Despite going 2-0 up against Lairg Rovers, Thistle succumbed to a late fightback which saw them lose out by 3 goals to 2 at the Links on Saturday in the last of their friendly matches before the season starts.
The Jags now turn their attention to the first round of the Merrythought Cup - their first match in the new competition - against Eastern Rose at Inver on Saturday. Thistle, one of only two teams to play a competitive fixture at Inver last season, will look to continue their 100% record against neighbours Eastern Rose, who are now under the stewardship of David Purvis and Alan Mair.
Tain Thistle's good pre-season form continued with a 6-1 win over Golspie Stafford tonight. Despite kicking things off with a calamitous error at the back - which allowed the Staffs to take an unexpected lead - the Jags dominated a first half in which they scored three times to give them a comfortable half time lead. Liam Rostock levelled the scores with a composed finish hitting into the back of the net via the oncoming goalkeeper. Cameron Mackintosh put Tain into the lead moments later slotting home a cut back before Rostock missed out on a chance to make it 3-1 when hit a shot off the post. Returning striker Mark Lamont eventually scored Thistle's third with a great solo effort shortly before the break.
With several substitutes having been introduced at half time, the game took a while to get going again, and it took a goalmouth stramash involving Alan Duff to kick the game into life again on 55 minutes, when the Tain man fortuitously tackled the ball past his man into the net. Donald Sutherland made it 5-1 shortly after before Duff scored his second, a cooly placed shot sent into the far corner from just inside the box, to make it 6-1.
Entered into the draw for the Highland Welfare Cup for the first time since 2010, Tain Thistle have been handed a bye in the first round of the competition. In the second round, they will face Soccerworld Scotland League side Peterhead United in a home tie. The match is scheduled to be played during the last weekend of April, with the exact date to be confirmed.
The Jags continued their good start to the pre-season with a confident 3-0 victory over the Northwest Sutherland AFA champions, Lochinver. Playing on neutral ground at Dingwall Academy Park, Thistle took the lead through Liam Rostock and the score remained at 1-0 going in at the break. Darran Goller capitalised on a Rostock through ball in the second half to make it 2-0 and Rostock capped off the win with his second and the Jags' third to make it 3-0.
Delighted gaffer Daniel Cormack was pleased with the result.
"We didn't make a great start to the game, but we got into things more as we played and I was very happy with the score. More pleasingly, we had a full squad here today and I now have a selection headache ahead of me!"
The new home kit for Tain Thistle's 2016 season has arrived. The kit, made by Puma, is once again a black and red vertical striped kit which has been kindly sponsored by Isleburn Ltd.
The kit will be worn for the first time in the Merrythought Cup first round against Eastern Rose on April 30th.
Tain Thistle continued their season preparations with a comfortable 5-1 win over Inverness & District amateur side NMM Sams FC at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall this evening.
On the excellent 3G surface, Thistle passed the ball well and bossed the midfield for most of the game, switching between a 4-3-3 and a diamond throughout the game. They got off the mark early thanks to a cool finish from Darran Goller, before Liam Rostock doubled the lead with a 20 yard looping drive which sailed over the Sams keeper. In goal for Sams was former Tain Thistle Player of the Year, Will Macrae, now 40 years old and still going strong. Darran Goller withdrew midway through the first half with a groin strain, allowing full back Ryan Day to make his debut.
Goals were added in the second half from Jack Hudson, Cammy Mackintosh and with the best goal of the afternoon, Daniel Christie hit a stunning long range strike from which flew into the top corner. Were it not for Macrae's heroics in goal for Sams, the scoreline could have been much greater. Much to the chagrin of Tain manager Daniel Cormack, the Inverness lads netted a consolation goal on the stroke of full time, denying the Jags boss his first clean sheet.