• Archived News & Updates (2023)

  • Tain Thistle 5 Inver 3

    Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2023

    Tain once again came from behind in front of a big crowd to put to bed Inver and go three points clear  today at Tain Links.

    An early Inver goal from a corner was cancelled out by two quick fire goals before HT. A Jamie Skinner cross met the head of his younger cousin Aaron Skinner to equalise from a looped header before a left footed strike from Finn As-Chainey after a driving run into the box put Thistle 2-1 up at the break.

    The second half began with a flurry of Tain goals as Finn got on the end of a sublime cross field pass from Mikey Grimes. John Maclellan slotted a calm finish inside the box before Alan Duff put the game to bed from a left footed strike to silence the Inver faithful.

    Both teams went down to 10 men as Maclellan along with an Inver defender were sent off for violent conduct,  before Inver scored two consolation goals.

    Picture - The outstanding Aaron Skinner scoring his goal, who was closely pipped by his older cousin Jamie for man of the match (Taken by Scott Macdonald)

    Team – Ritchie, Duff, Smith, J.Skinner, As-Chainey, Grimes, Macritchie, A.Skinner, Scott, Maclellan, Hulme. Subs - Ali, Edwards, Knox, Delgado, Martin
  • Tain Thistle 2 Social Club 1

    Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2023

    Tain Thistle returned from the ashes last night, playing their first game since 2019 – and they got off to a victorious start.

    In front of a good crowd on a mild Wednesday night at Grant Park, there were several familiar faces on the park as they saw off their Invergordon visitors with goals in either half.

    New manager John Maclellan called upon the services of several Thistle stalwarts to put the squad together, such as himself, Johnny Allan, Arron Christie, Alan Duff, Martyn Farquhar, Daniel Christie, Liam Rostock, Andy Durrand and Darran Goller.

    There were first time appearances also for youngsters Shadi Ali and Adrian Voigt, who have been playing North Caledonian League football during the winter with Bonar Bridge and St Duthus, respectively. Maclellan also called in defenders Niall Grant and Andy Kellock to make their debuts.

    Invergordon Social Club opened the scoring after nine minutes with a goal from Callum Murray.

    Thistle were on level pegging a quarter of an hour later when Daniel Christie hit a low strike from 20 yards to beat Stefan Pietrzic in the Social goal.

    It was honours even for the majority of the second half but the finale was left to Thistle's record goalscorer, Liam Rostock, who popped up to head home from close range and ultimately win the match for his side.

    The win puts Thistle joint top alongside Inver who beat Melvich 5-1 on Saturday. The two winning sides meet at Osprey Park on Saturday, with the winner set to open up an early three point lead at the top of the North West Sutherland League 2 table.


    Thistle – Allan, Kellock, Grant, A Christie, Duff, Farquhar, Voigt, D Christie, Rostock, Goller, Ali. Subs: Maclellan, Durrand, Shearer

    Social – Pietrzic, Mitchell, Macdonald, Morrison, Sangwin, Ross, Henderson, Urquhart, Sutherland, Murray, Keith. Subs: O Campbell, Monaghan, B Campbell, C Macleod, Hossack

    Ref – David Ross
  • Jags off to a 'quacking' start

    Posted on Friday, April 21, 2023

    Tain Thistle got their fundraising efforts off to a 'quacking' start this week.

    A first for the Jags - the club were delighted to hold their first ever 'Duck Race' on Thursday night.

    Ably assisted by Ally Maclellan, Liam and Abi Rostock, Gordy Mackay and Stuart Morrison of Tain Golf Club, new manager John Maclellan was the MC for event, streaming live on Facebook, as the competition took place.

    A sold-out flock of 200 ducks were launched into the river near Tain Golf Course and made their way downstream before crossing the finish line.

    The results are in and we are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever Tain Thistle AFC 'Duck Race' fundraiser, hosted by Tain Golf Club. 

    5th Place - £10 - Will Ross 

    4th Place - £10 - Rebecca Crawford

    3rd Place - £10 - Brian MacAngus

    2nd Place - £50 - Lyle Mackay

    And topping the pack, congratulations go to our first ever Duck Race winner - Dennis Albott who has won £150, a bottle of Glenmorangie whisky, and a stay for two at the Morangie House Hotel, Tain. Well done Dennis!

