Tain Thistle bounced back from their Friday night defeat with a strong squad and a strong performance against an Embo team who had previously had the better of their Tain counterparts during pre-season for the past two years. On this occasion, there was no doubting the more superior side, as Tain cantered towards a 3-0 win, with Daniel Cormack in goal for the Jags, largely untested.
The opening goal came after just 90 seconds, when Ben Brown, picking the ball up on the edge of the box, moved goalwards and slotted the ball past Steven Ure for the easiest of openers. Brown could have made it 2-0 just moments later when he looped a shot over Ure but his effort rattled the crossbar and flew to safety. The Jags didn't let up and neither did Brown as his powerful 20 yard strike stung the palms of the Embo 'keeper before Dave MacGruer added the finishing touch to push the ball home and make it 2-0 after just seven minutes' play. The early signs were that a rout could be on the cards.
Embo offered very little when they did win possession and struggled to do anything against the more than competent back line of Duff, Christie and MacGruer and were it not for the competent goalkeeping of Ure, Embo may have found themselves nursing a sorer scoreline at half time. Calum Greenlees impressed and proved to be a frequent thorn in the side of the Embo back line, linking up well with Daniel Christie on a number of occasions. Gus Mcdonald, playing his first game of the pre-season, narrowly missed out on a goal when he attempted to glance a shot past Ure, only to watch his shot trundle wide of the post. Marc Munro offered Tain's last shot of the first half, forcing a good save from Ure. Liam Rostock and Paul Cowie were introduced during the interval and the changes offered Embo no respite as Thistle continued to dictate play during the second half. The latter of the substitutes was most unlucky with an hour gone when he shot just inches wide of the post from distance.
In the end, Tain's persistence paid off when Ben Brown scored his second of the afternoon. Following on from a series of incisive passes and through balls, which Daniel Christie, nor Gus Mcdonald could finish, Brown launched a low effort from the edge of the eighteen yard box which sailed through a packed area past Ure and into the net. At 3-0, Tain Thistle were completely comfortable. Liam Rostock tested Ure with a shot of his own moments after the third goal, and just minutes after that, a first time attempt at goal from the striker, on the turn, scraped narrowly past the upright.
All in all, Robert Ross will be pleased to have watched his Tain Thistle side canter to victory, without every looking likely to concede.
Squad: Cormack, I Ross, MacGruer, A Christie, Duff, Sutherland, Cameron, Munro, MacDonald, Greenlees, Brown, D Christie, Mcdonald, Rostock, Cowie
The visiting Lewis and Harris amateur side, Ness FC, did everything they needed to in the first half at the Dingwall Academy astro pitch last night as a depleted Jags, who had to deal with absences in double figures, lost 2-1.
Joe Sutherland gave the Jags an early lead thanks to a drive from the edge of the box which took a wicked deflection, but having survived a rocky opening period, Ness found an equaliser, Andrew Macleod forcing a save from Daniel Cormack before Cage knocked in the rebound. Having turned the tide, Ness then took a first half lead. Macleod turned goalscorer and snatched an equaliser with a curling effort into the top corner, and the half ended 2-1 to the islanders.
The second half heralded no further goals and all in all it finished evenly with neither side creating any real clear cut chances, and the score ended as the first half did with a 2-1 win for Ness.
Squad: Cormack, I Ross, Graham, A Christie, McGaw, Scott, Cameron, Sutherland, Mailley, Greenlees, Smith, D Christie, Farquhar
Tain Golf Club and Tain Thistle Football Club teamed up for the third consecutive year to run their annual Texas Scramble, raising over £1,200 along the way. Thanks to entry fees from the teams involved and a very popular raffle with many great prizes, the club was able to raise a record amount of money for this event, which will contribute greatly to season costs for the year ahead.
Congratulations to today's winners. Ross Jack and Gerry McCready (pictured) were part of the winning team along with G. Dunbar and M. Dzialdowski with a fantastic score of 56.4.
The club wishes to thank Tain Golf Club, the greens keeping staff and the bar staff, who hosted our post-game raffle. The Jags committee also wishes to thank the following individuals and businesses for their kind donations towards today's raffle:
Ian Innes, Richard Hamblin, Willie Rostock, Keyline, Gus Gurney, Harry Gow Bakery, Ray Goller, Niall Harkiss and Tesco.
Finally, a big thanks must also go to Steven Martin for organising the event. Thank you once again Steven! Also, we must thank Willie Rostock for his help and time running the raffle.
Traditionally, it's a good idea to avoid teams from the league you play in during pre-season, however, the midweek workout proved beneficial as Thistle cantered to a 4-0 win over fellow Ross-shire Welfare side Contin at the Tain Royal Academy Community Complex this evening.
