- Brora Wanderers served up a harsh welcome to the North West Sutherland Amateur League for Tain Thistle yesterday, as a depleted Jags side were handed a 5-2 defeat.Debuts were made for the club by the father and son pairing from St Duthus of John and Jamie Skinner, while former club player of the year Will Macrae was recalled for an appearance in goal for the first time in over 15 years.The Wandies scored after just three minutes, Ben Campbell firing home from close range after getting on the end of a low driven cross at the near post. A second arrived eight minutes later when Liam Mcleod was left free to power a header past Macrae from a Scott Murray corner.Craig Sutherland called Macrae into action on 20 minutes when he hit a stinging drive from the edge of the box but the Tain keeper did well to tip the ball round the post for a corner. At the other end, Liam Rostock hit the crossbar from a free kick before the ball was cleared to safety. Thistle’s chances of halving the deficit were short lived though, as Brora snatched a third on 26 minutes. Fired through a packed box, a Sutherland shot from 25 yards cannoned off Garry MacLeod, leaving Macrae off balance as the ball flew into the bottom corner.Rostock had better luck with a free kick just after the half hour mark when he steered the ball past Rian Mackay to reduce the score to 1-3. Dave MacIver forced a save from Mackay moments later with a shot from just inside the box, but the score remained the same at the break.Thistle gave a better fist of it during a fiercely contested second half but the Jags’ hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a blow on 56 minutes when Liam Ridler finished with a neat lob to make it 4-1. Thistle fired back two minutes later and it was Rostock again who found the net with a lashed effort from the edge of the box which gave Mackay no chance.Tony Farquhar and Alan Duff were introduced late on in an effort to further reduce the scoreline, but a penalty award ten minutes from time secured the win for Brora; Scott Miller doing the needful to round off the scoring from 12 yards.Team: Macrae, Durrand, Cameron, John Skinner, Jamie Skinner, Cowie (T Farquhar), M Farquhar, G Mackay (Duff), MacIver, Rostock, As-Chainey
- Tain Thistle begin their North West Sutherland league campaign with the visit of Brora Wanderers to the Links from 4pm tomorrow -- but with several players already participating elsewhere, manager Tony Farquhar faces another team selection headache.Several key players are set to miss out on the opener due to their end of season involvement with North Caledonian League side Invergordon who meet Inverness Athletic in the Jock Mackay Cup Final on the same day. It is anticipated that the Jags will field a new goalkeeper for the game, while the manager may be looking to take to the field himself as the Jags look to get their season off to a good start. Thistle's chances will be boosted by the return of one of their longest serving players in Martyn Farquhar.The 'Wandies' will provide a stern test. They are frequent contenders for the North West Sutherland league and are sure to be among the favourites for this season's championship. Under the management of Jon Campbell, the Brora side kicked their season off last weekend in the Highland Amateur Cup preliminary round with an impressive 7-2 win over Top Joes. The star man on the day was striker Scott Miller, who netted a hat-trick to put the Caithness side to the swordThe game kicks off at 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) at the Links. Supporters welcome. Tea and coffee will be on sale, along with tickets for our half-time raffle.
- A date of Saturday, May 26th has been set for the Graham Macrae Memorial Quaich to be contested at the Links between two Tain Thistle select teams. Former players are encouraged to get in touch as soon as possible with their availability for the date.The Memorial Quaich, last played for in December 2016, was donated to the club by Steve Urquhart in memory of long serving Tain Thistle FC committee member, player and supporter Graham Macrae.The game will also mark the testimonial of striker Darran Goller who completed his tenth season with the Jags last year.
- Despite a gallant effort, Tain Thistle’s debut in the Highland Amateur Cup ended in extra time defeat today, at the hands of Caithness side Pentland United.Chances were missed at both ends during a hard fought ninety minutes which saw no goals scored. The period of normal time wasn’t without incident though, as Adam MacDonald (knee injury) was forced to withdraw after just 16 minutes, leaving only manager Tony Farquhar on the bench after Roy Smillie was introduced.Making his debut, Finn As-Chainey gave a solid display in midfield alongside Paul Cowie, who put in a committed performance despite battling injury. Thistle mostly threatened from set pieces with Goller a frequent feature going forward.The Jags’ goal led a charmed life in the latter stages as legs began to tire but resolute defending from Cameron, Mackay and Durrand kept the wolves from the door and a good display from Dan Cormack ensured that the score remained 0-0 when normal time ended.Pentland broke the deadlock five minutes into extra time after a defensive lapse allowed James Murray to fire home with a shot that was drilled low into the far corner of the net. The Jags fought doggedly throughout the remainder before a penalty award handed United a 2-0 advantage with ten minutes left.Paul Cowie halved the deficit from the spot for Tain to make for a nervy ending to the match but the visitors held out for a 2-1 win.Team: Cormack, Noble, Durrand, Cameron, D Mackay, Cowie, G Mackay, As-Chainey, Goller, Rostock (Farquhar 90), MacDonald (Smillie 22)
- On Saturday, Tain Thistle will begin a new chapter in their 21 year history when they welcome Pentland United to the Links for a preliminary round match in this year's Highland Amateur Cup.The game marks the club's first foray not only into the Highland Amateur Cup, but also in amateur football, having taken the decision to switch to the amateur code in March to join the North West Sutherland Amateur League.The Jags' Caithness visitors will be strong favourites for the game, having won the overall competition no fewer than seven times in their history. Tain Thistle team manager Tony Farquhar, a long time Pentland United man himself, will be faced with several late fitness calls as a number of key players continue to recover from injuries picked up at the end of the winter season.Speaking today, Tony said,
"Having completed several good training sessions over the past few weeks, we are really looking forward to the game against my old club on Saturday. We go into the game as underdogs and without a few regulars but we will be give it our best efforts and see what happens on the day."The game kicks off at 3pm tomorrow at the Links. Supporters welcome. Tea and coffee will be on sale, along with tickets for our half-time raffle.
- The first set of league fixtures for this season's North West Sutherland Amateur League campaign have been released, and Tain Thistle have learned that they will begin with a home game against Brora Wanderers on April 28th. A trip to Melvich follows a week later before the Jags play host to Lairg Rovers on May 12th.A full set of fixtures can be viewed here.
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