    John said: "A big thank you to everyone who supported via social media. Now that we have the first one under our belts, we will be looking to do this next year with improvements to make it bigger and better!

    "The ducks will now fly south for the winter but we are sure to see them return next spring being heavier, larger and with more of them. 

    "One last plug for our opening match of the season and first in four years - Wednesday 26th – we welcome Invergordon Social Club FC to Grant Park for a 7pm kick off and we would love to see you there."
  • Thistle to play in NWS League 2

    Posted on Saturday, April 1, 2023

    The return of three amateur teams from Easter Ross and Sutherland has resulted in the creation of a two-tiered league system for this year's North West Sutherland amateur football league.

    A total of ten amateur sides registered for this year's competitions – two more than last year – and with an eye on a timely finish, the league have opted for a return to two divisions, a system last used in 2019. Among the new members are 2019 champions, Tain Thistle, who confirmed their participation at the weekend after a last-minute appointment of a new manager.

    The Easter Ross side are joined by fellow returnees, Brora Wanderers and Invergordon Social Club.

    Reigning league champions Helmsdale United will be joined by last year's top-six placed clubs Golspie, Lairg, Lochbroom and Lochinver in the top tier, while Dornoch City, who finished fourth, have opted to take a year out. Bottom placed sides Inver and Melvich will be joined by the three 'returnees' in the second tier.

    Teams will play each other twice in the divisional format, with promotion and relegation in place. Games are expected to kick off on Saturday April 22, with fixures played on Saturdays and occasional midweek dates.

    It is anticipated that the teams will also compete for the Stafford Cup at some point during the summer season.
  • John Mac: Time to give something back

    Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2023

    They were, at one time, one of the most decorated amateur football teams in the north. But long-time summer contenders, Tain Thistle, have not kicked a ball in anger since 2019.

    Now, as the new season looms, one of the team's former players is setting the wheels in motion for a dramatic revival.

    First established in 1997 by Gordon and Pat Burry as a welfare football club, the club competed for many years as members of the now defunct Ross-shire Welfare League.

    The club eventually built a reputation as a proving ground for young players from Tain and the surrounding area, with several youngsters, such as Garry Perks, Steven Martin, Liam Rostock and Arron Christie, also finding their feet at Highland League level.

    The 'Jags' finally achieved success on the park in 2007 when they won the Pattisons' Challenge Cup, before the club went on to win the Ross-shire Welfare League itself in 2009, and again in 2013.

    By the end of the 2010s, they had become the dominant force in the league, with multiple cup successes and three back-to-back league championships (in 2015, 2016 and 2017) to their name.

    The collapse of the Ross-shire Welfare FA in 2018 meant that Thistle had to make a switch to amateur status and it was then that they found a home in the North West Sutherland amateur league.

    The away days were further flung, but they were able to continue their success – winning the North West Sutherland AFA league title and the Polla Cup in 2018, and the league once more in 2019.

    But like many clubs, things came to a standstill during the pandemic. Team manager Tony Farquhar announced his decision to step down in 2021, and when the league resumed competition in 2022, the club opted out of competing.

    Fast forward one year and from the ashes, a new hope arises.

    This year, the club have appointed a new manager in ex-player, John Maclellan – and he says he is ready to put Tain Thistle back on the summer football map.

    The club also confirmed that they have rejoined the North West Sutherland Amateur League for 2023 and will compete in Division 2 of the new set up.

    Maclellan, who lives in Edderton and works locally as a PE teacher, believes that it is time for him, and players like him, to give something back.

    He said: "So many people over the years have put in so much of their own time and effort running Tain Thistle for teams that I’ve been involved in, and I’m excited about the opportunity to take that on myself and give something back."

    The new gaffer, who first played for Thistle at the age of 15, returned to Scotland last summer after six years working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he played for amateurs Dubai All Stars.

    He added: "I’ve got so many good memories of playing for Tain as a schoolboy and being shown the ropes by boys such as Darran Goller and Marty Farquhar. We’ve had a lot of success over the years, and looking back, kicking a ball for Tain and having the craic with the boys is always a part of the year I’ve looked forward to.

    "Three years is too long for a club like Tain Thistle to not be competing, and I’m looking forward to helping get the club back where it belongs."

    Press article: https://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/sport/its-time-to-give-something-back-says-new-manager-of-tain-307771