• Archived News & Updates (2009)

  • Tain Thistle 5-0 Social Club

    Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Tain Thistle made history last night by beating Invergordon Social Club by 5 goals to nil to win the Ross-shire Welfare League Championship.

    Manager Arron Christie becomes the first Thistle boss to secure the league, leading a welfare side who have made a habit out of setting new club records this season.  Christie recalled Calum Macdonald who stepped in to partner Robbie Ross up front, while Andy Durrand made way for James Rice at left back in the only other significant change to the side.

    A nervy starting eleven and a raucous sideline were settled with the first goal after eight minutes, in the most unlikely fashion.  The Jags scored when Social goalkeeper Scott MacGruer gifted Liam Rostock the opening goal, believing the winger's shot to be going wide.  The ball trickled across the face of goal before nestling in the far corner, much to the amazement of MacGruer and the crowd.

    At 1-0, Thistle looked radiant, and before long the attacking force of Rostock was once again too much for the Social Club.  Referee Matty MacLelland awarded a penalty to Thistle for a foul on the inside of the eighteen yard box and top scorer Robert Ross made no mistake with the spot kick.  After 15 minutes, Tain were cruising at 2-0.

    Michael Brand was unlucky not to have scored on a number of occasions in the first half, as his aerial prowess twice found him heading goalward only for Social to clear the ball off the goal line.

    The third goal came from clever play from Calum Macdonald who shot at goal; only to see his effort deflected into the path of Daniel Christie, who finished expertly.

    A good tempered second half saw Thistle playing some of the best football they have played all season, Ross and Rostock both getting on the score sheet once more to make it 5-0; the latter producing the finest of chips over MacGruer to cap off a brilliant team performance.

    The win crowns Thistle as the 2009 Ross-shire Welfare League champions -- the first time the club has ever won the prestigious competition.

    Club chairman Niall Harkiss reserved thanks for everyone connected with the club.

    "I've spoken to many people over the past week who have a connection with this wonderful club.  People who play or have been players in the past, current and former committee members and spectators like myself.  Today has been the result of the hard work of all those people, and to see the genuine delight on all of their faces makes what we do here extremely worthwhile.  Tonight's victory is as much for our current playing staff and committee as it is for those have served the club in years gone by."

    Post match, Railway Hotel manager Alan Nimmons was the perfect host, providing food, entertainment and a venue for the jubilant players and committee.  

    Thistle will now contest the Charity Shield against Ross-shire Club on August 15th, at Grant Park.  

    Team: Martin, Brand, Rice (Oliver), A Christie, Dingwall, Goller, Rostock, D Christie, Farquhar, Macdonald (Reid), Ross (McGaw) Subs not used: Nimmons, Durrand

    Goals: Rostock 8, 77, Ross pen 13, 56, D Christie 42

    Man of the Match: Nobody, they are all brilliant!

  • Thistle to feature in Football Manager 2010

    Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Once again, Tain Thistle will be fully featured in Sports Interactive's multi million selling game Football Manager, as FM 2010 is prepared for release.  

    The Thistle data team will be working directly, over the coming weeks, to edit and update the team for the upcoming 2009/10 season.

    Thistle hit the national headlines last year when the North Caledonian league club were introduced to Football Manager for the first time, with every signed player and staff member represented in the game.

    Thistle hit the headlines in November 2008
  • Ross: 'We can do it'

    Posted on Sunday, July 26, 2009

    Robert Ross is no stranger to pressure.  He has had his fair share of footballing ups and downs since he first pulled a Tain Thistle shirt on over ten years ago.

    The stalwart striker is expected to take the field for Thistle this Wednesday at Grant Park, against season long rivals, Invergordon Social Club in a game which could see Tain Thistle win the Ross-shire Welfare League title for the first time in the club's thirteen year history.

    Thistle were handed a last day league decider against the Social Club when Terry Stirling's Alness Athletic side drew 1-1 with Dingwall's Ross-shire Club.

    For Robert Ross, the news was bitter sweet as he netted against Cromarty to push Tain closer to the title.

    Only a week prior, the powerful forward had watched the title race split open when Stephen Macallum's 95th minute strike denied Thistle a three point lead.  At full time the participants cleared -- all but one, as a devastated Ross slumped to the ground, powerless to accept that the glorious chance to win had just passed his side by.

    But Ross is ever the optimist. "It was a really hard one to take.  Everyone put in so much effort and to see it disappear in a split second was difficult to accept.  Luckily it's in our hands again and I just hope that we are up to the task."

    As one of the club's all-time goalscorers, Ross first netted for the club eleven years ago, at the age of only 16, scoring his first goal of many in May 1998, as Gordon Burry's Tain Thistle were handed an 8-1 defeat to the Morven.  Ross has gone on to score over 60 goals for the club, second only to Garry Perks in Thistle colours.  Despite prolific scoring and a successful spell at Portmahomack between 2004 and 2006, one thing has eluded Ross throughout his storied career - a league winner's medal.

    "A league medal would mean a lot to me.  I've never won a league with any team.  It's going to be a hard game, but I think we can do it.  To get a goal and to win a medal would be a perfect way for me to bow out, in what could be my last game."

    A candid Ross never gives too much away, and as his future remains uncertain beyond the current Welfare football season, rumours of a move to North Caledonian rivals Invergordon are sure to add a twist to this Wednesday's game against Invergordon's famous Social.

    Thistle have enjoyed good league form against their Invergordon counterparts, beating Social 5-0 at the Recreation Grounds, but high stakes Cup encounters hae seen a penalty shoot-out loss and a last gasp 3-2 win for Tain both home and away.

    For the Jags' faithful supporters however, the game is not about the future of any player within it, nor the season-long rivalry between the sides.  For the club, Wednesday adds the finishing touch to a fairy tale unmatched in the history of Welfare football in Ross-shire.

    The same Tain Thistle that conceded 100 goals in 16 games in 1998 finishing with only one point have evolved to become the best team in Ross-shire.  Through over a decade of hard work from leaders such as Gordon Burry, Billy Russell and now Arron Christie and Steven Martin, Thistle need only 3 points to remain two points ahead of their Dingwall rivals, Ross-shire Club, to secure the Ross-shire Welfare Football Association's greatest prize - the league championship.

    The all important game takes place this Wednesday evening, at Grant Park with a 7.30pm kick off.  With Ross-shire Club fully expected to take 3 points at home against Inver, all eyes will be on Tain.  Now, only time will tell.
  • Cordiner Cup video highlights

    Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009

  • Tain Thistle win the Cordiner Cup

    Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Tain Thistle, the Ross-shire Welfare league leaders, have won the Cordiner Cup, after beating challengers Inver 3-1, after extra time.  Goals from Darran Goller, Liam Rostock and Michael Brand were enough for Thistle, as Inver's Andrew Ripley offered their only reply.

    In what is believed to be a record attendance for Tain Thistle at their Grant Park home, close to 350 spectators gathered round the field to watch the game, both teams backed superbly throughout.  Add to that an abundance of parked cars around the field and the competing teams, the spectacle will take some matching, for any Welfare game this season.

    The game commenced to the tune of the bagpipes, which could be heard playing on Tain High Street as part of the town's Help for Heroes parade.  Thistle winger Darran Goller could very well have become a first half hero, when he tested Inver stopper Ross Henderson straight from the kick off; cleverly put through by Daniel Christie.

    Inver, having looked sharp in their pre-match warm up, were not to be deterred by Tain's bright beginnings, as they quickly took control of play, pinning the Thistle defence deep into their own half.  Resolute defending in the opening ten was to the benefit of Thistle, as David Calderwood and Andrew Ripley both failed to turn and shoot with the ball at their feet, for a first half lead.

    It was Ross Powell though, who first drew a gasp from the big crowd.  Thistle keeper Steven Martin kicked from outside his box, and the Inver midfielder returned almost instantly, with cat like quickness, not unlike a young Pete Sampras, to strike a shot goalward toward the empty net.  Luckily for Tain, the shot bounced over the bar.

    Thistle appeared to come into the game on the half hour, with right winger Liam Rostock running his flank expertly, but failing to play the necessary cross for either Robbie Ross or Mark Reid to connect with.  Rostock, however, came closest for Thistle in the first period, when his clever dribbling allowed him to get into space for a shot on goal; Henderson only able to tip the powerful strike over the bar for a corner.

    Thistle would have been confident going in at the break having controlled the last ten, but disaster struck two minutes from time, when diminutive forward Andrew Ripley broke forward and danced into a neat position, before slotting ball across the face and into the far corner of Martin's goal -- much to the elation of the Inver bench, as they went 1-0 ahead.

    Referee Eric Robertson blew almost exactly on the 45, as Inver retired to the changing rooms.  A defiant Thistle remained on the pitchside, as they regrouped.  Manager Arron Christie was joined by mentor John Oliver, to deliver instructions for the second half, where the objective was simple.

    Unlike the first half, the second took several minutes to get started, with play concentrated in the middle of the park, but it took a series of Thistle corners to rejuvenate the excitement in the game.  Christie the elder was excellent in his delivery of corners, with Keith Dingwall, Liam Rostock and Darran Goller all coming close to finding an equalizer, in front of goal.

    Mark Reid, too, was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions as he skipped into a forward position against the tired legs of Inver's defence.  Their keeper Henderson, a match for him every time.

    True to Thistle's recent form and resilience, it would emerge that they were not to be beaten, as a goalmouth stramash initiated by Robbie Ross was walked in by Darran Goller, beyond a helpless, felled Henderson.  The equalizer split the game open and from then the game adopted a frenetic pace, with only fifteen minutes left on the clock.

    Thistle pushed for a winner; the memories of extra time and penalties against the Social Club still fresh in the minds of supporters, hopeful of a result before that eventuality.  Despite chances for Daniel Christie, and an Arron Christie free kick, which hit the Inver wall, the score stayed the same, and extra time followed.

    Extra time began, with both sides showing signs of fatigue.  The beating sun and the intense heat was hard to endure for the 90 minutes itself, let alone the addition of a further thirty.

    Continuing their pressure though, it was Thistle who enjoyed most of the attacking play with Goller and Rostock opening the Inver defence, who had grown tired against the already faster legs of Tain's wingers.

    Their pace paid off after ten minutes, when Liam Rostock blasted the ball past Henderson from close range, to make it 2-1.

    The goal came after a period of Tain pressure, countered only by some breaking runs from Inver's Billy Ferries, who came close to pulling a goal back for the challengers.  

    Daniel Christie did well throughout to stifle Inver's midfield pressure, as did the fresh legged substitute Kyle Oliver.At 2-1, Thistle were headed for glory, but the inevitability of a further fifteen minutes had the Tain technical area biting their nails.  

    The introduction of Calum Macdonald, for forward Mark Reid showed that Tain had no intentions of resting on their goal advantage.

    Rostock, who had delivered so much during the game, including his goal, was forced to leave the field in the second period due to excessive cramp.

    To his credit, he attempted to finish the game, but his legs showed no co-operation. Darren McGaw was introduced, injecting new pace to challenge an exhausted Inver back four.

    In the end, Thistle's superior fitness and momentum shone through, as Michael Brand, who had earlier been unfortunate with a mazy run toward goal, bulleted a header past Henderson to make the score academic, at 3-1. The opportunity had come from a free kick, awarded by Robertson when Ross was hauled back by Ferries upon his approach to goal.

    The afternoon was topped off with a clever piece of play from the outstanding Andy Durrand, who nutmegged former Ross County star Billy Ferries following a confident break down the left wing, sending the Thistle supporter into rapturous cheers.

    The moment capped a phenomenal performance from the young full back, who not only excelled during the final, but has done so since replacing the holidaying James Rice two weeks ago.

    Alan Nimmons, manager of the Railway Hotel (sponsors of the 2009 Cordiner Cup) presented the trophy to a jubilant captain, Daniel Christie, at the end of the game.  Medals were presented by Welfare represenative Jimmy Patullo, at the Railway Hotel.

    The cup win, Thistle's first since 2007, marks only the second time the club have captured a piece of competitive silverwear in the Ross-shire Welfare league.  More pleasing for the manager however, was that it was his second in three seasons -- the result of the persistence and hard work of a club who have worked together from top to bottom.

    Niall Harkiss reserved special praise for the club, at the end of the match.

    "Today has been a great reward for everybody who has worked hard to make this club a success.  From Graham Macrae painting the goalposts, to Norman Macangus, cleaning out and making the clubhouse presentable, Dale Finlayson, Alan, Lauren and Kerri for organising and preparing food on the day, Sandy Mackenzie and Alasdair Rhind for their help making the park a tremendous venue for football -- the best supported it's been in the town for several years, Arron and Steven for the phenomenal job they have done with a wonderful group of players, each and every one of them winners and fantastic contributors to one the most special clubs in Ross-shire. “

    “The game today was a fantastic advert for football in Tain, and for the Ross-shire Welfare league.  Jimmy Patullo and John Macleod do tremendously well to keep this league going, and its days and occasions like this that reinforce the fact that it is one of the greatest sporting associations in the area.  I’d like to thank Gary Ross and Darren Mackay for their assistance in introducing the first Welfare cup final programme, which was on sale at the game.  Due to the co-operation of two well supported teams, who came with excellent support, the game proved a huge success and was played in great spirit."

    In other news, the Chairman won Jimmy's raffle, and Peeps' shirt won the contents.

    Team: Martin, Durrand, Brand, A Christie, Dingwall, Farquhar (Oliver), D Christie, Goller, Rostock (McGaw), Ross, Reid (Macdonald). Subs not used: Swann, Nimmons

    Goals: Goller 76, Rostock 101, Brand 116

    Man of the Match: Arron Christie (Chosen by sponsor Alan Nimmons)
  • Tain Juniors 17s round off good week

    Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009

    The Tain Juniors Under 17 side rounded off a good week with a 5-1 win over Wester Ross at the Grant Park tonight, after seeing off Aird Athletic, 4-2 in Aird on Tuesday.

