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  • Archived News & Updates (2010)

  • Cold freeze shuts out North Caley league

    Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010


    While Tain Thistle sit out of the Winter campaign, the North Caledonian league itself has struggled to put on any fixtures during the lengthy November freeze, as the December calendar promises more snow beginning this weekend.
  • Committee pair get hitched

    Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010


    Congratulations from Tain Thistle Football Club go out to two of our committee members and their respective partners, Dale & Sarah Finlayson and Alan & Lauren Forsyth, who were both married during the month of September.

    On behalf of the club, we wish them all the best for the future and a lifetime of happiness.
  • Awards Night Summary

    Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010


    The players successfully voted for this season's End of Year awards were as follows:

    Martyn Farquhar (Player of the Season)

    Andrew Sutherland (Young Player of the Season)

    Ryan Johnston (Goal of the Season)

    In other news, winger Darran Goller collected the website poll award for Player of the Year.

    The awards were presented by publican Alan Nimmons at the Railway Hotel this past Saturday.
  • Inver 1-4 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010


    Tain Thistle rounded their season off with a third place finish and a 4-1 win over local rivals Inver at Portmahomack. Goals from Liam Rostock, Michael Brand, Robbie Ross and Martyn Farquhar secured the three points in the rescheduled game.

    Manager Arron Christie left himself out of the squad that lost 9-1 to Cromarty on Saturday, but introduced messrs Ryan Cowie and Ryan Johnston to the defensive fold. Goalkeeper Stephen Wemyss also started as a trialist for the club, in for David Matheson.

    Martyn Farquhar opened the scoring for Thistle, before Robbie Ross gave them a first half lead of 2-0. Despite Inver pulling one back, second half goals from the Jags from Liam Rostock and Michael Brand made sure of Thistle's first and only win over Inver this season.

    Team: Wemyss, Cowie, Johnston (C Nimmons), Sutherland, Farquhar, Ross (Maclellan), Burry, D Christie, Brand, Goller, Rostock (Stein)



    Goals: Farquhar, Ross, Rostock, Brand
  • Third place still up for grabs

    Posted on Friday, August 6, 2010


    Tain Thistle will play their final league game of the season this Wednesday, August 11th. The Jags are still to play local rivals Inver, in a game rescheduled from May. The game was postponed following a head injury, with Thistle 2-1 up at the 75 minute mark.

    Thistle currently sit in third place with 20 points, with Inver trailing by three.
  • Tain Thistle 4-2 Inv. Social Club

    Posted on Wednesday, August 4, 2010


    Invergordon Social Club avoided a repeat of their Saturday humiliation at the hands of Tain Thistle tonight, as they fell to a more respectable 4-2 defeat, with Thistle ending their final home game of the year with a win.

    Thistle welcomed back Daniel Christie, in for the departing Garry Perks, while Michael Brand also returned.

    The Social Club men pegged Thistle back with a 1-0 lead at half time, before Darran Goller netted his tenth of the season to equalize. Liam Rostock scored the Jags' second, before Robbie Ross made it 3-1. The Invergordon men were able to pull the affair back to 3-2, but substitute John Maclellan was on hand for Tain to make it 4-2, putting the game beyond the Social men.

    Thank you to Andy Murray, Thistle supporter for the match report.

    Team:nMatheson, C Nimmons (A Christie), Sutherland, Farquhar, Cowie, Burry, Goller, Brand (Stein), D Christie, Rostock, Ross (Maclellan). Subs not used: Johnston

    Goals: Goller, Rostock, Ross, Maclellan
  • Website Player of the Year

    Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2010


    You can now vote for this year's Official Website Player of the Year, as decided by the visitors of TainThistle.co.uk. The six candidates have been chosen based on votes cast for man of the match nominations throughout the 2010 season thus far, and the nominees are Liam Rostock, Darran Goller, Garry Perks, Michael Brand, Martyn Farquhar and Colin Burry.

    Votes can be cast using the poll on the right hand side.
  • Thistle travel to Cromarty for semi

    Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010


    Following their 15-2 demolition of Invergordon Social Club this afternoon, Tain Thistle will now travel to Cromarty for the Coronation Cup semi final, on Saturday, August 7th. Cromarty were also involved in a high scoring cup game today, beating Inver 8-6 in an early kick off.
  • Tain Thistle 15-2 Inv. Social Club

    Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010


    The history books were rewritten once again last night as Tain Thistle recorded their biggest ever win, handing the underachieving Invergordon Social Club a 15-2 humping at Grant Park in the first round of the Coronation Cup. The win tops the club's previous record of 11-1 against Tain United in 2002.

