen web galleries of matches over the past five years, electronic versions of classic match programmes and a monthly newsletter to your mailbox.
Club members will also have the honour of being named as the sponsor of one of our man of the match awards for the current season!
So, sign up now, by visiting http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/sc.php and spread the word!
It is with a great deal of sadness that we mourn the passing of former Club Chairman and a very good friend of Tain Thistle football club in Alexander "Sandy" Donaldson. Sandy will be missed and fondly remembered by us all as a friend and passionate supporter of our club.
Our thoughts are with Sandy's wife Mary, his family and friends at this time.
Approached for a Christmas friendly by former Tain striker and Dores Inn gaffer Stu Ross, Thistle were only too happy to oblige, despite the blustery weather conditions on offer. In their first game since August, Thistle fielded a side largely familiar to the one who competed in the Ross-shire Welfare this year, winning the League Cup for the first time along the way, with messrs Garry Perks and Paul Cowie also making cameo appearances for the Jags.
Kicking off just after the scheduled 1pm start, a misjudgement at the back led to Dores being handed the easiest of openers with Wemyss beaten on two minutes.
Only minutes later, a carefully placed ball into the box from Perks found Liam Rostock at the far post, but the striker was unable to convert the chance. However, the vacationing Perks soon stunned the visitors with a 40 yard drive from the left wing, beating the Dores stopper at his far post to make it 1-1.
The pace of Darran Goller soon led to Thistle taking the lead as his low cross from the right flank found Martyn Farquhar in front of goal to pop the ball home. Goller himself had been unlucky to score only minutes earlier having gone on a mazy run before taking the ball round the keeper only to blast the ball over.
Thistle went 3-1 ahead on the half hour mark when Liam Rostock slammed the ball into the net, but the Inverness men reduced the deficit to 3-2 shortly after.
Rostock was on the scoresheet soon after the second half resumed and the score was extended to 4-2, but again Dores kept the Jags within touching distance by bringing the score back to 4-3.
Substitutes Donald Matheson, David Wood, Ayah Rattanaphithak and John Maclellan made an early impression however and it was Maclellan who was next to extend Thistle's lead, scoring to make it 5-3.
Despite a numer of Dores attacks, thwarted in spades by an in-form Stephen Wemyss, Thistle were again next to score on 80 minutes, with a spectacular left foot curling smash from left winger David Wood which sailed over the Dores stopper into the net.
With six minutes left on the clock, stand-in gaffer James Rice introduced reserve goalkeeper Cornelius Pelka for Wemyss.
A maniacal six minutes followed as Dores were awarded an indirect free kick after Pelka collected a passback; the set piece converted with haste to make it 6-4. Within thirty seconds of the restart, Pelka was helpless to prevent Dores' fifth and only two minutes later they had equalled Thistle's tally at 6-6.
The Jags were undeterred however and Farquhar secured his second of the game on 88 minutes, nodding home from a Perks cross to make it 7-6. It seemed that it was to be all she wrote, but a late Dores attack passed into the net with all too much ease saw the scores level at 7-7 upon referee Keith Middleton's whistle.
Wemyss (Pelka 84), Cameron, Burry (Matheson 20), Sutherland (Wood 60), Brand, Farquhar, Cowie (Rattanaphithak 35), Goller, Rostock (Maclellan 60), Durrand, Perks
Perks 6, Farquhar 8, 88, Rostock 33, 49, Maclellan 64, Wood 80