    This past Tuesday in Aird, the Juniors took a commanding two goal lead thanks to an Ayah Rattanaphithak brace, before Aird levelled, to make it 2-1 at half time.

    John McLennan scored in 47th minute to make it 3-1, but the 17s were made to work hard and whilst creating a lot of chances, hitting the woodwork twice, they lost a poor 2nd goal in the 78th minute.

    After a couple of positional changes, the Juniors were able to score their 4th through Martin Smith to make the score 4-2 on the night.

    Coach Gavin MacDonald reflected on the result, as an "excellent result, winning an important three points for the team".

    Team: Allan, Gordon, Johnstone, Sutherland, Matheson, Mein, Bell, Smith, Rattanaphithak, Stewart, Maclellan Subs: Robertson, Mackintosh, Shearer, McKenna, Phillips

    Goals: Rattanaphithak x 2, Maclellan, Smith

    In last night's game, with Martin Smith and Andy Bell dropped ahead of the Cordiner Cup final on Saturday, John Maclellan opened the scoring for the 17s, before the newly introduced Under 15 Ben McIvor notched his first of the season for the 17s, to make it 2-1 at half time.

    Maclellan hit the hat trick early in the second half, and a late fifth from Ayah Rattanaphithak, described by coach Rob Nicolson as "a peach".  Wester Ross had no further reply, and the game finished at 5-1.

    Team: Allan, Gordon, Johnstone, Mein, Shearer, McKenna, Rattanaphithak, Stewart, Maclellan, Robertson, McIvor Subs: Bell, Smith

    Goals: Maclellan x 3, McIvor, Rattanaphithak

    The wins push the 17s further ahead at the top of the SWL Ross-shire League table, with two games in hand over rivals, Dingwall.
  • Thistle and Inver prepare for Cordiner Cup Final

    Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009

    Preparations for the Cordiner Cup Final rage on with both teams facing absences as the kick off ticks closer.

    Thistle are expected to be without Paul Cowie, Andy Murray and Gary Austin, while Martyn Farquhar and Kyle Oliver face late fitness tests.

    Inver are reported to be without the golfing Billy Ferries and Christopher Mailley, but time will tell on their availability.
  • Tain Thistle 3-2 Sutor Inn

    Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Tain Thistle threw away a 3-0 lead to narrowly edge past the Sutor Inn tonight, three goals to two, to go five points clear at the top of the Ross-shire Welfare league table.

    Missing from the side was assistant manager and in-form goalkeeper Steven Martin, who was ably replaced by reserve stopped and former St Duthus player David Matheson.  Mark Reid also returned, replacing Darren McGaw up front.  Arron Christie and Martyn Farquhar also switched places, with the former joining the midfield for the first time this season.

    A weakened Sutor Inn side saw themselves on the wrong side of the score sheet early on, when Daniel Christie opened the scoring on ten minutes.  The nippy midfielder launched a 30 yard shot down the middle of the unorthodox Chris Cooper's goal, and the shot sailed in.  At 1-0, Thistle were coasting.

    They could have taken the lead five minutes earlier however, when the expert kicking of Matheson saw the goalkeeper outfox his counterpart Cooper with a 70 yard launch.  The effort bounced over the collapsed frame of Cooper before drifting just wide.

    Arron Christie could have extended the lead on 20 minutes his powerfully struck shot sailed goalward, but Cooper parried and held the swirling effort well.

    Christie found himself party to a goal only six minutes later however when his spinning cross careered in off the Sutor's centre half David Kennedy, to make it 2-0.

    Sutor rarely threatened in the first half, with goalkeeper Matheson doing what was asked of him in a quiet period.  The second proved different however as Sutor passed up a glorious chance to pull a goal back. A slip by Dingwall allowed the Sutor in on goal.  The attacking player glided past Matheson before slotting the ball goalward, but in bizarre fashion, Sutor forward Reece Brown trapped and touched the ball away from his target, saving Dingwall's blushes!

    After an hour, Mark Reid notched a third for Thistle, after missing a string of chances and at 3-0 the game looked dead and buried.

    Despite the score, a resilient Sutor fought back and for the final twenty minutes it looked as though they may nick a draw.  Player/manager Stephen Campbell sclaffed a ball into the net to pull the affair back before Ashley Mills long shot deflected past Matheson to make it 2-3.

    Despite late pressure, Thistle held on to their lead and recorded the win, Matheson touching the best chance of an equalizer beyond for a corner.

    The victory takes Thistle five points clear of rivals Balintore, who were soundly beaten by Alness and six clear of Ross-shire Club, who won 3-1 at the Recreation Grounds against the Social.  In other action, Cromarty recorded an upset, beating Cordiner Cup finalists Inver, 4-3.

    Team: Matheson, Durrand, Brand, Dingwall, Farquhar (Nimmons), D Christie, A Christie, Goller, Rostock, Reid (McGaw), Ross Subs not used: Swann, Oliver

    Goals: D Christie 10, Kennedy og 26, Reid 62

    Bookings: Brand

    Man of the Match: Michael Brand
  • Tain Juniors (U15s) 3-1 Dingwall (U15s)

    Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    Last Tuesday, the Tain Juniors Under 15s brought the curtain down on their short league campaign.  With the news that Cunningham had been sidelined, going up against an unbeaten Dingwall side, who had already won the title, was always going to be a tall order.

    Nevertheless, it was Tain who looked like the champions, pressing for an early advantage with a number of chances to take the lead; a young Ferries looking particularly promising.

    Against the run of play, it was Dingwall who took the lead however.  Smart had a chance as did Greenlees, but it was the latter who registered the equalizer, rounding the Dingwall keeper to make it 1-1.

    Second half, changes in the formation paid off as Tain took the lead through Greenlees, scoring again. Before long, Greenlees had his hat trick, capitalizing on an expert through ball by Ferries for what proved to be the winner.

    Post-match, coach Robert Farquhar commented, "It was a great result today.  This young Tain team finished in second place on their own.  Both myself and Wilfie reflected on what has been a good year and to coach this squad this year with little hassle has been great.  I hope they go on to do well for the 17s and eventually play for Tain Thistle."

    Team: Allan, Smith, Maclean, McIvor, Allison, Ferries, Joy, Smart, Codie, Greenlees, Cooper

    Subs: Macleod, Kidd, Warren, Durrand

    Goals: Greenlees x 3
  • Joint matchday programme issue for cup final

    Posted on Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Tain Thistle will join Inver in presenting a Cordiner Cup Final matchday programme special issue, which will be on sale at this weekend's game for £2.
  • John Oliver named as new winter Thistle boss

    Posted on Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Tain Thistle today confirmed the appointment of a new manager for the club's winter North Caledonian league side.

    John Oliver accepted the club's offer last night after weeks of speculation surrounding the post.

    Oliver, a former youth coach with Ross County and Invergordon, brings a wealth of experience coaching players in the Ross-shire area.

    Everyone at Tain Thistle FC wishes him all the best in his new post for the season ahead.

    John Oliver, pictured above with club chairman Niall Harkiss (right)
  • Ross hammers Thistle into Cordiner Cup Final

    Posted on Saturday, June 20, 2009

    A bullet header from in-form striker Robbie Ross in the final minute of the game was enough to beat Invergordon Social Club to advance to the Cordiner Cup Final.  The winner came after a frenetic 90 minutes of back and forth action, which saw the Jags lose a 2-1 lead, before bouncing back to win 3-2.

    Missing Calum Macdonald, Arron Christie started Darren McGaw up front alongside Ross, while Andy Durrand filled in again for the absent James Rice.

    It was the home side, Social Club who took the lead however, when Dave MacGruer's looping header flew over the advancing Steven Martin to make it 1-0.  

    Undeterred, Thistle fought back in dominant fashion, and a piece of clever play from Daniel Christie saw the midfielder chip the ball over Barry Nimmons and volley in confident fashion to make it 1-1.

    Robbie Ross could very well have put Thistle in the lead straight after, but could only shoot into the arms of Nimmons.  The second did come soon after however, when Liam Rostock's presence upset the kilter of Barry Nimmons who fisted the ball into his own net.

    Despite constant pressure in the first half, and a number of creative moments from the pacey Liam Rostock, Thistle couldn't extend their lead.

    Disaster struck for Thistle mid way through the second half when a shove on Steven Martin resulted in the keeper being dispossed before the ball was knocked home for an equalizer.  Despite protests from the Thistle men, referee Keith Middleton awarded the goal, to make for a tense second half.

    Forward men Darren McGaw and Darran Goller could make no second half impact, and Rostock's influence seemed to wane as Social Club pushed for a winner.  Martin did exceptionally well to save on a couple of occasions as they pressed their advantage up front.

    Bookings issued to Martyn Farquhar and Chris Graham as well as stoppage for a challenge on Rob Nicolson resulted in an extended period of injury time -- and it was in the 94th minute that the game was won.  

    An Arron Christie cross from deep was met with authority by Ross, to thump the ball with a pacey header.  The winner sent the Thistle support into rapturous applause, as the Jags secured the win and an appearance in the Cordiner Cup Final.

    The final is scheduled to be played on Saturday, June 27th with a 3pm kick off at Thistle's own Grant Park.  In other news, Inver dumped Alness Athletic with a last minute winner to record their place as Thistle's final opponents.

    Team: Martin, Brand, Durrand, A Christie, Dingwall, D Christie, Farquhar, Goller, Rostock, Ross, McGaw Subs not used: Nimmons, Swann, Matheson

    Goals: D Christie 26, Nimmons o.g. 35, Ross 90+4

    Bookings: Farquhar

    Man of the Match: Liam Rostock
  • Thistle prepare for North Caledonian season

    Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Tain Thistle were drawn into the four North Caledonian cups for the Winter campaign tonight, as local rivals Balintore also confirmed their withdrawl.

    Thistle were handed the following draws:

    Port Services Cup:

    1st Round: Bye

    2nd Round: Thurso vs Tain Thistle

    SWL Cup:

    1st Round: Bye

    2nd Round: Tain Thistle vs Muir of Ord

    Jock Mackay Cup:

    1st Round: Bye

    2nd Round: Tain Thistle vs Golspie Sutherland

    Football Times Cup:

    1st Round: Dingwall Thistle vs Tain Thistle

    2nd Round: Dingwall/Tain vs Bunillidh Thistle

    Dates for the ties are to be confirmed.

    In other news, the season start date for North Caledonian league has been set as August 22nd.
  • Sidelined Austin believes Thistle can achieve

    Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Thistle stalwart Gary Austin is no stranger to the heartbreak of Cup semi finals in the Ross-shire Welfare league -- and none more so than this coming Saturday as a back injury rules the midfielder out of the squad for Saturday's tie with Invergordon Social Club -- Tain Thistle and its supporters will hope however, that the heartbreak is only his.

    Born in Cork, Ireland and learning his craft as a product of the Billy Russell era, Gary Austin truly has Tain Thistle at heart.  

    Now, alongside Steven Martin and Calum Macdonald, he remains one of only a handful who were present at the beginning of Russell's tenure.

    "Billy did a lot for the club, and is the main reason I'm still playing.  I'm still chasing fitness, but this latest injury is likely to set me back about three weeks."

    "I last played against Dornoch in pre-season in 2007, and I even scored that day!  It's great to be back now and to see the club playing so well.  It can be hard waiting for games, but I'd rather be involved than not.  We have a very strong squad."

    Though he wont be able to make the semi final, Austin believes Tain have what it takes to the make the final and even win.

    "I expect to see Tain joined by Alness in the final.  It would be great to win it, as it is in Tain, but we have to remember that the league is the priority.  For me, that is the main prize."

    Austin re-signed with Tain for the 2009 season and has made two first team starts (in the victories over Sutor Inn and Balintore) and five substitute appearances.
  • Inver 0-4 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Thistle found no problem playing on the uninviting narrow pitch at their nomadic opponents' Portmahomack home, as they trounced a strong Inver side in tonight's Ross-shire Welfare league match, putting memories of their ill-fated season opener behind them.

    Manager Arron Christie reintroduced Rockness fuelled Martyn Farquhar to the side in the absense of holidaying James Rice, while Kyle Oliver remained on the sidelines with a shin complaint, joining Gary Austin, out with a back problem.

    Capitalizing on a cross, it was Robbie Ross who got Thistle off the mark with a textbook finish on 14 minutes, placing the ball just over Ross Henderson, after the keeper had misjduged his position.

    Michael Brand could very well have extended the lead only moments later when he hit the cross bar, and an effort at the other end was only narrowly cleared by Ross.

    The second half saw no changes, and within ten minutes Ross was again the scorer when he was able to better Scott Innes in a jump for a Kiki Dingwall pass; the nimble forward then rounding Henderson with ease to make it 2-0.

    Ross eventually hit a hat trick, Thistle's first of the season, just after the hour mark when a header which cannoned off the crossbar fell into his path, as he rifled the ball home to make it 3-0.

    The scoring was rounded off by the in-form winger Darran Goller, who won possession on the half way line, before out running the Inver defence to hammer the ball past Henderson.

    The win keeps Thistle firmly on the top of the table, while Balintore kept the pressure on with a win over Sutor Inn.  In other action, Social Club fell away with a 1-1 draw at Alness and Ross Club moved into third with a thumping 6-3 win over Cromarty.

    Team: Martin, Durrand (Nimmons), Farquhar, A Christie, Dingwall, D Christie, Brand, Goller, Rostock, Macdonald (Swann), Ross (McGaw)

    Subs not used: Matheson

    Goals: Ross 14, 55, 59, Goller 76

    Man of the Match: Robbie Ross
  • Under 15s lose out in Alness double header

    Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Tain Juniors Under 15s suffered defeat twice at the hands of Alness this past week, in both league and cup action.

