Thistle recorded a 4-2 win in the Ross-shire Welfare league tonight against a firey Fortrose Union. First half goals from Darran Goller, Liam Rostock and John Maclellan gave the Jags a 3-1 lead at half time before Maclellan netted his second to make it 4-1. Shaun Etheridge scored a late consolation for Union with five minutes remaining.
More to follow.
Tain Thistle continued a disappointing tradition of losing in Alness to league rivals Athletic with an extra time defeat in the Pattisons' Cup this afternoon.
Ally Rose opened the scoring for Alness in the first half, before Arron Christie equalised for Tain late in the second. The game finished 1-1 in normal time but the home side made easy work of it during the extra 30 minutes, running out 5-1 winners.
More to follow.
Missing the key component of goals, a dominant Tain Thistle were left frustrated on Wednesday against a Cromarty with fortune on their side. Missing Martyn Farquhar, Darran Goller and Lewis Ross from the team who successfully defeated Balintore on Saturday past, messrs Graeme Smart, Dean Morgan and Vinnie Wood were brought back into the squad.
Graeme Davis thought he had put Thistle into the lead after only 5 minutes when he cleverly nipped past the Cromarty back line to slot home, however referee Gary McCarthy adjudged that he was offside.
Jamie Macdonald kept up the pressure moments later, forcing a tremendous reaction save from Craig Maclean as his shot curled in towards the far post. Andy Durrand too was unlucky as a low speculative sent in by the full back shaved the upright as Maclean remained rooted to the spot.
At the other end, Steven Martin had only one save to make, when a defensive lapse allowed Jason Hill to shoot directly at the Tain custodian.
A goal eventually came for Tain when Martin Smith, scoring in his second game running, made it 1-0 just before the half hour mark.
The first half ended in disappointing fashion however as an infringement in the box led to a penalty award for Cromarty. Making no mistake, Simon Hill lashed the ball past Martin to make it 1-1, leaving the Jags feeling very aggrieved not to be finishing the half in the lead.
Replacing Hill with Phil Macdonald, Cromarty looked less of a threat up front in the second half and something of an onslaught began from Thistle as Liam Rostock was introduced to play. The crafty forward danced past two Cromarty defenders within moments of his introduction before lucklessly shooting wide of the far post.
A Scott Innes header was saved shortly after and Daniel Christie rattled the crossbar with a thunderous volley.
Despite the Jags' best efforts, it remained 1-1 and although not a bad result on paper, they will be disappointed to be leaving the Black Isle with only a share of the spoils.
The draw leaves Thistle with a game in hand over Balintore level on 5 points, while Cromarty and Alness Athletic sit two points ahead on 7 points.
Martin, Davis, Durrand, Innes, Dingwall, A Christie, Wood (Smart), D Christie, Sutherland (Rostock), Macdonald, Smith
Subs not used:
Tain Thistle battled their way into the semi final of the Pattisons' Challenge Cup this afternoon with a 3-1 win over a young Balintore side. Gary Ross welcomed Martyn Farquhar and Daniel Christie back into the squad, while Vinnie Wood dropped out due to injury. New signings Martin Smith and Lewis Ross also took places on the bench.
A frustrating first half saw the action flow from end to end as neither side appeared ready to break the deadlock. Liam Rostock and Darran Goller were both unlucky for the Jags as they seeked to take advantage of the better share of possession and at the other end the quick forward play of Michael Newlands and Terrence Brady for the home side was always a threat.
Balintore, in fact, were unlucky not to have taken the lead a number of times as Thistle's defending left a lot to be desired, the Seaboard men failing to find the target at the necessary moment to test Steven Martin.
The only goal of the first period came right before the half time whistle as Craig Sutherland got in behind the Balintore back line to rattle a shot into the top corner from an angle.
Thistle started the second half the better side and with the introduction of substitutes Martin Smith and Lewis Ross, they took a further hold on the game, Rostock and Goller having had a torrid time of it with a number of disputed offside calls. Scott Innes popped up from a corner on 65 minutes to make it 2-0 and Smith found the net with a header of his own just a minute later.
At 3-0, Thistle were comfortably leading, until a very quickly taken free kick for Balintore saw them pull a goal back through Paul Connolly.
As the game came to a close, Thistle defended resolutely against a flurry of corners to see out the result and advance to the semi final.
Martin, Durrand, Davis, Dingwall, Innes, A Christie, Farquhar, Rostock (L Ross), Sutherland, D Christie (Custerson), Goller (Smith)
Sub not used:
Sutherland 45, Innes 65, Smith 66
Having travelled to Dingwall on Wednesday evening, the Tain Juniors U17 squad returned with a 4-4 draw, having been 3-0 up at one stage in the game.
