Tain Thistle tonight got their pre-season proper off to a proper start with a 1-0 friendly win over Invergordon's Under 19 squad.
Thistle started with new signing Barry Nimmons in goal and a new look defence of Colin Burry, Gordon Duff, Craig Swanson and Stewart Ross. The midfield was made up of the brothers Christie, Daniel and Arron, as well as Welfare regulars Brian Cameron and Michael Brand. New signings Greig Mitchell and Ewan Thain started up front.
Thistle signings Kenny Ross and David MacGruer played for the Invergordon youth side.
After a laboured forty minutes which saw Brian Cameron fail to capitalize on an early chance and Arron Christie dip the ball over the bar, the new look Thistle side took the lead through Greig Mitchell, who dribbled the ball past Invergordon 'keeper Stephen Campbell with ease.
The second half saw 'keeper Ross Henderson introduced, as well as Welfare players Ryan Cowie and Darran Goller. New signings Scott Morrison and Daniel Cunningham made a late entry to the game but despite chances, Thistle could not extend their lead.
Thistle's march toward the Welfare title took a tumble against Black Rock in Evanton. The Jags lost 2-0 at Culcairn Park, putting Rocks firmly in control of their own destiny.
Front man Andrew Maitland broke the deadlock in thirty minutes, latching onto a ball which sailed over Stevie George. Putting the home side ahead, Maitland lashed the ball home from a tight angle to make it 1-0.
Despite the 1-0 lead, play was evenly shared, with Thistle controlling play down the left flank, allowing Liam Rostock to break free on a number of occasions. Thistle's greatest chance came after twenty minutes, when Jason Hill found space to take a shot, only for it to cannon off the post.
Robbie Ross was solid between the sticks, thwarting several Rocks scoring opportunities during the ninety minutes, but could do nothing about the home side's second goal, put clean through, again from the long ball. At 2-0 the game became heated with James Rice and Paul Cowie picking up yellow cards.
The defeat in Evanton means that the title race is now in Black Rock's control.
Thistle must take three points from the visit of Invergordon Social Club next Monday, and hope that Inver, Balintore or Ross-shire Club can take at least three points from Black Rock to keep their title hopes alive.
Tain Thistle management team Robbie Ross and Rob Nicholson kicked off pre season training for the North Caledonian league campaign last Monday night.
Management have been pleased with the turnout so far, but encourage players locally and from afar to show their interest by turning up for training, Monday nights, 7pm. Anyone interested in taking part in the coming campaign should contact the manager on 07870 500 985.
A lucky Inver side won 5-4 on penalties to end the last of Tain Thistle's 2008 cup hopes, after a six goal Coronation Cup thriller.
Manager Arron Christie rested team regulars Colin Burry, Stevie George and Robbie Ross, with a keen eye on Wednesday's league decider in Evanton.
Inver went 1-0 ahead within seconds of the kick off, before Thistle equalized in the 5th minute, courtesy of a Liam Rostock rebound. The home side fell 2-1 behind when Garry Perks' left foot drive eased past stand-in Inver keeper David Matheson. Inver were able to pull a goal back before the interval, making it 2-2.
Despite Thistle's dominance (shots from Dickie Durrand, Liam Rostock and Craig McCourt all sailing over the bar), Inver took a late lead through Mattie Rooney and it looked as though the villagers were through to the Semi -- but a 92nd minute Garry Perks free kick levelled the scores at 3-3.
30 minutes of extra time so no change to the scores, and penalties followed. The teams were all square at 4-4, when centre half Paul Cowie sailed his shot over the bar, allowing Inver to score their fifth and advance to the semi final.
Monday’s defeat marks the end of a string of 1st Round defeats for Thistle this season, despite a good performance in the league.
Tain Thistle have arranged their first pre- season friendly of the Winter campaign.
Blacksmiths FC, of the Inverness and District League, will visit Grant Park on 16th August, for a 3pm kick off.
Also, it has been confirmed that Thistle will begin their North Caledonian campaign on the 23rd August welcoming Bunillidh Thistle to Grant Park, followed by an away trip to Invergordon on the 30th and a home match with Halkirk on the 6th September.
A full fixture list is available via the official website, by clicking the SEASON tab and choosing 2008/09 from the menu labelled "Change:"
A splendid long range dipping shot from Craig McCourt, five minutes into injury time gave Tain Thistle a deserved three points last night at home to Ross-shire Club.