    Playing on the back of a 6-1 win over Invergordon, coaches Robert Farquhar and Wilfie Campbell would have been disappointed with the mental approach of their players, as they appeared to have left their heads in the dressing room for last Tuesday’s league game against Alness, at Grant Park.

    Stuart Smart may have given Tain a quarter hour lead, but it was against the run of play, and soon the effort of Alness shone through; the Juniors’ custodian John Allan doing well on a number of occasions to thwart the visitors.

    The pressure finally paid off for Alness as the levelled after the restart, before a second followed to take them into a deserved lead, leading ultimately to a deserved 2-1 win on the night.  The win places Alness and Tain in joint second place in the SWL Ross-shire league.

    Team: Allan, Maclean, Allison, MacIvor, Smith, Smart, Joy, Kidd, Mackay, Greenlees, Cooper Subs: Durrand, Macleod

    Goals: Stuart Smart

    Retribution, it was not to be, as Tain played hosts to Alness once again ñ this time in the 1st Round of the MSIS Shield, this past Thursday.  Contrary to their league meeting the week prior, the 15s were a match for Alness, and the 80 minutes saw no goals.

    Extra time looked like it may have gone Tain’s way, before Alness were able to score against the run of play.  Running on empty, the Juniors were unable to prevent Alness from nicking a second and advancing to the semi final.

    Amidst the disappointment, coach Robert Farquhar was delighted with the effort of the side, singling out Ben McIvor for special praise.

    “Ben was outstanding today and will certainly go on to play for the 17s this year, and hopefully Tain Thistle in the future.”

    Team: Allan, Allison, MacIvor, Maclean, Cooper, Joy, Smart, Kierian, Kidd, Greenlees, Muir Subs: Macleod, Murray
  • Thistle breeze into Cordiner Cup semi

    Posted on Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Tain Thistle coasted past league rivals Balintore to secure a place in the Cordiner Cup semi finals today, with a comfortable 3-1 win at Seaboard Park.

    Missing a handful of players possessing Rockness tickets, Arron Christie brought Gary Austin, Andy Durrand and Calum Macdonald into the side, with Craig Nimmons and Davie Matheson also reclaiming bench spots, to form Thistle’s smallest match squad since their May trip to play the Sutor Inn.

    Starting for the second game running, Robbie Ross opened the scoring for Thistle, adding the final touch to a Calum Macdonald cross from 12 yards out, drilling the ball home.

    Ross could have doubled his account only three minutes later when his headed effort shot goalward, but could only connect with the crossbar.

    Thistle’s domination of their opposition was clear, as it had been in their league meeting weeks earlier, and before long Balintore’s failure to match their opponents saw two of their players in the book, first Gus Macdonald, and later David Wood for a dangerously high foot on Michael Brand.

    The Jags made it 2-0 on the hour mark, Macdonald this time the scorer as he brilliantly headed home a Darran Goller cross.  

    Goller was replaced by Darren McGaw soon after and it was the substitute who should have made it 3-0; Andy Durrand’s clever play down the wing put McGaw through on goal, but the striker could only shoot over the bar.  Within minutes, earlier scorer Macdonald saw his chance of a brace thwarted by Crombie, as his shot was tipped over the bar.

    The third and final goal for the visitors came on 85 minutes, when Ross scored his second.  Liam Rostock crossed for the on-form forward, and from 12 yards, Ross drilled the ball into the far corner.

    A late injury time foul, committed by Gary Austin gave Balintore a consolation penalty which was converted by Mackenzie, leaving the score at 3-1.

    The win sets up yet another semi final clash between Invergordon Social Club and Tain Thistle, this time in Invergordon, as Social were granted a bye over the withdrawn Cromarty.

    In other action, Inver defeated Ross Club 4-2.  The fate of the participants in the postponed tie between Alness and the Sutor Inn is expected to be decided tomorrow.

    Team: Martin, Durrand, Austin, A Christie, Dingwall, D Christie, Brand, Goller (McGaw), Rostock, Macdonald (Nimmons), Ross

    Subs not used: Matheson

    Goals: Ross 2, 85, Macdonald 61

    Man of the Match: Andy Durrand
  • Invergordon Social Club 0-5 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Tain Thistle made very easy work of a poor Invergordon Social Club side at the Recreation Grounds tonight, to go two points clear at the top of the Ross-shire Welfare league table.

    Kyle Oliver failed a late fitness test, suffering from a shin complaint which saw Bob Swann added to the bench, with the returning Robbie Ross replacing Calum Macdonald up front in an experimental change.

    The change proved a masterstroke as Ross scored the opener on 12 minutes after a sustained period of Thistle pressure.  An Arron Christie free kick sent into the box was eventually knocked on by Mark Reid before Ross was able to poke the ball home at the far post, past a helpless Barry Nimmons.

    Thistle found themselves 2-0 ahead when James Rice got the all important touch on the half hour mark, heading home from a Rostock cross.

    Nimmons picked the ball out of his net once again after coming off his line, floundering in an attempt to prevent Liam Rostock from netting his third, unsuccessfully.

    The half time break saw no changes to a buzzing Tain Thistle side.  Reid, the earlier assistant to Ross, could have scored on a number of occasions during the second period, but placed shots over the bar and at Nimmons to end an unsuccessful run out before being replaced.

    Substitute Calum Macdonald had better luck however, scoring within three minutes of his introduction, when his opportunistic effort was bundled past Nimmons.

    Michael Brand rounded off the scoring for a rampant Thistle side, when his backward header sailed over Nimmons to make it a very comfortable 5-0.

    The win puts Thistle four points clear of losing side Social Club, but only two ahead of weekend cup opponents' Balintore, who registered a 3-2 win at Cromarty.  In other action, Inver lost 3-1 to Ross Club and Alness registered a close win over nearby rivals Sutor Inn by one goal to nil.

    Team: Martin, Rice (Austin), Farquhar, A Christie, Dingwall, Brand, D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Ross (Macdonald), Reid (Durrand) Subs not used: Swann, McGaw

    Goals: Ross 12, Rice 29, Rostock 41, Macdonald 74, Brand 86

    Man of the Match: Robbie Ross
  • Programme back issues still available for sale

    Posted on Monday, June 8, 2009

    Football programme collectors and Tain Thistle enthusiasts can still get their hands on official matchday programmes from last season's North Caledonian league campaign, via our Club Shop.  Available programmes also include collectables from the club's final Welfare league games of 2008, and a number of pre-season friendlies.

  • Tain Juniors (U17) 2-0 Muir of Ord (U17)

    Posted on Friday, June 5, 2009

    Two goals from forward John Maclellan were enough to hand Tain Juniors' Under 17 side yet another win at home tonight, against Muir of Ord.  

    The clever forward's quick turn and strike opened the scoring on 25 minutes, before adding an aerial touch to a Donald Matheson cross in the second half.
  • Tain Thistle 5-0 Cromarty

    Posted on Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    Thistle jumped back to the top of the Ross-shire Welfare league with a thumping 5-0 win over league newcomers Cromarty.

    Tain set off with Michael Brand coming back into the side for absent Kyle Oliver, and Calum Macdonald replacing the injured Paul Cowie.

    A full compliment of substitutes saw the unfortunate Bob Swann miss out on a bench place, reaffirming the strength in depth Tain currently have.

    Calum Macdonald had the first chance of the game, his header hitting the crossbar as Cromarty keeper Maclean could only watch it bounce over.  But it was winger Darran Goller who capitalized first, on 3 mins, to make it 1-0.

    The clever dribbler cut inside, before easing the ball past Maclean, revealing his undershirt which displayed the message "Peeps is my hero!" -- a tribute to Goller's childhood idol, former Thistle keeper Graham Macrae.

    Thistle dominated play, despite the occasional excited counter from Cromarty, and their handle on the game was no more reinforced than when Calum Macdonald's 30 yard effort curled up the chest of goalkeeper Maclean, rolling over the top of his head and into the net!  At 2-0, Thistle found themselves in cruise control going into the break.

    The game resumed as it had left off Jags' full back Martyn Farquhar leading excellently down the flank to create further chances for Goller, who scored Thistle's third with a voluptuous left foot half volley, which panthered its way into the top corner.

    Confidence high and chasing more goals, Thistle introduced the fresh attacking threat of Darren McGaw, and the change paid instant dividends.  In a one sided final fifteen, James Rice's header found the back of the net on the hour mark, but the goal was disallowed for a push on McPhee.  

    It was only minutes later however, when forward Mark Reid was able to burst through to make easy work of a one on one, curling a shot round Maclean to make it 4-0.  Substitute McGaw rounded off the scoring with a wonderful striker's goal, thundering past Maclean to extend the lead to six.

    Former Thistle man Colin Burry was the Croms' only shining light, in a side which looked inexperienced and overawed by the occasion.

    The win puts Thistle back on top after Balintore thrashed Invergordon Social Club by 7 goals to nil.  In other action, Inver registered a win over the Sutor Inn.

    Team: Martin, Rice, Farquhar, A Christie, Dingwall, Brand, D Christie, Goller (Nimmons), Rostock, Macdonald (McGaw), Reid (Austin) Subs not used: Durrand, Ross

    Goals: Goller 3, 71, Macdonald 37, Reid 82, McGaw 87

    Bookings: Rostock

    Man of the Match: Martyn Farquhar
  • Tain Juniors (U17s) 2-1 Dingwall (U17s)

    Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009

    Tain Juniors notched a massive 2-1 win over league rivals Dingwall at Grant Park last night, with goals from Martin Smith and Ayah Rattanaphithak.

    Team: Allan, Johnston, Sutherland, Gordon, Matheson, Bell, Smith, Stewart, Mein (McKenna), Maclellan
  • Thistle lose out to Social on penalties

    Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009

    The cruelty of penalties ended Thistle's hopes of an appearance in the Pattison Cup final next week, as Invergordon Social Club rode their luck to advance at a sunny Grant Park.  

    The game finished 1-1 after ninety minutes, and extra time heralded no further goals. In the end, the shootout settled the issue, with Social's Kenny Ross scoring the decisive kick.

    Manager Arron Christie made changes to the side which struggled against Ross Club midweek, Michael Brand dropped in favour of Paul Cowie, while Liam Rostock came in to replace Calum Macdonald. Kyle Oliver was also reintroduced.

    The Tain men got off to a promising start when Darran Goller found his header saved by Barry Nimmons, but a fifteen minute spell of pressure from a young and pacey Social side saw them take the lead on 23 minutes, when Kenny Ross headed a cross past Martin from 2 yards.  

    The goal followed a series of ISC attacks and was well deserved, Social having seen two efforts palmed wide by Martin, another hit the woodwork, and Martin saving again, this time a penalty from Ross.  Thistle fought back into the game gradually, but were the weaker team of a high tempo first half.

    Thistle re-emerged for the second half a different side, dominating most of the play. Wingers Rostock and Goller both tested Nimmons but the Social keeper was up to the challenge, and Reid, later replaced by Durrand, missed a chance in front of goal, that should have been easier to score!

    As Thistle pushed for the equalizer, shoddy discipline from the Social Club saw them pick up bookings left right and centre, and soon, a straight red followed for Rob Mitchell after an assault on the felled Arron Christie.  

    A rattled Social struggled to cope with the late pressure, and soon Tain found the net.  Keith Dingwall was the man on hand to get the final touch on a goalmouth stramash that even goalkeeper Stevie Martin was up to join.

    Playing with the man advantage, Thistle had the better of extra time, but failed to find the elusive winner, having seen efforts from Goller, Rostock and Daniel Christie saved by Nimmons.

    The inevitable was the penalty shoot-out, and ten spot kicks later, Social Club had secured a place in the Pattison Cup final, by 3 kicks to 2.  It was Thistle own ineptness from the spot which was their undoing, Steve Martin having done tremendously well to save two of Social's efforts.  

    Thistle's Arron Christie and Oliver found the net while Farquhar hit the bar, Daniel Christie placed wide and Rostock's kick was saved by Nimmons.

    In the other semi, Ross-shire Club dumped League Cup winners Alness Athletic, 3-0.  In league action, Inver held Balintore at bay to record a 3-2 win.

    Team: Martin, Rice (McGaw), Farquhar, Dingwall, A Christie, Oliver, D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Cowie (Macdonald), Reid (Durrand). Subs not used: Austin, Nimmons

    Scorer: Keith Dingwall 90

    Bookings: A Christie, Farquhar, Martin, D Christie

    Man of the Match: Steven Martin
  • Invergordon (U15s) 1-6 Tain Juniors (U15s)

    Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009

    Tain Juniors continued the trend of beating Invergordon's youth sides with a thundering 6-1 win away from home this past Tuesday; Stewart Greenless scoring all six of the visitor's goals.

    Tain started slowly, allowing Invergordon to take the lead, but it wasn't long before Greenlees knocked home his first of the night.  A second quickly followed, before he hit the hat trick with the pick of the bunch -- a first time volley, making it 3-1 at half time.

    Coach Wilfie Campbell made substitutions at half time, injecting some new legs into a game they were dominating.  The pressure continued as the fourth was scored, Greenlees again fnding the net.

    Centre half Ben McIvor was unlucky not to join Greenlees on the scoresheet, as he hit the woodwork twice in the final moments, but it was Keiran Allison up front who enabled Greenlees to score his final two of his night.

    Team: Allan, Allison, Maclean, MacIvor, Smith, Joy, Cunningham, Smart, Kidd, Greenlees, Durrand. Subs: Murray, Melville, Macleod

    Goals: Stewart Greenlees x 6
  • Cup semi fever hits Tain

    Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2009

    As the days close in on this weekend's Pattison Cup semi tie between Tain Thistle and Invergordon Social Club, both sides will fancy their chances of reaching the 2009 season's second cup final.