A Rory Vass hat-trick had given Tain the handsome lead, before a Dingwall fightback saw them draw level at 3-3. Jack Corbett pushed Tain back into the lead at 4-3 with ten minutes remaining, however a controversial penalty award saw the home side equalise. Vass was unlucky not to score in the latter stages, denied only by a great save from the Dingwall keeper.
The Jags got off the mark in the league last night with victory against Dingwall's Ross-shire Club. An unwavering second half performance and an Arron Christie penalty decided the outcome, whilst the team also celebrated their first clean sheet of the campaign.
Martin Smith and Lewis Ross were introduced to the squad for the game, the latter taking a place on the bench, as Thistle's attacking options took a significant step forward.
Thistle started positively in terms of possession and before long, Liam Rostock had tested Neil Mackay in the Ross goal, with a shot easily held by the keeper. An Arron Christie free kick found the net soon after, but the goal was disallowed as the set piece was indirect.
It looked like Thistle may take a first half lead when Christie was fouled in the eighteen yard box. Taking the resultant spot kick, Andy Durrand unfortunately shot wide of the post, despite sending keeper Neil Mackay the wrong way.
Christie himself got in amongst the shooting action soon after with a left foot strike that had to be tipped over the bar and Rostock again tested Mackay with a shot on target; the keeper playing well between the sticks for the visitors.
Ten minutes into the second half, Thistle were awarded another penalty for a blatant handball. This time the taker, Christie, made no mistake, rifling his shot past Mackay to make it 1-0.
Mackay's evening came to an end shortly after a collision with substitute Darran Goller, landing awkwardly on his shoulder before being substituted. The floodgates looked like they may open soon after; Lewis Ross and Goller both having been introduced to the forward line in the second half.
Goller rattled the woodwork with a shot at the far post with fifteen minutes to go and five minutes later, Rostock was very unlucky with a shot curled onto the crossbar. Ross also was denied on a couple of occasions, first shooting into the side netting before curling a rasping shot across the face of goal.
The penalty goal was enough for Thistle however as time ran out, and the Jags recorded a 1-0 win.
The win moves Thistle on to 4 points in 4th place. With a game in hand, Thistle can equal the points tally of 1st placed Alness Athletic next week by beating Cromarty.
Martin, Durrand, Davis, Dingwall, Innes, A Christie, Wood, Sutherland, Rostock, Morgan (Ross), Smith (Goller)
Subs not used:
Custerson, Cameron, Oliver
Arron Christie (pen.) (55)
Following the resignation of Brian MacAngus from the role of Chairperson, the committee held an EGM tonight. Dale Finlayson was unanimously elected as the club's new Chairperson, while Niall Harkiss was elected as Secretary.
The club wishes to extend best wishes and a great deal of gratitude to Brian for the invaluable work he has carried out in the past few months.
Alleviating the downtime of the dreaded "free week", Tain Thistle welcomed Ross Sutherland RFC for a friendly match last night, winning by 7 goals to 1 in a well contested affair. A rugby club by nature, the "Stags" are in fact former Ross-shire Welfare league champions in their own right, having had a regular summer football team many moons ago during their close season.
Unlike most traditional "scratch" teams, Ali Kennedy's men were fit, tactically aware and not at all short of effort, despite what the resultant scoreline may suggest. Among those missing for Thistle were Jamie Macdonald and goalkeeper Steven Martin (both due to work commitments), Chris Mailley (broken hand), Robert Ross (holiday) and of course the gaffer Gary Ross, sunning himself in the warmer climes of Corfu. Drafted in for the friendly in the absence of both Martin and Ross, was former Jags goalkeeper Johnny Allan.
Thistle got off to a great start after four minutes with Darren Custerson netting from close range after a breaking Liam Rostock placed the ball across the face of goal. Custerson found the net again shortly after but his goal was chalked off for offside. This didn't prevent the imposing striker from finding a second as on twenty minutes he cooly slotted a shot past David Kennedy to make it 2-0.
At the other end, Ross Sutherland were no slouches, most notably coming close with an effort from Andrew Cook that flew just over the crossbar on the half hour mark. As half time approached, Keith Dingwall popped up to make it 3-0 for Thistle.
The Jags made a few changes in the second half, but it was Ross Sutherland who were next to score with a neatly taken goal; Mike Gordon turning twice before poking the ball past Johnny Allan at his near post.