    The tie started in disjointed fashion as the Social Club goalkeeper, Jamie Murphy, failed to appear, forcing defender Daniel Cormack to take his place between the sticks again as he had done on the opening day of the season against Thistle. Referee Gary McCarthy, having delayed kick off to allow Social extra time to produce an eleventh player eventually blew the whistle to start the game off at 3.17pm.

    Thistle were without Michael Brand, Brian Cameron and Daniel Christie, but manager Arron Christie was able to reintroduce himself and Craig Nimmons, with Ryan Cowie back in the first team fold.

    With only ten men to begin, a Social side countered their uphill struggle by playing with an element of determination at the start of the game, quickly finding the net through Scott Stirling, as the Invergordon man headed home a James McKidd cross to cancel out Erich Golabek's calamitous own goal opener for Tain moments earlier.

    At 1-1, the game was beginning to look like a goalfeast, however the superior attacking prowess of Thistle quickly shone through; Darran Goller breezing past the Social defence to slot home a second after only ten minutes. Robbie Ross was next to capitalize, with a mis-hit strike in the six yard box sent trundling beyond Cormack to make it 3-1 on the quarter hour mark.

    Neil Stephens was able to pull a goal back for Social a few minutes later, but as quickly as they scored, any semblance of winning hope immediately flew out of the window.

    Stepping up a gear, Thistle began to play the flowing football that has eluded them for most of the season and soon found a fourth goal through Liam Rostock, before Colin Burry watched his effort deflected into the net to make it 5-2. In his final game of the season before his return to the United States, Garry Perks netted the sixth, placing a shot beyond Cormack after dribbling with ease past a near static Social back line.

    Christie introduced Ryan Johnston for Robbie Ross as the second half began, with the tie already all but over. 16 year old John Maclellan reopened the floodgates at the start of the second period, shamelessly robbing Martyn Farquhar of the final touch on a clever piece of play in the 18 yard box, to score his third of the season. Shortly after Perks added his second to make it 8-2, Farquhar indeed got on the scoresheet, drilling a shot past Cormack for Thistle's ninth.

    A defensive calamity led to Thistle's tenth, as Perks netted his hat-trick by simply walking the ball into the net, and only moments after taking his place as a second half substitute, player-boss Christie netted a beautiful long range shot from 30 yards, directly into the top corner to make it 11-2.

    Rostock added Thistle's twelvth goal with a rifled shot underneath Cormack, before Perks netted his fourth. With ten minutes remaining, it was up to Darran Goller to wrap up proceedings. After a flurry of missed efforts by Rostock, substitute Craig Nimmons and his cousin Dave, Goller netted to end an eight minute barren spell, thumping a shot in at the near post to make it fourteen. Goller achieved a personal best two minutes later at the end of time by netting his first competitive hat-trick for Thistle, having done the same only a week prior in the Macrae/MacAngus testimonial.

    The emphatic win sends Thistle into the semi final of the Coronation Cup, when they will meet Cromarty at Victoria Park. The tie will be played on Saturday, August 7th with a 3pm kick off at Cromarty. 

    Team: Matheson, D Nimmons, Cowie, Sutherland (A Christie), Ross (Johnston), Farquhar, Burry (C Nimmons), Goller, Rostock, Maclellan, Perks

    Goals: Galabrci o.g. 3, Goller 10, 88, 90, Ross 15, Rostock 23, 79, Burry 28, Perks 32, 62, 71, 80, Maclellan 48, Farquhar 65, A Christie 73

    Bookings: Johnston 62

    Man of the Match: Liam Rostock
  • Results Roundup (28/7)

    Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010


    Balintore secured their first Ross-shire Welfare league title since 2006, as they cast Social Club aside in an 8-0 win at Invergordon. The win marks completion of a near perfect season for the seasiders, as they remain unbeaten in league competition with only Cromarty to play next week.

    In other action, Inver dropped three points at home to Alness Athletic, losing by 2 goals to 1 thanks to a second half penalty for the visitors, while Cromarty fought back late to secure a point at Grant Park against Tain Thistle.

    In other game of the evening, Vertex won the battle of Dingwall, as they recorded a 2-0 win over Ross-shire Club.
  • Tain Thistle 3-3 Cromarty

    Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010


    Tain Thistle were pegged back to a draw at Grant Park this evening, by a determined and resilient Cromarty. Goals from Liam Rostock and Darran Goller gave the Jags a second half 3-1 lead before a fight back in the last five minutes saw the Victoria Park men claw out a point.

    Both sides started the evening on 16 points, chasing third place in the league. Stand-in gaffer Craig Nimmons had a sizable squad to choose from, with Garry Perks returning to action. Back between the sticks was Davie Matheson, as Steven Martin departs to begin pre-season training with Brora Rangers.