    Tain Thistle, the 2007 winners, will be hopeful of a repeat of the last time the sides met at Grant Park last July, when the Jags demolished the Social Club, by 5 goals to 1.  Liam Rostock (who has re-signed for the 2009 campaign) notched a superb hat trick against a flat footed Social side, with Thistle favourites Paul Cowie and Martyn Farquhar also getting on the scoresheet.

    When last they met

    Social Club bear few changes from the side which struggled to cope with the pace and attacking force of a Tain side challenging for the Ross-shire Welfare league, while the Recreation Park men sat misersably at the bottom of the table.  Social regulars Barry Nimmons, Rob McCormack and Kenny Ross have all turned out again for the Invergordon side this season.

    But experienced midfielder Rob Nicolson believes his side have matured, and their recent form is the result of persistence and consistency in the side.

    "We are playing well as a team, and Dave MacGruer has been amazing on the left wing.  To have three players on 6 goals each is a credit to the work we've put in."

    The Social played host, albeit by default, to Invergordon rivals the Sutor Inn tonight, in their belated 5th league fixture.  Running out 6-2 winners, they proved again that they are having no trouble finding the back of the net, taking their league goals tally to nineteen.  Unfortunately for Thistle however, the win takes Social to the top of the table, two points ahead of the Tain side going into the weekend's game.  A confident Nicolson does not believe the closeness of the Social's league fixture to the weekend will play any factor.

    "We are a young team with good fitness.  Our conditioning played a big factor in the end of tonight's game.  Tain will be next!"

    Leg inuries to Thistle men Andy Murray and Paul Cowie will almost certainly rule both out of the match, but the Jags can expect to see the return of blistering forward Liam Rostock, who missed the club's first round tie, and midweek league clash with Ross-shire Club.

    This weekend's cup tie is perfectly poised, with both sides unbeaten in their past six games.  There can only be one winner however, and even if the eventuality of extra time and penalties is required, the winners will travel to Portmahomack on Saturday, June 6th to meet either Alness Athletic or Ross-shire Club in the final.
  • Murray optimistic about doctor's view

    Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Tomorrow, Tain Thistle’s Andy Murray travels to Raigmore Hospital to hear the prognosis on his knee injury; news that could see the tenacious utility man ruled out for the season or more hopefully set on a road to recovery that would see his season get back on track.

    Andy Murray is no stranger to football and its quandaries, as he entertains this latest setback seventeen years after Wattie Stewart first sent him to the now defunct Inverness Thistle as an aspiring youth.

    Reflecting on a storied career amidst his latest setback, Murray recalls how he got his start.

    “I played through all of the youth teams at Invergordon before I left for Inverness Thistle when I was 17. Invergordon didn’t have an Under 18 side at the time, so Wattie sent me down there and I got my first taste of 2nd XI football.

    “I was there for a year before Willie Macrae took me to Fearn, and I was there for three seasons. I haven’t won many medals in my time, but I won my first at Fearn, in a cup final.”

    Despite starting life as a right winger, Murray settled as a central midfielder before moving back to his home side of Invergordon, and later Bonar Bridge and Golspie Sutherland.  

    Murray made a brief return to Invergordon in 2007 before completing a surprise move to Tain during their first North Caledonian campaign, in a move he intends to be the final of his career.

    “Scott Morrison was involved with Tain at the time, and he asked me to come along to training, and soon after Robbie (Ross) secured my release from Invergordon.

    “I would gladly see out my playing days at Tain Thistle. I love it here. We play as a team and there’s never any arguing within the squad.  We battle for each other and are full of encouragement. This is a big factor in how well we’re playing at the moment.”

    Now playing as a full back for Thistle in the Welfare league, Murray impressed manager Arron Christie in pre-season and won a starting place, culminating in a man of the match performance against former side, the Sutor Inn in May.  During the league match, Murray assisted Mark Reid for the opener and more satisfyingly got on the scoresheet himself to secure the win.

    Unfortunately, Murray’s next game resulted in the defender being carried off after only 5 minutes with his eventual knee injury, initially suspected to be a damaged cruciate ligament. But the veteran is optimistic about his future.

    “I’m hoping that it’s just a bad twist, or at worst a partial rupture to my medial ligament. I did that before when I was in my early twenties. My instincts are that it isn’t anymore serious than that.

    “This latest injury has been the most annoying of my career. I’m the fittest I’ve been for about ten years and I’m playing with a bit of confidence. The timing is awful.

    “I have a visit to the Physio on Wednesday to determine the problem, but I’m fairly confident that I’ll be back playing in about 2-4 weeks.”

    Thistle supporters will be hoping Mr Murray is right.
  • Ross Club 1-1 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Thistle claimed a point at Jubilee Park tonight, from a bruising battle with mid table Ross-shire Club, having been 1-0 down at half time.

    Forced into an earlier substitution, manager Arron Christie introduced Andy Durrand within three minutes of the kick off, with Paul Cowie leaving the field with a suspected hamstring injury.  Liam Rostock was again missing from the lineup along with Kyle Oliver, whereas Michael Brand was reintroduced.

    Thistle made a decent start to the game, with the to-be-injured Cowie testing David Mitchell in the opening minute of the game with a shot on target, and Darran Goller soon followed with a shot across the face of goal, which drifted wide.  Substitute Andy Durrand could well have scored for Tain as the game tempo increased several minutes later when he found himself clean though, but could only loop his shot into the arms of Mitchell.

    At the other end, Ross Club enjoyed frequent counter attacks, playing clever football down the wings before their best chance of the first half fell to Stephen McCallum for an open goal which cannoned off the upright.

    Ross Club's pressure finally paid off during an end to end battle when Steven Martin was left helpless to prevent Donald Stewart from adding the final touch to a shambolic defensive lapse from Thistle.

    Tensions rose as the game took an ugly turn with Thistle's Martyn Farquhar and Arron Christie involved in a bitter exchange with Ross Club's Marti Godwin; the home side's player seeing yellow for his part in the spat.

    Thistle emerged a more energetic side in the second half, dictating most of the play through Daniel Christie and pacey winger Darran Goller.  Goller's pace won Thistle an early second half free kick in fact, as he found himself brought to the ground on the edge of the 18 yard box.  Arron Christie's well taken free kick however, was held by Mitchell.

    Centre half Kiki Dingwall was replaced by Craig Nimmons with close to a quarter hour reamining, and the substitution proved a masterstroke.  Supersub Nimmons won possession within seconds, linking with Goller on the wing to send a deft cross into the box for Calum Macdonald to blast a header through the outstretched hands of Mitchell for the equalizer.

    Thistle pushed for another during the final 15 minutes but failed to find the elusive winner.  

    The draw moves Thistle to the top of the Ross-shire Welfare league, at least until Thursday, when Invergordon Social Club play town rivals Sutor Inn.  A win for Social Club would push them two points clear of Thistle, ahead of their Pattison Cup semi final meeting.

    In other action, Alness thumped Cromarty 4-1 to open up the bottom of the table.

    Team: Martin, Farquhar, Rice, Dingwall (Nimmons), A Christie, Brand, D Christie, Goller, Macdonald, Reid, Cowie (Durrand). Subs not used: Austin, Swann, McGaw

    Goals: Calum Macdonald 73

    Bookings: Rice, Farquhar

    Man of the Match: Darran Goller
  • Thistle advance to Pattison Cup semi

    Posted on Saturday, May 23, 2009

    Tain Thistle fought hard for a victory over a stubborn Sutor Inn side this afternoon, to advance to the semi finals of the Pattison Cup.

    The manager was missing only Liam Rostock from the side that demolished Balintore midweek, with Andy Durrand coming in on the left to replace him.

    Added to the bench were the returning pair of Michael Brand and Mark Reid.

    Thistle got off to a great start when Arron Christie found the net on seven minutes.  Referee Bob Urquhart had awarded Tain a free kick outside the box for obstruction on winger Darran Goller, and Christie made no mistake with a picture perfect free kick which sailed past Craig Mackay.  Goller could very well have put Tain 2-0 ahead only moments later but failed to capitalize on a loose ball to Mackay's left.

    Undeterred, the Sutor continued to hit Thistle on the counter, with some clever wing play from Ashley Mills.  After a couple of chances, Sutor found the net to level at 1-1; centre half Alastair Connell heading home a cross.

    At the other end, Paul Cowie was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet come half time, having seen two of his headed efforts drift just over the bar, while winger Goller's thumping effort toward goal could only canon off the head of goalkeeper Mackay and fly wide.

    Chasing the winner, Tain started brightly second half with Mark Reid soon replacing Paul Cowie up front.

    Reid's injection of pace resulted in a couple of excellent chances, the striker unlucky to score himself.

    Indeed, Thistle could have gone 2-1 ahead on the hour mark when Mackay's lunge at Michael Brand resulted in a penalty, but the eager Martyn Farquhar's spot kick was palmed away by the goalkeeper.

    Reid's attacking played finally paid off with a stroke of luck, when his strike at goal was deflected and turned in by the outstretched foot of Calum Macdonald, giving Tain a 2-1 lead with a quarter hour remaining.

    Despite late pressure, Thistle organised themselves well; the experienced defence of Dingwall and Christie holding strong against a number of late Sutor attacks, to finish 2-1 winners on the day.

    Thistle will now play host to Invergordon's other Welfare side in the Social Club (3-1 winners over Inver), next Saturday 30th May at Grant Park.  In other action, Ross-shire Club trouned Balintore by 6 goals to nil and Alness took care of Cromarty, to set the other semi clash, between Ross Club and Alness.

    Team: Martin, Rice, Farquhar, Dingwall, A Christie, Oliver, D Christie, Durrand (Brand), Goller, Macdonald, Cowie (Reid) Subs not usedNimmons, Austin, McGaw

    Goals: Arron Christie 7, Calum Macdonald 75

    Man of the Match: Keith Dingwall
  • Ross Club fixture rescheduled for Tuesday

    Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Next week's Ross-shire Club vs Tain Thistle league fixture has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 26th with a 7.30pm kick off.
  • Tain Thistle 5-1 Balintore

    Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    A sprightly Tain Thistle demolished an abysmal Balintore side tonight to go joint top of the Ross-shire Welfare league table, with a 5-1 win at home.

    Michael Brand was the unlucky seventh North Caledonian pick as Arron Christie named a strong starting eleven for the top of the table clash.  Kiki Dingwall returned to the back four as well as Liam Rostock, who started on the left wing.

    Thistle got off to a perfect start after only 3 minutes, when Daniel Christie dribbled the ball from midfield to finish expertly from 15 yards to make it 1-0.  Thistle could hardly believe their luck only two minutes later when they went 2-0 ahead; Liam Rostock placing a shot past Balti keeper David Crombie with ease.

    Balintore continued to struggle with the incessant pace of Thistle, and soon were 3-0 down, as James Rice connected with an Arron Christie cross on 7 minutes.

    The Seaboard men were dealt a further blow on 15 minutes, when Stuart Ross was forced to leave the field of play with an injury.  To make matters worse, Rice was soon on target again, this time on 19 minutes to make it 4-0, with a cross-cum-shot, which dazzled Crombie.  Rice could very well have had a hat trick only moments later, when his quick turn and volley was struck goalward, but Crombie was up to the challenge with a point blank reaction save.

    Thistle's scoring rout reached a head on the half hour mark when Darran Goller hammered home to make it an astounding 5-0; the disheveled Balintore defence helpless once again to cope with the pace and trickery of Thistle's clever wingers.

    Forwards Calum Macdonald and Paul Cowie were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in the first half, the latter seeing his point blank header tipped over the post, and Macdonald, clean through on a number of occasions, hitting straight at Crombie.

    The half time team talk seemed to spark a smidgen of life into Balintore, as they re-emerged with a brief attacking flair.  Having won a free kick, Martin Mackay was on hand to pull a goal back for the visitors via the set piece, as his effort took a deflection to go past Thistle keeper Steven Martin.

    Martin was rarely troubled for the remainder of the game, as Tain continued their attacks looking for a sixth.  Despite numerous chances for Liam Rostock and substitute Andy Durrand, a sixth never came and the game finished 5-1.

    The win puts Tain joint top of the Ross-shire Welfare league, with rivals Social Club recording a 5-0 win over Cromarty.  In other results, Inver beat lowly Alness 1-0 and the Sutor Inn got off the mark with a 2-1 win over Ross Club.

    Team: Martin, Farquhar (Austin), Rice, Dingwall, A Christie, Oliver, D Christie, Goller (Durrand), Rostock, Macdonald (McGaw), Cowie Subs not used: Nimmons, Swann

    Scorers: D Christie 3, Rostock 5, Rice 7, 19, Goller 28

    Bookings: D Christie

    Man of the Match: Daniel Christie
  • Moylan Urquhart Quaich match this Saturday

    Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009

    On Saturday, Grant Park will play host to two games of football, as Tain Thistle's Pattison Cup tie with the Sutor Inn at 3pm will be preceded by the Moylan Urquhart Memorial Quaich match, which will kick off at 11.30am.

    The memorial tie, played in memory of Moylan Urquhart and to raise money for Takayasu’s Arteritis research, was this year organized by Graeme Ross and will be played for the fourth consecutive year.

    Played between two XIs of younger and older players from Moylan's generation, Keith Glazier and James Affrin will captain the sides for the afternoon.

    Presentation of the Quaich will take place after the game, at the Railway Hotel.

  • Tain Juniors (U17) 2-2 Alness (U17)

    Posted on Friday, May 15, 2009

    Tain Juniors' Under 17s surrendered a 2-0 lead at a wind swept Grant Park tonight, as Alness fought back for a share of the spoils in a tightly fought SWL Ross-shire League game.

    Martin Smith got the home side off to a good start on 20 minutes, adding the finishing touch a move just inside the box, and 15 minutes later, Reece Stewart volleyed home from outside the box to make it 2-0.

    But the home side's lead was short lived as a wind assisted Alness pulled two goals back in the second half, courtesy of Jordan Greig and Stephen McGaw.

    The game finished 2-2.