Just four minutes in, the Jags took the lead after Darran Goller's shot rattled the post and Daniel Christie made easy work of the rebound, slotting home from 15 yards to make it 1-0. Four minutes later, it was 2-0, and after Dave MacGruer rattled the crossbar with a header, the second chance this time was left to Alan Duff who expertly curled the ball past the keeper. Youngster Calum Greenlees looked lively and was unlucky not to play provider for Thistle's third when his pace wing play played Cameron Mackintosh in. The third eventually came just after the half hour and it was Daniel Christie who scored again, lobbing the Contin goalkeeper from 30 yards with a brilliant strike. Another of the Jags midfield, Chris Mailley, made it 4-0 three minutes later, receiving a pass from Mackintosh before twisting and turning inside the box and unleashing a left foot shot which left the Contin 'keeper helpless.
Manager Robert Ross introduced seven new players at the start of the second half, continuing the 3-2-3-2 formation which had proved effective thus far. Most pleasing for the manager will be the clean sheet, but the second half heralded no further scoring action. A combination of a bitter chill in zero degree temperatures and several rolling substitute changes left the second half quite disjointed, and Thistle competently saw the game out as four goal winners.
Cormack, Duff, A Christie, Durrand, MacGruer, Cowie, Cameron, Munro, Mailley, McGaw, Mackintosh, Scott, D Christie, Greenlees, Goller, Rostock, Newlands, Smith
Tain Thistle strolled to a 6-0 victory over North West Sutherland amateur side Brora Wanderers yesterday afternoon to kick off their pre-season campaign. The match saw new manager Robert Ross introduce a handful of new players as efforts to build a new squad for the season ahead continue. All fifteen players included in today's squad were used.
Liam Rostock opened the scoring for Tain in eleven minutes when he applied the finishing touch on a Chippie Mailley layoff. And he could have doubled his tally just moments later following good work from Brian Cameron, but his right footed curling effort flew well over. Thistle's second arrived courtesy of Martin Smith, who turned the ball underneath the 'keeper at his near post. The Jags went 3-0 ahead with six minutes of the first half remaining, in a packed goalmouth; Dave MacGruer the man with the final touch as the ball found the net. A minute later, Liam Rostock was withdrawn having suffered an ankle knock. Chippie Mailley rounded off the first half scoring with a long range strike, from fully 30 yards, leaving the Brora 'keeper standing.
Tain made two further changes to start the second half. Almost instantly, Brora tested Daniel Cormack in the Tain goal, but the flurry of pressure was short lived as Tain went on to enjoy twenty minutes of sustained pressure. New to the side, Stephen McGaw and Cameron Mackintosh were impressive going forward, and substitute Michael Newlands was unfortunate not to score on a couple of occasions. It was the other of the second half subs who found the net next. Receiving a cross, Ben Brown hit the ball first time to expertly place it beyond the goalkeeper and into the far corner. Tain introduced young substitute goalkeeper Iain Ross on 71 minutes for Daniel Cormack, who had had a quiet afternoon of it. Within minutes, it looked as though Brora may have found the net, but they could only hit the post before shooting a rebound wide, leaving Ross's goal unscathed. Joe Sutherland made it 6-0 for Tain with nine to go by simply nodding home the freest of headers from a corner. Ross was finally called into action on 85 minutes but held well as Brora hit the target following a counter.
Thistle now turn their attention to fellow Ross-shire Welfare side Contin, who they will entertain at the all-weather pitch at the Tain Royal Academy Community Complex on Tuesday evening. The match kicks off at 7.10pm.
Cormack, I Ross, Duff, MacGruer, A Christie, McGaw, Cameron, Sutherland, Mailley, D Christie, Mackintosh, Rostock, Smith, Brown, Newlands
The Links playing fields took a step further to being ready for the new season thanks to the kind help of Struan Mackay of Highland Landscaping, who gave the pitch its first cut this weekend.
Please visit Struan's website at http://www.highlandlandscaping.co.uk
Tain Thistle and the Saint Duthus Hotel in Tain have teamed up once again to hold a Dinner Dance in aid of funds for the club. As well as a meal, those in attendance will be treated to entertainment provided by local DJ Ally Mackintosh as well as a raffle and auction.
The dinner will be held on the evening of Friday, April 17th. Those wishing to order tickets should contact Alan Grant at the Saint, or contact the club via Facebook.
The proposed game to honour Liam Rostock, Daniel Christie and Martyn Farquhar has been postponed on account of adverse weather this week. In addition, the Graham Jardine Quaich match has been postponed until August to allow for Balintore FC to regroup and form a team.