The fightback was shortlived however as Liam Rostock at the other end shot home from a tight angle to make it 4-1. The Ross Sutherland goal became something of a target as Thistle began a flurry of attacks in the second half, Cammy Gordon for the rugby men turning an effort into his own net on the hour mark; Martyn Oliver in close proximity during the faux pas. Oliver was not to be denied moments later however as he rifled home a Darran Goller pass to make it 6-1.
Moments before the full time whistle, Goller found the net with a placed shot in what would be the last kick of the game to make it 7-1. Following the whistle, the Ross Sutherland lads issued a hearty set of cheers for the victors - the type of sporting gesture that would not go amiss in recreational football.
Allan, Durrand, Davis, Dingwall, A Christie, Innes, Farquhar, Sutherland, Rostock, Custerson, Oliver, Cameron, Goller, Smart, D Christie, Murray.
A team of rugby players will meet Tain Thistle in a friendly match on Wednesday night, plugging a gap for the Jags during their "off-week" in the Ross-shire Welfare league fixture calendar.
Originally scheduled to play new side MSIS (until the Invergordon's side decision not to enter the league) Thistle have instead arranged a 7.15pm kick off against the "egg throwers" of Ross Sutherland RFC at the Links.
The summer is traditionally the close season for Ross Sutherland's players, with the rugby club regularly competing in the RBS Caledonian regional leagues during the winter. However, the "Stags" will come out of hibernation and take to the Links for a game of "association football" against the "Jags" of Tain Thistle.
Balintore fought back to punish Tain Thistle at the Links last night as the Jags threw away a 3-0 lead to finish 3-3. Finishing with a point apiece in the Ross-shire Welfare league, a post-match penalty shoot-out for the Graham Jardine Memorial Quaich added to Tain's woes, as Balintore won 5-4.
It looked as though Thistle would have an easy afternoon of it when Jamie Macdonald gave Tain the lead after 26 minutes, finishing at the far post following good work from Liam Rostock to break against a slow-to-react Balintore defence. Rostock himself had been unlucky just before when Ross Henderson in the Balintore goal saved a shot bound for the net.
Things went from bad to worse for the seaboard men as Ross Powell suffered an ankle injury just after the goal, forcing his substitution. Moments later, Stuart "Vinnie" Wood made it 2-0 with a close range strike rattled in via the roof of the net.
At the back, Innes, Dingwall and Christie looked composed and in goal, Steven Martin was rarely called into action throughout the first half until an aerial clash close to the edge of the box with Josh Cattanach saw the pink-clad stopper land awkwardly on his shoulder.
Thistle started the second half as they ended the first, with Rostock and Macdonald linking up well again; the latter heading just wide in the narrowest of misses. Rostock was not to be denied shortly after however as Vinnie Wood broke free and played Rostock in for a calmly slotted strike past Henderson. At 3-0, it looked as though it was going to be a long day for Balintore.
A period of calm followed as neither side threatened, until a stunning strike from Dave MacGruer on 56 minutes was curled into the net, instantly raising the tempo. Action followed from one end to the other - Thistle introducing Darran Goller to play following his ankle injury.
However, it was Balintore who were next to score - albeit very fortunately. An error at the back led to Ben Brown finding the easiest of chances to tap home into an open net. With the score now at 3-2, Thistle were all at sea.
The final ten minutes saw Goller and Macdonald both miss the target to secure victory and with the strongest of last minute pushes from Balintore, the "Gulls" clawed back the elusive equaliser with a ball trundled across the face of goal. Initially saved by Martin, the ball was ultimately trickled in at the far post by Gus Mcdonald and there was no more to be written as the full time score stood at 3-3.
As agreed between the teams before kick off, in the event of a draw, the destination of the Graham Jardine Memorial Quaich would be decided by a penalty shoot-out. With substitute Darren Custerson kicking things off for Thistle, successfully, the unfortunate miss would eventually come from Tain's Liam Rostock, Jamie Metcalfe netting the fifth and final successful penalty for Balintore. After the match, along with Thistle chairman Brian MacAngus, Jim Jardine, father of Graham, presented the trophy to the winning captain Gus Mcdonald.
The league result hands Thistle a point and leaves them sitting joint third with Balintore, while victorious sides Alness Athletic (beating Social Club 2-1) and Ross Club (beating Fortrose 4-1), sit in the top spots. Thistle now face a period of two weeks without a game, returning on May 15th at home to Ross-shire Club.
Martin, Durrand, Davis, Dingwall, A Christie, Innes, Farquhar, Mailley, Wood (Sutherland), Rostock (Goller), Macdonald (Custerson)
Sub not used:
Macdonald 26, Wood 36, Rostock 49