    Team: Allan, Johnston, Shearer, Matheson, Sutherland, Rattanaphithak, Gordon, Stewart, Mein (Mackintosh), Smith, Maclellan Subs not used: Robertson, McKenna, Phillips

    Scorers: Martin Smith 20, Reece Stewart 35
  • Macdonald upbeat after successful return

    Posted on Friday, May 15, 2009

    A delighted Calum Macdonald got his first team comeback for Tain Thistle off to a great start against Alness Athletic last Wednesday, marking the occasion with a goal to help the club to a 2-1 win.

    And the 31 year old striker is hopeful that there will be more to follow, to add to his storied history with the club.

    Calum got his start in football in his hometown of Crieff, Perthshire, where he played football at all youth levels throughout school. He got his first break at senior level with Crieff Amateur at the age of sixteen, before moving to Comrie Rovers three years later, where he settled as a striker, having previously played on the left wing.

    “I played centre midfield, sweeper and even left back at youth level.  I loved playing as a striker though, it’s always been my favourite position."

    Following a spell in Glasgow, Calum moved North to Tain in 2002, when he began attending training for the now defunct Tain St Duthus, then run by Malky Macdonald. Playing a handful of games as a sub throughout the winter, he found more regular action with the town’s summer club, Tain Thistle.  

    Under Gordon Burry, Calum notched 7 goals in his first campaign, with a club who, at the time, were propping up the Ross-shire Welfare league. Calum made history, by scoring a hat trick in his debut, against the Rigger on May 25th, 2002.

    “I didn’t get much playing time in the winter with St Duthus so I went to Tain Thistle in the summer.   I remember going along to training with Stuart Ross, while I was working with him in Alness, and the rest is history.“

    Calum continued to set standards in 2004, when he scored an impressive 17 goals under new manager Bill Russell before breaking the season goal scoring record for the club, by netting 20 times in 2005.  

    The following winter, seasoned second XI campaigners Balintore signed Calum for what would become their first league-winning season in fifteen years.  However, despite playing in four Welfare cup finals, Calum is yet to win a medal with Tain Thistle.

    The striker’s recurrent knee problems hampered his consistency in 2006, before he eventually left Tain to work in Norway, despite a brief return in 2007.

    “I stopped playing because I was having problems with my knee, and the job came up in Norway.  It’s a lot better now as I got it repaired last year, after cortisone injections and physio.  I have a degenerative condition of some kind in the joint.”

    Now back living in his native Comrie, Calum aims to be available as much as possible for Thistle this summer, having re-signed with the club for their 2009 campaign.  

    Getting off to a fantastic start in pre-season with a hat trick against St Duthus in March, and a first of the season in his first start against Alness last Wednesday, Calum is sure more goals will follow.

    “When I heard that Robbie Ross was a goal or two ahead of me in the all-time Thistle scoring records, the first thing I thought was “God, I do need to keep playing then!”
  • Thistle and Balintore headed for monster clash

    Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Fierce at best, the rivalry between Tain and Balintore will reach fever pitch this coming Wednesday when the sides battle at Grant Park for the top spot in the Ross-shire Welfare league.  

    Tain Thistle may have only been formed in 1996, but a long standing tradition of Welfare battles exists between Tain and Balintore sides.  63 years have passed since Tain St Duthus and Seaside Rovers rejoined the Ross-shire League after the end of the Second World War, when, at the first time of asking, Balintore defeated Tain 2-0 to win the Ross-shire league title in December 1946.

    The competitive nature of the clubs was none more reinforced than in a friendly meeting that took place in 1968.

    The date was April 9th, with Rovers (Balintore) playing hosts to St Duthus.  The Tain side took the lead on twenty minutes, playing against the wind, when Archie Forsyth nodded home.  Before long, Alan Dundas had made it 2-0 from the penalty spot and Tain were on easy street.  But a swift comeback from the Rovers saw them finish 4-2 when a corner was neatly finished by Day and the equalizer was added by Browning.  Ronnie Hart was the hero for the villagers as he netted a brace to take the win.

    Spectators attending the coming evening's entertainment on the 20th will be hopeful of a well contested game, however the Thistle camp will simply be looking for the three points they need to take them to the top of the table, ahead of their visit to Dingwall.  The Seaboarders however, will be keen to maintain their position as leaders; the result of win or indeed even a draw possibly being enough to see the job through.
  • Tain Thistle 2-1 Alness Athletic

    Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Tain Thistle produced a gritty fightback to overcome a feisty Alness Athletic side in tonight's Ross-shire Welfare League match.

    Missing last week's forward line of Mark Reid and Liam Rostock and defender Kiki Dingwall sidelined with a shoulder injury, manager Arron Christie reintroduced a number of players for the game.  James Rice returned, while Paul Cowie and Calum Macdonald took to the field for the first time.  Also returning on the wing was Darran Goller.

    Tain got off to a decent start, dominating most of the play in a tight first half, but an early knee injury to form man Andy Murray upset the momentum; substitute Kyle Oliver replacing Murray.

    Referee Keith Middleton was on hand to stamp his authority on the game, issuing the first yellow card on 3 minutes, to Kraig Vass for dissent.  Persistent verbal abuse from Alness saw two further players added to Middleton's book before the end of the first half.

    The best chance of the first half fell for Alness however, to Jordan Greig, who saw his effort sail just over the bar.  Despite some persistance from Alness down the wing, defenders Arron Christie and makeshift centre half Michael Brand were well on hand to deal with cross balls.

    Both teams emerged for the second half looking for the opener and it was Alness who found the net first, Davie Ogilvie connecting with a cross ball over the advancing Stevie Martin.

    Daniel Christie attempted to hit straight back with a half way line effort, but the shot was swallowed by Andrew Maitland, in what would be counted as Thistle's first shot on target of the game.

    The tide quickly turned however, as play was concentrated down the right hand side, with Darran Goller and Martyn Farquhar linking up well to create chances.  Thistle's equaliser came from a Goller cross only 15 minutes later in fact, as Calum Macdonald was on hand at the far post to knock the ball home for his first of the season.

    1-1 may have seemed like the most likely result as further stoppages and arguments saw the game turning ugly, however a goalkeeping error from Maitland was enough for Andy Durrand to pop up and score the winner for Tain, with ten minutes left on the clock.

    The 2-1 win leaves Thistle in 3rd place, still equal points with Invergordon Social Club and two behind Balintore, who each scored wins tonight against Inver and Ross Club, respectively.  In other action, Cromarty recorded a thumping 7-2 home win over the Sutor Inn.

    Team: Martin, Murray (Oliver 12), Farquhar, A Christie, Brand, Cowie, D Christie, Rice, Durrand, Macdonald, Goller Subs not used: Matheson, Swann, Nimmons, Austin

    Scorers: Calum Macdonald 68, Andy Durrand 79

    Man of the Match: Michael Brand
  • Alness U15s 0-2 Tain Juniors U15s

    Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Tain Juniors Under 15's set the pace for the possibility of another Tain football hat trick, this week against Alness.

    Tain dominated from the off, having switched MacLean to the middle of defence, with saw goalkeeper John Allan rarely troubled.  Coach Wilfie Campbell was getting anxious as constant Tain pressure resulted in no breakthrough, Greenless, Cunningham and Smart all coming close.

    The opening goal came just on half time however, when a fine interchange between Cooper and Greenlees saw the latter produce a fine finish to make it 1-0.

    The half time team talk encouraged the 15s to stick to their instructions.  Tain's persistence finally paid off with a second goal on the hour mark when Calum Cooper was on the end of a fantastic interchange of play.

    Some late pressure from Alness forced the visitors to close up shop, which was done expertly, leaving coaches Campbell and Robert Farquhar happy with a 2-0 result.

    "We're absolutely delighted.  This is by far the best performance of the season yet.  We were certainly both smiling at full time!"
  • Thistle in striker crisis for Alness visit

    Posted on Friday, May 8, 2009

    Tain Thistle face uncertainty up front, going into their first ever competitive meeting with Terry Stirling's newly formed Alness Athletic.

    Pre-season hopes of a return for Calum Macdonald went up in smoke as the prominent scorer returned to his hometown of Comrie.  News quickly followed of record goalscorer Garry Perks' decision to stay in the US and a recent ankle injury to Robbie Ross, who scored Thistle's first goal of the season against Inver, has ruled the striker out for several weeks.

    Mark Reid was able to come in to cover Ross last week but is unavailable as of today (Friday).  With so many absenses, the goal scoring duties lie firmly on the shoulders of Liam Rostock, who is yet to find the net in a competitive game for Thistle this season.
  • Sutor Inn 0-3 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Tain Thistle made easy work of the Sutor Inn in Invergordon tonight, as they climbed to third place in the Ross-shire Welfare League.  Arron Christie made only two changes to the side who finished 0-0 with Inver last Wednesday, with Gary Austin replacing James Rice on the wing and Mark Reid replacing the injured Robbie Ross.

    Tain started well from the offset in dreary conditions, testing Sutor goalkeeper Mackay on a number of occasions through the quick forward work of Mark Reid and Liam Rostock; Thistle coming closest to opening the scoring when Mark Reid saw his effort drift just wide of the post.

    Reid finally opened the scoring on 35 minutes after sustained pressure when full back turned winger Andy Murray squared the ball into the forward's path for a well taken goal.

    Goalkeeper Stevie Martin was tested only once in the game, in the first half when Chris Cooper's point blank effort was palmed away by Tain's in-form stopper.  The score finished 1-0 at half time.

    A shoulder injury saw Craig Nimmons replace Keith Dingwall at half time, following a solid defensive display from the Tain back four of Farquhar, Christie, Dingwall and Murray/Austin.  The change heralded further opportunity with Nimmons linking up well with Reid and Rostock to create further chances.

    Rostock was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in the second half after a series of excellent forward runs.

    Reid added to his tally on the 52nd minute when his cross was deflected into the net to make it 2-0, much to the disappointment of the disjointed Sutor side.

    Thistle wrapped up the points in style when a well worked move between Rostock and Reid led to Andy Murray slotting the ball home from 15 yards to make it 3-0.

    The win pushes Thistle up to 3rd place, level on points with Inver, Social Club and Ross Club, who all gained points on the night.  Balintore, who defeated Alness 3-1, go top by two points ahead of their game against Ross Club.

    Next week, Thistle play host to Alness Athletic who are yet to win any points this season.

    Team: Martin, Murray, Farquhar, A Christie, Dingwall (Nimmons 46), D Christie, Brand, Austin (Swann 80), Durrand, Reid, Rostock

    Scorers: Reid 35, 57, Murray 77

    Man of the Match: Andy Murray
  • Tain Juniors U15s 3-0 Invergordon U15s

    Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Memories of last week's defeat to Dingwall were shaken off with a comfortable win at home to Invergordon tonight, for Tain Juniors' Under 15s.  With a near complete squad to select from, coaching partnership Wilfie Campbell and Robert Farquhar were able to field a strong side against an under-par Invergordon.

    Stewart Greenlees caused havoc for the Invergordon defence early on, and on 15 minutes got his reward; his neatly taken lob looping over the head of the Invergordon stopper into the net to make it 1-0.  

    As the game progressed, the Tain defence (bolstered by the addition of Michael Maclean) never looked troubled and the 15s had their chances to increase the scoring -- Greenlees again using his pace to create chances for himself and those around him. However, despite their dominance, only a goal separated the sides at the break.

    Strong words at half time from coach Wilfie Campbell encouraged the Juniors to start the second period strongly and some nice play led to Greenlees netting his second.  Substitutes Murray, Macleod and Melville were introduced midway through the second half, before Tain's domination was rounded off with a well worked Keiran Cunningham goal to make it a comfortable 3-0.

    Team: Allan, Maclean, Smith, MacIvor, Allison, Durrand, Smart, Cunningham, Joy, Kidd, Greenlees

    Subs: Murray, Macleod, Melville
  • Perks heartbroken as Thistle return collapses

    Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Tain Thistle learned this week that all-time record goal scorer Garry Perks will not be returning to the club for their summer campaign, after the forward’s proposed plan for a May return from the United States was sidelined.

    Perks last played for Tain Thistle in July of 2008, as the side crashed to a 2-1 defeat away to rivals and eventual league winners Black Rock Rovers, before leaving for Iowa in the United States to sign a soccer scholarship with college side Marshalltown Tigers.  Despite finishing the club’s top scorer last year, he was unable to end his season on a high.

    “I remember feeling extremely nervous for that game.  We had two chances in the first half to take the lead.  I didn’t play great and although we were never a one man team, my contribution didn’t help matters.”

    Perks’ first season with the Tigers saw him playing alongside and against young aspiring US internationals, skillful Brazilians and athletic Argentineans ñ a far cry from his beloved Ross-shire Welfare league, in which Inver’s recent signing of Balintore native Ross Powell was considered a foreign import!

    The Tigers' campaign was a mixture of success and disappointment; his club were ranked number 2 in the whole of the US, having won their regional division as well as a Texas based tournament, but disaster struck when an administrative error saw the Tigers banned from the league when it emerged that their filing department had incorrectly registered foreign nationals.  But for Garry, the good outweighs the bad.

    “My move to the US was the best decision I’ve ever made.  I’ve matured greatly, as a player and person”.

    “Of course, I miss the banter. Playing with my best friends at a club so close to my heart, as Tain Thistle is, will always be something I’ll miss”.

    Up until recently, it was expected that Garry Perks would sign up with the Jags once again, for the 2009 Welfare campaign under the team of coaches Arron Christie and close friend Steven Martin, but a recent turn of events and uncertainty over employment has forced the Cannock native to remain in the US.

    “I have found a job here in the US, and a place to stay.  Its heart wrenching that I wont have the opportunity to come home and play with the boys, but I know they appreciate what I have to do.”