The Dingwall men took the lead on the quarter hour mark with a bullet header, after the Thistle defence failed to deal with a cross. Before long, it was 2-0 and the Ross Club men looked to be firmly in control.
Thistle switched from their tried and tested 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2, allowing Garry Perks to find the net for the 11th time this season with a well taken goal from the centre of midfield.
The home side went in at the half time break 2-1 down and reappeared a different side. Rejuvenated, Thistle dominated the second half, but waited until the 88th minute to equalise, courtesy of a stealth Stevie George drive.
In a finish few could have predicted, Thistle waited until the 95th minute, well into injury time, to conjure up a late winner.
Substitute Craig McCourt sent the Thistle support into rapturous applause with a looping effort that left Ross Club goalkeeper Tommy Wilson stunned.
You can now make a donation to Tain Thistle, via our official website.
We encourage all our members, players and committee, as well as supporters to dig deep and support us for our 2008/09 North Caledonian campaign.
The website address for online donations is http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/donate.html
The future of Welfare manager Arron Christie’s playing career is still uncertain, as the Thistle target’s club, Brora Rangers, began negotiations with Clachnacuddin last week.
Arron, formerly of Aberdeen and Inverness CT, would bring a wealth of talent and experience at a young age, having led the club as manager to their first trophy, winning the Pattison Cup in 2007.
Arron could soon agree a one year deal with the club, to follow the expiration of his current contract.
Don't miss your chance to buy a raffle ticket for the club's big Pre-Season Accordion raffle! Steve Clinkscale Music of Kelso has kindly donated a 48-Bass Accordion worth over £250!
Tickets are on sale now from the Tower Bookshop and Home & Music in Tain. You can also buy a ticket online, via the official website at:
TAIN Thistle jumped back into a comfortable top spot, following a close 3-2 win at Balintore.
Thistle wasted no time in stamping their authority on the game, taking the lead in the 3rd minute. In form Jason Hill dribbled the ball effortlessly into the Balintore box to set up makeshift forward Michael Brand for his first goal of the season.
Balintore hit back almost instantly, and by the quarter hour mark they had gone 2-1 ahead, courtesy of a Martin Mackay strike.
The game settled down after that, and soon Garry Perks had brought Tain level again, pouncing on a rebound to make it 2-2.
Thistle looked a different side in the second half, Jason Hill once again opening up the Balintore defence to create excellent chances for himself and Liam Rostock, both of which failed to find the net.
Thistle took the lead with 49 minutes played however, Liam Rostock knocking home a loose ball to make it 3-2. The away side held their resolve, despite a number of Balintore chances, forcing Thistle keeper Robbie Ross to make two excellent saves.
The points were wrapped up, but not without controversy, as captain James Rice was dismissed for a second bookable offense in the 83rd minute, seemingly for contesting a free kick decision.
COMMITTEE members Niall Harkiss, Brian Patullo and Stevie George attended the North Caledonian committee meeting this evening, to learn the fate of the club's application to join the league for the 2008/09 campaign.
We are pleased to announce that the league committee and its members unanimously approved Tain Thistle's application, and the club will compete in the North Caledonian League for the 2008/09 season.
TAIN Thistle have been eliminated from the Seaboard Cup, following a six goal encounter at Balintore.
Missing from the side was regular Stevie George, replaced in a back three by the merry Paul Cowie, who made way in the middle for the returning Michael Brand.
Thistle took the lead in the 12th minute when Garry Perks' shot deflected off a Balintore defender, giving the America- bound winger his 9th of the season.
It could have been more for Thistle, with Daniel Christie and Jason Hill both missing chances. Thistle changed shape and soon Balintore were back in the game, taking advantage of defensive errors to go 2-1 ahead at the break.
The Seaboard men made it all but academic with an hour gone, scoring a third goal that looped over the head of Robbie Ross.
Thistle gave themselves a life line five minutes later when Liam Rostock finished off a neatly worked move to make it 3-2. The hopes were short-lived however, as Welfare goal machine Gus MacDonald coasted past a disheveled Thistle defence to make it 4-2, sending Balintore into their own final.
THE winners of our June football competition have been announced today, following yesterday's draw.
1st Prize (£25): Ms Lily Sinclair of Tain
2nd Prize (Autographed ball): Mr Gary Ross of Arabella
3rd Prize (£10 voucher): Mr S Burgess of Tain
We would like to thank Mr Burgess who kindly donated his £10 voucher to the club.
Congratulations to all the lucky winners!