    Perks leaves some big shoes to fill at Tain, in a team which has lost both Colin Burry and Brian Cameron ñ two other mainstays of the 2008 campaign.  But Garry doesn’t think Thistle will have to worry about goals, or a lack of creative flair.

    A proponent of the theory that if you have plenty of self belief, and that anything can be achieved, the forward hopes that despite his absence Tain Thistle can take their chances, and push for the Welfare league title in 2009.

    “With a little more confidence in his technical ability, Liam Rostock will get the goals.  He’s the fastest player I have played with, it’s up to him to take the chances when they come.”

    “There’s years in me yet.  I’m only 22 and I will play for Tain again.  Watch out Summer 2010, I’m coming to get ya!”
  • Thistle win Homecoming Cup

    Posted on Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Tain Thistle captain Paul Cowie held the Homecoming Cup on behalf of his team as the Jags ran out 5-1 winners against the visiting HMS Sutherland FC.  HMS Sutherland representative and player Jamie Ross also presented a plaque to the Thistle captain, in rememberance of the recent passing of a member of their crew.

    The Naval men looked sharp and fit from the outset but struggled early on to deal with the pace of Thistle's forward line; strikers Daniel Christie and Mark Reid both missing clear cut chances in front of goal within the opening minutes.  The Sutherland keeper finally picked the ball out of the net for the opener on the 8th minute however when a pacey Liam Rostock cut inside to curl the ball into the far corner.

    Thistle's lead was shortlived however as Sutherland found an equaliser on the quarter hour mark; Tain keeper Stevie Martin unable to prevent the opposition effort drifiting to the side of him.

    If Thistle were armed with a banjo, they would have struggled to connect with the rear of any bovine animal in the first half, as Christie, Rostock and Mark Reid all squandered excellent chances to reinstate their lead.  Even when awarded a penalty for a poor challenge on the edge of the box, Thistle failed to score; Darran Goller rattling the crossbar with a powerful yet inaccurate penalty.  Thistle's pressure finally paid off ten minutes before the break however, when Daniel Christie did well to bundle a shot past the Sutherland keeper from a tight angle, making it 2-1 at half time.

    The second half saw a number of changes, with goalkeeper Martin being replaced by David Crombie, and Bob Swann and Andy Durrand on for Paul Cowie and Darran Goller.  The changes heralded an immediate impact, with Swann playing in Mark Reid for Thistle's third.  

    Nobody could have seen the fourth coming as player manager Arron Christie stunned the crowd with a beautiful solo effort, driving the ball 40 yards through the midfield before launching a looping 35 yard shot past the Sutherland substitute keeper to make it 4-1.  The goal will take some beating throughout the summer season!

    It was game set and match with 10 minutes to go when referee Brian Patullo awarded a second penalty to Tain; Liam Rostock being mauled down by the Sutherland keeper.  Daniel Christie made no mistake with the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 5-1 on the day.

    Railway Hotel manager Alan Nimmons was on hand to present the Homecoming Cup to the victors, as well as the Ship's Plaque.

    Lineup: Martin (Crombie), Austin, Murray, A Christie, Dingwall, Cowie (Durrand), Goller (Swann), D Christie, Oliver, Rostock, Reid

    Goals: Rostock 8, D Christie 35, pen 80, Reid 48, A Christie 6

  • Tain Juniors trounce Invergordon

    Posted on Friday, May 1, 2009

    The Under 17 side of Tain Juniors soared to the top of the SWL Ross-shire Youth League table tonight after dismantling a poor Invergordon side at the Recreation Grounds, Invergordon.

    Tain hit Invergordon from the outset, forwards John Maclellan and Martin Smith linking up expertly to open the scoring within five minutes, when the latter found the net.  Smith netted a further three times in the first half, taking his opening period tally to four, thanks to clever forward play again from MacLennan and pacey winger Ayah Rattanaphithak.

    The score finished 5-0 at half time, thanks to the addition of a brilliant strike from Reece Stewart. After the restart, Alasdair Mackintosh and Nicholas Mein temporarily replaced form players Andy Bell and four goal hero Smith, before Ryan Johnston popped up with the goal of the night; a 25 yard screamer into the top corner to make it 6-0.

    Smith was reintroduced late, and found time to notch a fifth to make it 7-0 five minutes from time, as Tain cruised in style to a confident away win -- their second victory in two games since the start of the 2009 Ross-shire Youth League campaign.

    Team coach Gavin MacDonald could not hide his delight following the side's excellent display.

    "Tain have always had a good reputation, one we've built over the past couple of years, of playing flowing, quick moving football and I was pleased to see that tonight.  Best of all we kept a clean sheet, and to score seven goals on top of that is just fantastic."

    Lineup: John Allan, Stewart Shearer, Donald Matheson, Ryan Johnston, Andrew Sutherland, Reece Stewart, Andy Bell, Chris Gordon, Martin Smith, Ayah Rattanaphithak, John Maclellan

    Subs: David Robertson (GK), Paddy McKenna, Nicholas Mein, Alasdair Mackintosh

    Scorers: Smith (5, 15, 20, 30, 75), Stewart (36), Johnston (60)
  • Homecoming Cup unveiled

    Posted on Friday, May 1, 2009

    Tain Thistle's contribution to the Homecoming Scotland campaign was unveiled today in the form of the new Homecoming Cup.  The cup, to be contested this year between Tain Thistle and a team of Naval men from the HMS Sutherland, will mark Tain football's contribution to Scotland's first ever Homecoming year.

    Homecoming Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative managed by EventScotland in partnership with VisitScotland, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. From Burns night to St Andrew’s Day, a country wide programme of exciting and inspirational events and activities will celebrate some of Scotland’s great contributions to the world: Burns himself, Whisky, Golf, Great Minds and Innovations, and our rich culture and heritage.

    For more information, visit: http://www.homecomingscotland.com

    Tain Thistle will play the HMS Sutherland tomorrow, Saturday 2nd May at Grant Park, with a 1pm kick off.

  • Tain Thistle 0-0 Inver

    Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Tain Thistle and Inver locked horns on the opening night of the Ross-shire Welfare league campaign, drawing a blank at both ends in an enjoyable match tonight.

    Thistle felt much more at home with first choice keeper Stevie Martin back in goal.  

    A more familiar looking 4-4-2 saw Arron Christie and Keith Dingwall flanked by Martyn Farquhar and Andy Murray, with a central midfield of Daniel Christie and Michael Brand, wings occupied by Andy Durrand and James Rice, with a front two of power and pace, respectively named as Robbie Ross and Liam Rostock.

    Tain dominated from the outset, testing Inver keeper Henderson on the 5th minute when Daniel Christie's looping free kick found the head of winger Rice for a point blank effort.  

    Henderson was up to the challenge, and again held well when Liam Rostock turned his marker to hit a confident strike on target.

    Thistle had numerous chances to take the lead and will have been disappointed to go in at the break without having scored; goalkeeper Stevie Martin having the quietest of first halves.  Andy Durrand had the most clear cut chance of the first period, having been clean through on Henderson but his hesitance to shoot saw him dispossessed by David Calderwood.

    Unfortunately for Tain, momentum was lost when forward man Robbie Ross was forced to leave the field almost immediately after the restart when an ankle injury suffered in the first half worsened.  

    Ross was replaced by debutant Mark Reid.  Reid did well on his inclusion to open up play with an injection of pace, linking well with Rostock and attacking midfielder Daniel Christie on a number of occasions.

    Tain felt their heart in their mouth in the latter stages however as Inver hit the woodwork on the 80th minute; Martin only able to watch as the effort cannoned off the crossbar down onto the clearing foot of Keith Dingwall.

    Despite their dominance throughout, Tain could not find the elusive opener and the score remained at 0-0 until referee Gary McCarthy's full time whistle.

    The result leaves both Tain and Inver in the middle of the table after day one, with the other three results on tonight's card recording winners.  Invergordon Social Club enjoyed a home win against Alness Athletic, Balintore eased past the Sutor and Ross-shire Club beat new boys Cromarty 2-1 in the Black Isle.

    Team: Martin, Murray, Farquhar (Austin 85), A Christie, Dingwall, Brand, D Christie, Durrand, Rice (Oliver 75), Rostock, Ross (Reid 50)

    Man of the Match: Daniel Christie
  • Under 15s fall to Dingwall

    Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Tain Juniors' Under 15 side fell 3-1 in their opening SWL Ross-shire League Game.

    A promising start from Tain Juniors encouraged Under 15s coach Robert Farquhar as the young boys went head to head with the league favourites.  Front man Stuart Greenlees troubled Dingwall early on, as the home side struggled to deal with his pace.

    Dingwall settled into the game mid way through the first half and before long, found the net; scoring on the half mark to make it 1-0.  Were it not for the woodwork, Tain may have equalized going into the break ñ Greenlees watching an effort hit off the post and another effort cleared off the line.

    The Juniors started well in the second half when Graeme Smart split the Dingwall defence apart for Greenlees to get his just reward with a brilliantly taken goal.

    At 1-1, the Juniors enjoyed a spell of possession and may have even taken the lead, but two late goals secured the win for the home side.

    The Under 15s now travel to Invergordon on Tuesday 5th May.
  • HMS Sutherland challenge Thistle in Homecoming Cup

    Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    This Saturday 2nd May, Tain Thistle will welcome naval vessel the HMS Sutherland for a friendly competition which will reward the winners with the first ever Homecoming Cup.

    HMS Sutherland is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. She is the thirteenth ship in the Duke class of frigates and is the third ship to bear the name, more than 200 years since the name was last used.

    A big thank you to Tain Sports who have kindly offered to sponsor the match ball for the game.

    The match will be played at Thistle's Grant Park home with a 1pm kick off.
  • Second phase of sponsored walk scheduled

    Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    The second phase of the Tain Thistle Sponsored Walk (the players' phase) has been scheduled for Sunday, May 10th, with a start time of 12pm.
  • Thistle crash out of League Cup

    Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009

    Tain Thistle crashed out of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup, falling at the first hurdle in their tie against local rivals Inver today.

    Significant absences made the difference with Thistle again forced into changes due to injury.  Most notably, David Kinnear returned to the side for the first time in several years, becoming the fifth keeper to play for the club in as many games!  Coming into the side also was Kyle Oliver, replacing the otherwise engaged Paul Cowie in midfield.

    Thistle seemed to be off to a good start, winning most of the possession in the first half, Arron Christie testing Inver keeper Ross Henderson with a free kick on 10 minutes.  Referee Keith Middleton set the pace with an early yellow for Scott Innes in Inver colours for dissent.

    Despite early pressure from Tain, it was a well worked Inver corner which resulted in the first goal -- Tain resident Christy MacDonald powering a header past Kinnear to put Inver 1-0 ahead.  Thistle barely had time to recover as pacey Greig Mitchell punished the Tain defence for a miscommunication, and curled his shot round Kinnear to make it 2-0.

    A switch in attacking approach released Daniel Christie down the wing to invigorate the Thistle threat and the change paid off ten minutes later when Robbie Ross was found by Christie for a point blank finish, sending the teams to the touchline at half time with a score of 2-1.

    In an incident you would only expect to see in EA Sports' FIFA 09, Lewis Ross of Inver instantly nullified the Thistle half time team talk with an audacious shot from the half way line, direct from Mitchell's kick off.  The effort looped onto the reaching fingers of Kinnear, only to fall behind the keeper and into the net, increasing Inver's lead to 3-1!

    Thistle struggled to find the target throughout the second half, with their most notable chances coming from Andy Murray and Ross.  Inver found time to add to their tally in the second half however, when substitute Russell Ferguson outran the Thistle defence to finish, in a solo effort which summed up Inver's comfortable lead.

    The defeat sends Thistle out of the League Cup, but serves as a dress rehearsal for Wednesday's league match against Inver, again at Grant Park.  The report card will simply read: "Must do better"

    Team: Kinnear, Murray (Durrand 63), Farquhar, A Christie, Rice, Dingwall, D Christie, Brand, Oliver (Austin 86), Ross, Rostock (Nimmons 80)

    Scorers: Ross 35

    Man of the Match: Martyn Farquhar
  • Tain Juniors Under 17s get off to good start

    Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009

    On what proved to be a fine Spring evening for Tain Juniors, the club’s Under 17 outfit made easy work of a hardy Dornoch side.

    Pressure on the Dornoch goal was apparent from the outset, with the Juniors hitting the crossbar not once, but twice in the opening stages.  However, against the run of play in the first half, Stewart Burnett gave the visitors a surprise lead when the Tain defence failed to deal with a long throw.  

    The deficit was short lived however as referee Brian Patullo soon awarded a penalty to the home side for a foul on Martin Smith.  The same player, with conviction, hammered the ball home from the spot on the half hour mark to bring the scores level.

    Tain were commanding from then on, and it was starlet Ayah Ratpanaphitak who made the difference on 38 minutes, finishing a clever run down the wing with a sublime chip over the advancing Dornoch keeper; the Juniors going in at the break with a more than deserved 2-1 lead.

    Within five minutes of the restart, Tain scored again -- this time through forward John MacLennan, but the score line was quickly drawn back to 3-2 through Dornoch’s Jordan Morrison.  With ten minutes remaining it was midfielder Andy Bell who found the net to make it a final score of 4-2, ending any hopes of a comeback from the Sutherland side.

    Despite Morrison’s goal, John Allan had a quieter spell between the sticks second half than he did in the first, his counterpart on the bench David Robertson, the only substitute not to see action during the evening.

    The win gives Tain Juniors a good start to their SWL Ross-shire Youth League campaign, with coach Ronnie Allinson particularly pleased with the result.

    “It’s not often we get off to a good start, so I’m pleased we’ve been able to get off the ground with a win.”

    Lineup: John Allan, Stewart Shearer, Donald Matheson, Ryan Johnston, Andrew Sutherland, Rhys Stewart, Andy Bell, Alisdair Macintosh, Martin Smith, Ayah Ratpanaphithak, John MacLennan

    Subs: David Robertson (GK), Paddy McKenna, Nicholas Main, Connor Philips

    Scorers: Smith (pen 30), Ratpanaphitak (38), MacLennan (43), Bell (70)
  • Thistle missing key players for Inver double header

    Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009

    News of Stevie Martin's injury on Wednesday night on duty for Bonar Bridge has added to manager Arron Christie's woes for this week's double header against Inver, as Thistle go into the crunch League Cup 1st Round tie this Saturday with two injured goalkeepers; reserve keeper Steve Bannatyne still recovering from a cracked rib suffered against Embo.

    Thistle are also expected to be without forwards Calum Macdonald and Darran Goller, the latter suffering a shoulder injury in Wednesday's friendly against the Sutor Inn.
  • Tain Thistle 1-2 Sutor Inn

    Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    A closely fought encounter at Grant Park ended in a 2-1 win for visitors The Sutor Inn, from Invergordon, over a Tain Thistle side who were missing a number of key players.

    The otherwise engaged Stevie Martin was replaced in goal by Alan Forsyth, between the posts for the first time since his second half appearance in the Christy Grant Memorial Trophy match.  Manager Arron Christie introduced a new look back three, playing himself as a sweeper alongside Keith Dingwall and Martyn Farquhar, who replaced the missing James Rice.  

    Thistle started with a young midfield five of Daniel Christie, Paul Cowie, Michael Brand, Andy Murray and Andy Durrand.  The forward two of Robbie Ross and Darran Goller, stepping in for the absent Liam Rostock, completed the lineup.

    Despite a lively start to the match for the home side, it was the Invergordon men who had the earliest chance of the first half when Thistle keeper Forsyth charged down a Stevie Campbell effort.  The Thistle back line were less lucky only minutes later however when a looping cross found a Sutor head to make it 1-0 in a simple move; Sutor manager Chris Cooper the scorer.

    With only minutes for Thistle to recover, the Sutor made it 2-0, goalkeeper-come-forward Stevie Campbell capitalizing on a poorly dealt-with through ball.  To make matters worse, the second goal was instantly followed by the early substitution of makeshift forward Darran Goller, who was replaced by Gary Austin after 15 minutes.

    Daniel Christie joined Ross up front and soon Thistle settled into the game, pulling a goal back after referee Keith Middleton awarded the Jags a penalty.  Christie's conversion bundled underneath monstrous keeper Andrew Maitland to make it 1-2.

    Thistle could have gone in at the break level when they were awarded a second penalty, but Maitland had the measure of Christie the second time, for the set piece.  The second half saw no goals, but did see the introduction of substitutes Craig Nimmons, Michael Stein and Bob Swann in midfield.

    Despite boasting no further scoring, the second half was privvy to a spectacular save at either end of the park; Alan Forsyth first palming a Chris Cooper volley past the post, before Andrew Maitland defied the laws of gravity to reach a Paul Cowie strike destined for the top corner.

    Team: Forsyth, Farquhar, A Christie, Dingwall, Murray (Swann), Cowie (Stein), Brand, D Christie, Durrand, Goller (Nimmons), Ross

    In other news, absentees Steve Martin and Liam Rostock played for Bonar Bridge against North Caledonian champions Golspie Sutherland.  While the latter netted Bonar's second in three, the former, Martin, unfortunately suffered an ankle injury which could see him miss Saturday's crunch League Cup opener against Inver at Grant Park.
  • Final pre-season friendly arranged

    Posted on Monday, April 20, 2009

    To complete Tain's pre-season preparations, Invergordon's Sutor Inn side will visit Grant Park on Wednesday 22nd April, for a 7pm friendly kick off.
  • Tain Thistle 2-3 Alness Athletic

    Posted on Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Goals from Darran Goller and James Rice were not enough to prevent another pre-season defeat at Grant Park for Welfare hopefuls Tain Thistle.

    Goller and Rice gave Thistle a half hour lead but opportunist goals from Kraig Vass and Terry Stirling saw the visitors go in 3-2 ahead at the break.  No goals followed, despite Alness keeper David Crombie having to leave the field injured, to be replaced by frontman Andrew Maitland.

    Team: Martin, Farquhar, Murray, Rice, Dingwall, Cowie, Durrand, A Christie, Goller, D Christie, Ross. Subs: Austin, Swann, Nimmons
  • Welfare fixtures announced

    Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    The fixtures for league and cup for this season's Ross-shire Welfare football league have been announced, with Tain Thistle opening with the visit of Inver, followed by a trip to Invergordon to play the Sutor Inn.

    For a detailed list of fixtures, click the Fixtures link on the left hand side of the page, or click here: Fixtures

    In other news, the proposed friendly between Tain Thistle and Alness Athletic planned for Wednesday 22nd April has been CANCELLED.
  • Thistle soundly beaten by Rocks

    Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    An ailing Tain Thistle side were soundly beaten by a strong amateur Black Rock side this Tuesday evening, by 5 goals to nil.  

    Black Rock Rovers, now playing in the Ross-shire Amateur league, have boosted their squad with a number of experienced North Caledonian league players, as well as amateurs from Highland League strugglers, Brora Rangers, proving more than a match for the summer welfare side of Tain.

    Thistle's assistant manager and goalkeeper Steven Martin was still recovering from an ankle ligament injury before the game, and was therefore replaced by David Crombie in goal.  Former Rocks man Keith Dingwall made his debut at the back alongside cold-stricken stalwart James Rice, with youngsters Andy Durrand and Martyn Farquhar manning the flanks.  

    A last minute four of Daniel Christie, Bob Swann, Liam Rostock and Darran Goller made the midfield, before Michael Brand's early inclusion, replacing Swann, with a front line of Calum Macdonald and Robbie Ross completing a 4-4-2.

    Wearing all white, Thistle had the first chance of the game when Ross was clean through on Grant Robertson, but saw his long range effort sail into the keeper's hands.  At the break however, Rocks went in 2-0 up, with a goalmouth scramble and an unfortunate deflection off Thistle right back Andy Durrand giving the visitors goals.

    Kraig Vass's side did enough to thwart a turn in possession in the second half, with substitutes Paul Cowie, Lewis Montgomery and Craig Nimmons getting involved, before adding a further three in the final ten minutes of the game, Tain's weakness on the wings being exploited to the full.

    The defeat shows a marked improvement in Black Rock Rovers, but highlights a number of concerns for Thistle manager Arron Christie, with only ten days to go before the club's League Cup 1st Round tie with Inver, at Grant Park.
  • Pre-Season friendly arranged

    Posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Tain Thistle will play their second friendly of the pre-season against 2008 rivals Black Rock Rovers, who will visit Tain's Grant Park for the first time since a league meeting last summer, which saw a 10 man Thistle run out 3-0 winners on the night.

    The game will be played at 7pm, on the evening of Tuesday April 14th.

    Black Rock, who won last year's Ross-shire Welfare league are currently competing in the Ross-shire Amateur league.
  • Thistle drawn against Inver in League Cup

    Posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Tain Thistle will play their first game of the Welfare season on Saturday, 25th April.  The club were handed a home drawn this weekend against local rivals Inver, in the 1st Round of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup.

    Thistle saw themselves handed four home draws out of five, in their First Round cup matches for 2009.
  • Thistle coast to 6-0 friendly win over Embo

    Posted on Saturday, April 4, 2009

    Tain Thistle players could have been guilty of thinking they were on holiday upon their visit to caravan paradise, Embo, as they cantered toward a very comfortable 6-0 win against Sutherland amateur contenders, Embo FC.

    A swirly wind and wet conditions did not deter a buoyant and ferocious Thistle welfare side from exerting their authority on the game early on, as guest left back Ali Macdonald added the final touch in a glancing header to a neatly initiated Arron Christie free kick in the 5th minute.  

    Indeed, Christie could have found himself on the scoresheet soon after, but his successful set piece strike was disallowed due to a Thistle player advancing in an offside position.  Before long, returning Thistle forward Liam Rostock scored to make it 2-0, hammering home his first of the afternoon with a shot, high into the net from inside the area.  

    The first half was dampened only by an injury to midfielder Paul Cowie.  Cowie was replaced by Andy Murray, who offered an impressive substitute performance.

    Finishing 2-0 at the break, Thistle reappeared showing no mercy; Rostock again on the scoresheet to make it 3-0 just minutes after the second half began.  Rostock completed his hat-trick soon after, capitalizing on a ball crossed in from the left hand side, beating compadre Dickie Durrand to an easy finish.

    Noted goalscorer Robbie Ross, pleased to have been classified by the Ross-shire Welfare league as a North Caledonian exemption earlier in the day, found the net in style to make it 5-0.  Beating the offside trap, Ross advanced on the Embo goal, hitting a low shot into the keeper, before hammering his rebounded effort into the roof of the net.

    Steve Bannatyne, making his Welfare debut for the club after a series of appearances during the winter season, did well to prevent Kevin Lewis from scoring a consolation for the home side, winning two one-on-ones with the striker in the second half.  Bannatyne's afternoon was cut short however as a rib injury saw him leave the field in the latter stages.  He was replaced in goal by player-manager Arron Christie.

    Tain's goal scoring was complete with minutes remaining when Rostock again looked sure to score from only 10 yards, but his powerful strike found it's way in courtesy of a Darran Goller boot, to give the latter a place on the scoresheet.

    Post match, assistant manager Steven Martin noted that he was pleased the team's performance.

    Team: Stevie Bannatyne, Dickie Durrand, Ali MacDonald, Martyn Farquhar, Arron Christie, Paul Cowie, Michael Brand, Darren Goller, Liam Rostock, Robbie Ross, Calum Macdonald

    Subs: Lewis Montgomery, Michael Stein, Bob Swann, Andy Murray
  • Sponsored Walk 2009

    Posted on Monday, March 30, 2009

    Tain Thistle will hold the first of their annual Sponsored Walks on Sunday April 19th, starting from the football clubhouse, up Tain Hill, then returning to the Railway Hotel.

    Anyone is invited to take part, and sponsor forms are available from Home & Music, on Tain High Street.

    In an added incentive, the participant who raises the most through sponsorship will win a Sony PSP (w/ Fifa '09)!
  • Tain Thistle 6 Tain St Duthus XI 2

    Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Tain Thistle's welfare stars sauntered to a 6-2 victory in the Christie Grant Memorial Trophy match yesterday, defeating Jim Jardine's Tain St Duthus XI.

    A number of former St Duthus players took the field for Jim's side, from recent times in Alan Duff, DJ McCarthy and Gavin MacDonald to Gary Ross and Darren Mackay of Inver and even Willie Forsyth, who made his first appearance for Tain in 1959!

    Arron Christie managed the Thistle welfare side going into the game, before taking the field for the second half.  A more familiar Thistle side saw Martin Mackay in goal for the second time in as many matches, with full backs Andy Murray and Brian Cameron joining Martyn Farquhar and Scott Innes to make a back four.  A midfield three of Chris Mailley, Paul Cowie and Colin Burry and a forward line of Robbie Ross, Daniel Christie and Calum Macdonald completed the starting XI.

    For St Duthus, Jim started with DJ McCarthy in goal, a traditional back three of Alan Duff, Tom McCourt and David Calderwood with Darren Mackay, Ross Powell, Craig Swanson, James Rice and Hugh Taylor in midfield.  Gary Ross and Kenny Johnstone spear headed the attack.

    Thistle took an early lead through the returning Calum Macdonald, who nodded home a Daniel Christie cross in the 5th minute.  Despite frequent Thistle attacks, however, a nimble Kenny Johnstone was able to scoot past Martyn Farquhar to level the scores on the half hour mark, slotting home past goalkeeper Martin Mackay.

    The scores looked to be level going in at half time, but a scramble in the 6 yard box saw Paul Cowie hack the ball home to make it 2-1 Thistle at the break.

    Half time saw a number of changes, with both goalkeepers being replaced.  Secretary Alan Forsyth took the field for Thistle, while Graham Stewart replaced McCarthy between the St Duthus sticks.

    Calum Macdonald got on the score sheet again, almost as quickly as he did in the first half, making it 3-1 on the 48th minute, before adding a fourth, ten minutes later, to make it a hat-trick.  At 4-1, the St Duthus substitutions were coming thick and fast; not always with the same amount of men coming off the park as were coming onto it, however!  

    Perennial centre mid turned right-back for the day, Brian Cameron, could have made it five when his excellent work down the right hand side looked like it may be rewarded with a goal, but he failed to connect with a volley on the edge of the box.

    Thistle netted their fifth in tremendous fashion when Daniel Christie's 25 yard lob looped into the top corner of Stewart's net, in an effort that would been fitting to win any game.  A sixth followed when Christie again looked to have the better of the St Duthus defence; Graham Stewart's work to close him down was effective but he was powerless to prevent Bob Swann from netting his first goal for the club, with the easiest of tap ins.

    Substitute Gavin MacDonald was the unlikely provider of a finale goal for the veterans, as he expertly took advantage of a through ball, sidefooting the ball beyond Alan Forsyth, to pull the scoreline back to 6-2.

    Post match, manager of the St Duthus Hotel, Alan Grant (son of St Duthus legend Christopher Grant) presented the trophy, in memory of his father, to Thistle captain Scott Innes.

  • The countdown is on

    Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009

    The countdown to the Christie Grant Memorial Trophy match is on.  In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, the match and eventual trophy winners will be decided by penalty shoot out.

    Summer Tain Thistle manager Arron Christie promises a Tain based side, with an emphasis on Welfare talent, who plan to take the afternoon's friendly match very seriously.

    St Duthus XI manager for the day, Jim Jardine confirmed his 19 strong squad, with only a handful of names failing to make the final cut.  Last minute preparations however have uncovered a dilemma, with only two of the St Duthus strips being available in XL size.

    The match is to be played at 2pm, at Grant Park, by the Links.
  • Thistle re-register for Welfare League

    Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009

    Tain Thistle re-registered for the summer Ross-shire Welfare league season again, joined by Inver, Ross-shire Club, the Sutor Inn and Invergordon Social Club.  Also coming in are Alness, who join the league as a separate entity from United, but in a surprise twist, the numbers were made up to seven when Cromarty FC, formerly of the Ross-shire Amateur league, registered for the league.

    Welfare regulars Balintore and a rumoured team from Dingwall have, at present, opted not to join for the 2009 season.
  • Hospitality tables available for Christy Grant trophy match

    Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Tables for the Christy Grant trophy match between Tain Thistle and Jim Jardine's Tain St Duthus XI, are still available.<br /><br />Prices are set at &pound;100 for a table of six, for the hospitality lunch, to be held in the St Duthus Hotel, Tain, at 12pm on Saturday, 21st March, prior to the kick off of the much anticipated game.<br /><br />To book tickets, please contact the club via the website, or alternatively call 01862 892154 to book a table.<br /><br />ALL welcome!
  • Tain Thistle AGM spells good news for the club

    Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Ten members of the Tain Thistle committee gathered to attend the club's AGM on the evening of Wednesday 4th March.  The committee discussed plans for the club's re-entry into the Ross-shire Welfare league, and confirmed the interim appointment of James Rice and Steven Martin as caretaker managers for the summer.

    Agenda items included a review of plans for Welfare football, finances, sponsorship and merchandising, as well as an update on the current North Caledonian league season.

    Joining the Tain Thistle committee for the summer, Steven Martin and Thistle stalwart James Rice were unanimously elected as caretaker managers who will begin assembling a team for the campaign.

    Club secretary and co-treasurer Alan Forsyth reported a clean bill of health for the club financially and a series of fund raising opportunities were discussed among the committee members.  In addition, chairman Niall Harkiss reported that the club's official website was averaging 10,000 unique visits per month, also generating revenue through online merchandise and programme sales.

    The Tain Links Development Trust was represented by caretaker Graham Macrae who took note of a plumbing concerns regarding the Links Clubhouse.  Mr Macrae assured the committee that funding will be made available by the trust for the short term repair of these problems.

    Senior club manager Robbie Ross finished the meeting when he gave a brief overview of the North Caledonian league team's progress, as the club heads into it's final game this Saturday, as well as plans for next winter's pre-season.
  • Friendly match ends in defeat

    Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009

    A makeshift Tain Thistle XI played a friendly match against Contin FC on Sunday at 2pm, as the amateur side began their Summer preparations.

    The match ended in a 5-1 win for the visitors, against a largely unrecognizable Tain Thistle XI.
  • Welfare league news

    Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009

    As the North Caledonian League season comes to a close for Tain Thistle, early discussion of the club's Ross-shire Welfare League team begins.

    The summer league is expected to have eight teams this year, with Dingwall and Alness introducing additional teams, to join six existing sides.

    Last year's winners Black Rock Rovers will not compete, following their acceptance into the Amateur league.  Inver, originally thought to be playing out of Portmahomack, look likely to play their season out of Inver again.  

    Meanwhile, Thistle, Balintore, Sutor Inn and Invergordon Social Club all plan to enter teams again for the 2009 campaign.
  • Alness Utd vs Tain Thistle date confirmed

    Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2009

    The date for Thistle's final league game of the season has been confirmed as Saturday, March 7th, with a 2pm kick off.
  • New date for Tain Thistle vs Tain St Duthus XI match

    Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2009

    A new date of Saturday, March 21st has been confirmed as the new date for the much anticipated Tain Thistle vs Tain St Duthus XI match.
  • Happy Birthday Rob

    Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Everyone at Tain Thistle FC would like to wish coach Mr Rob Nicolson a happy 21st birthday.
  • Scott Innes given one match ban

    Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Tain Thistle defender Scott Innes has been handed an immediate one match ban by the SFA disciplinary committee following his dismissal against Invergordon last Saturday.

    Thistle captain Innes was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball inside the area, preventing a goal scoring opportunity.

    The decision brings an end to Innes's season and means he will miss the club's final game against Alness Utd.

  • Thistle handed SFA discipline warning

    Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2009

    Tain Thistle have today been notified of SFA concerns over their discipline for the 2008/09, since joining the North Caledonian league.

    At a meeting on January 27th, the SFA's Disciplinary Committee considered the Disciplinary Analysis for the period August to December 2008 for all North Caledonian league clubs, based on first team league and cup matches.

    The committee decided that a warning be issued to the Tain Thistle in regard to their disciplinary record.

    This warning is issued on the basis that the club’s “average points incurred per match” figure is appreciably above the average for your League.

    If an improvement is not evident when the committee comes to review the full season’s analysis, then a sanction could be imposed.
  • Tain Thistle 2 Invergordon 4

    Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2009

    The much anticipated encounter between Tain Thistle and Invergordon ended in a 4-2 win for the visitors, following two penalties, a dismissal and a series of gristly moments.

    Thistle manager Robbie Ross made a few changes to the side which lost 3-1 to Bonar Bridge a fortnight ago, as Gordie Oman returned to the side to replace Paul Austin, and the injured Daniel Christie was replaced by Darran Goller.  Also returning was Paul Cowie, who slotted in at right back for the benched Dickie Durrand.

    A below-par Arron Christie enjoyed his best spell of form in the opening minutes, only narrowly hitting the top of the net with a looping effort which had the Invergordon keeper flummoxed.  It was Gordie Oman who was first to capitalize on early Tain pressure however as he found himself barged to the ground for a penalty award.

    A unique combination of efforts between Christie and Oman, saw the former spot the ball, step back, then step aside as Oman trundled the ball into the bottom left corner beyond Stevie Campbell to make it 1-0 for Tain.

    Thistle maintained their lead for a good quarter hour until Invergordon found themselves clean through on Gordon Duff's goal.  Duff did well to get a hand to the visitors' initial effort but the advancing Stevie Murray made sure of a goal with a deflected charge which saw the ball whizz into the corner of the net, levelling the scores at 1-1.

    Before long, Thistle found themselves chasing a game they had controlled earlier, as Alan Stone found the net with ease, after Scott Innes failed to clear as the final man.

    Tain's earlier motivation and drive turned to misjudgement and over-zealousness, as within five minutes of each other, Paul Cowie and Gordie Oman were shown yellow cards for dissent and a needless tackle.

    The game took an ugly turn on forty minutes, when Thistle captain Scottie Innes was shown the red card for a handball in the 6 yard box.  An aerial scuffle had seen Innes tumble the ground, only for an Invergordon effort to career off the big man's hand.  

    Referee Graham Elder was ruthless in his punishment, issuing the red for "deliberate hand ball" and awarding Invergordon a penalty kick.  

    Chris Cooper made no mistake from the spot, and now at 3-1, Thistle faced a stern second half challenge with only ten men.

    The teams emerged for the second half in a makeshift 4-3-2 formation, with man of the match Chris Mailley and Gordie Oman still commanding the midfield.  Mailley enjoyed a couple of opportunities in a more attacking role; the best of his efforts powered into the chest of a confident Campbell.

    Indeed, Thistle had the better of a messy second half and when they finally clawed a goal back in the latter stages, it was again the running Gordie Oman who took the best of a 50/50 challenge with Steve Campbell, seeing his contribution to the clattering stramash deflect past the Invergordon keeper for Tain's second of the afternoon.  

    At 3-2, the game should have been poised for a nervy final ten minutes, but a needless defensive error saw Chris Cooper ease the ball past Gordon Duff to make the score academic, and wrap up three satisfying points for Invergordon.

    Team: Duff, Cowie (Durrand), Macgruer, Farquhar, Brand, Innes, A Christie, Oman (Murray), Goller (R Ross), Morrison, Mailley

    Scorers: Oman pen 12, 79

    Red card: Scott Innes 40

    Referee: G Elder

    Assistants: S Taylor & B Murray

    The date of Thistle's final league fixture against Alness Utd is still to be arranged, but likely dates include February 14th and March 7th, the latter forcing a change to the date of the forthcoming Thistle vs St Duthus XI exhibition match.
  • Tain Thistle and Tain St Duthus to play for Christy Grant Trophy

    Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    The much anticipated match between North Caledonian new boys Tain Thistle and a former second XI, Tain St Duthus old boys side will now take place on Saturday, March 7th, with a 2pm kick off.  The teams will contest the Christy Grant Memorial Trophy.

    The trophy, which was first introduced in December 1981, was introduced in memory of Christopher 'Christy' Grant, who for many years served Tain football as a trainer and committee member, and can be credited as one of the driving forces who led Tain St Duthus into joining the North Reserve League in 1971.

    Jim Jardine, who awarded the Graham Jardine quaich to Balintore earlier this season will manage the Tain St Duthus XI, which already boasts "a wealth of players".

    In the event that scores are level at full time, a penalty shoot out will take place to seperate the sides.
  • Alness vs Tain postponed

    Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Today's game between Alness United and Tain Thistle has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.
  • Fixture changes

    Posted on Monday, January 19, 2009

    Originally scheduled for February 14th, Tain Thistle's final game of the season will now take place on January 31st, against Invergordon, at Grant Park, with a 1.30pm kick off.

    Food, drinks, match programme and scarves will be on sale as usual.
  • Bonar Bridge 3 Tain Thistle 1

    Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2009

    A lacklustre Tain Thistle side fell to an organised Bonar Bridge at Migdale Playing Fields this afternoon, thanks to an early Billy Ferries goal and a brace from John Dorrian.  A late goal from captain Scottie Innes reduced the deficit but brought an end to the afternoon's scoring to record a comfortable 3-1 for the home side.

    Player-manager Robbie Ross listed himself as part of a front three which also featured the forward pair of Daniel Christie and Scott Morrison, with Gordon Duff returning to the side as the Tain side's new goal keeper.  

    Thistle's Arron Christie could have opened in the opening minute with an excellent chance, but the effort was dealt with by Bonar keeper Steve Martin, who turned the effort wide.  Only minutes later however, Bonar Bridge took the lead through Billy Ferries, whose looping shot could only deflect past the outreached hand of Duff as the ball bundled over the line.

    With the low sun blinding the Thistle attack, Bonar maintained pressure for the remainder of the first half, almost resting on the 1-0 lead, before John Dorrian made it 2-0 with a simple finish.

    The half time whistle heralded a change, as Andy Murray replaced Martyn Farquhar in the Thistle defence noted by manager Robbie Ross as a disciplinary decision.

    Playing downhill, Thistle offered little of any kind of improvement as Bonar continued to find easy routes towards goal through the Tain back line.  Gordon Duff earned his stripes in the second half however, pulling off two spectacular saves from Sean Henstridge and Billy Ferries, before eventually succumbing to a three pronged attack which saw John Dorrian bag his second to make it 3-0.

    With the foot now off the pedal, Bonar allowed Thistle a slight reprieve when Bruce Mackay needlessly lashed out at the grounded Andy Murray following a scuffle, and saw red for his actions.  

    Russell Lawrie and Paul Austin were introduced late-on as a tumble to Chris Mailley and a hamstring concern for Daniel Christie brought their afternoons to an end.  The changes brought about Thistle's best chance of the second half as Lawrie found himself clean through on Stevie Martin, only to place his shot wide of the far post.

    Dickie Durrand continued the late pressure on Martin's goal with an effort the Bonar keeper had to tip round the post, but it was captain marvel Scottie Innes who finally pulled a goal back for the visitors.  In what seemed all-too-easy, the imposing Innes dribbled through an unaware Bonar defence to walk the ball into the net for an easy finish, to add a touch of respectability to the scoreline.

    Team: Duff, Durrand, MacGruer, Farquhar (Murray), Brand, Innes, Mailley (Lawrie), A Christie, R Ross, D Christie (Austin), Morrison. Not used: George, Goller

    Scorer: Innes 83

    Referee: G Elder

    Tain Thistle's penultimate match of the season is also their final away game, at Alness's Dalmore Park, next week with a 1.30pm kick off.
  • Golspie Sutherland 8 Tain Thistle 2

    Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009

    In a very windy and miserable Golspie, Tain Thistle were soundly trounced by the much fitter and experienced league leaders Golspie Sutherland.

    Russell Lawrie cancelled out a John Mackay opener on 12 minutes, but a first half onslaught saw Golspie race into a 5-1 half-time lead thanks to a Kenneth Whyte brace, a Mackay penalty and a goal from Robbie MacDougall.

    In the second half, Stuart Thomson and Michael Sanderson added further goals either side of Whyte's third for his hat-trick.

    A solitary reply from Darran Goller on 51 minutes was all Thistle could offer in return.

    Team: Bannatyne, MacGruer, Cowie, Brand, Innes, Murray (Farquhar), Oman (Goller), Mailley, Lawrie, D Christie, Burry (Morrison). Not used: George, Durrand

    Scorers: Lawrie 12, Goller 51

    Referee: G John
  • Raffle winners announced

    Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009

    The winners of the Xmas raffle have been announced, with prizes of a Nintendo DS, Glenmorangie Whisky, £20 voucher and much more now drawn.

    Winner of a bottle of Glenmorangie Whisky: eTicket Number D08098 (Mr A Forsyth, Tain)

    Winner of the Nintendo DS: eTicket Number D08023 (Mr Andrew McCulloch, Dumbarton)

    Winner of the framed signed photograph of a player: eTicker Number D08015 (Mrs Karen Waddell, Tain)

    Winner of the autographed Sun cartoon: eTicket Number D08003 (Mr Bob Cormack, Tain)

    Winner of the £20 voucher: eTicket Number D08031 (Ms June Whittet, Culbokie)

    Congratulations to the lucky winners!

    Those successful can collect their prizes from Home & Music, Tain.
  • Happy New Year from Tain Thistle FC

    Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2009

    Everyone at Tain Thistle FC, the club and committee wish you a Happy New Year.

    All the best in 2009.