    Upon kick-off, Thistle couldn't have gotten off to a worse start as Cromarty found themselves a goal up after only three minutes. A shambolic series of goalmouth scrambles eventually saw the ball turned into the net, with Thistle completely unable to send the ball clear.

    But it wasn't long until Thistle stamped their authority on the game. With clever play down the left from Colin Burry and Liam Rostock, Thistle found themselves winning a series of corners, narrowly missing out on an opener with Robbie Ross and Garry Perks both shooting wide.

    Cromarty were determined to extend their lead however and continued their pressure on Matheson's goal, hitting the crossbar and the post in quick succession.

    Thistle finally found an equalizer through Rostock. The pacey Darran Goller found his way down the right flank to place a simple ball across the face of goal; Rostock tucking a shot beyond the keeper with ease from close range.

    At 1-1, Thistle moved into cruise control and could very well have gone 2-1 ahead instantly following the equalizer, as Rostock found himself one on one with the Cromarty stopper. Rostock however opted to chance a lob and the winger's effort was headed off the line.

    Rostock made amends moments later however as he found the net for a second time with a well struck shot beyond the keeper. The first half should very well have ended 3-1 were it not for a lack of composure. Garry Perks meandered his way into the 6 yard box with a mazey dribble - but Ross in the box could not connect with the cut back.

    The second half began as the first had ended with Thistle forcing the Cromarty back line wide with the clever runs of Goller. It was Goller involved again for Thistle's third in fact, laying the ball to Ross for a simple return and a confident finish to the left of Craig Maclean.

    The 3-1 lead should have given Thistle the confidence to see the job through but with instruction from the sidelines, the Croms threw men forward in the final twenty minutes to rattle the Thistle defence.

    Two one on one saves from Matheson saved the blushes of the Tain back line as Cromarty piled on the pressure but on eighty minutes he could do nothing to prevent their second. At 3-2, the Cromarty tails were up.

    Inevitably, their third followed for the equaliser, with only injury time remaining. More messy defending led to an all too easy chance for Phil Macdonald as he cooly placed a high shot past Matheson.

    Despite late pushes from both teams, the score remained at 3-3 as referee Eric Robertson drew a close to proceedings.

    Team: Matheson, D Nimmons, Burry, Sutherland, Farquhar, Brand, D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Perks, Ross. Subs not used: Cameron, Maclellan, Johnston, Stein, Cowie 

    Goals: Rostock 26, 41, Goller 59

    Man of the Match: Darran Goller
  • Testimonial a great success

    Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010


    Tain Thistle and the Legends XI locked horns this past Saturday in a testimonial game. The twelve goal thriller was held in excellent spirits, as former manager Gordon Burry returned to assemble a team of former players and committee members to take on Thistle's current XI.

    The testimonial had been arranged by Tain Thistle in honour of two of its longest standing committee members, Graham "Peeps" Macrae and Norman Macangus, who have been with the club since its 1996 formation.

    Peeps, a former goalkeeper for the club, did not pull on the jersey for the game however his cohort Norman, who played for many clubs in the area but never Thistle - pulled on the white of Burry's XI in his first ever game for the Jags.

    The testimonial pair were presented with club tankards to mark the occasion by Burry and player Martyn Farquhar.

    Also making an appearance for Burry's side were striker Darren Gilmour, club co-founder Ronnie Mackie, goalkeeper Will Macrae, Neil McHardy, Brian MacAngus, Bob Swann, Brian Waddell, Andy Murray, Murray Taylor, David Shaw, among others. In a spot of transfer dealing, Burry also negotiated the signing of three current players, in his son Colin, forward Robbie Ross and goalkeeper Steven Martin.

    On the day, it finished 8-4 to the current side, a modest scoreline and certainly not a disheartening one for the weary legs of the Legends; Robbie Ross netting twice before second half goals from Gilmour and an unnamed trialist gave some hope of a comeback.

    Assistant coach for the Legends XI, Brian MacAngus was delighted with the outing.

    "Saturday was a great success. It was great to see so many old faces. This is what its all about."

  • Legends prepare tor return

    Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010


    Tain Thistle legends past and present prepare to make a return to Grant Park for the much anticipated Macrae/MacAngus testimonial game this coming Saturday.

    Management team Gordon Burry and Brian MacAngus have been touting names such as Mike McKenna, Will Macrae, Darren Gilmour along with the coaches themselves to fill the starting eleven.

    The current Thistle XI will not be taking the challenge likely however, with a near full strength team available for the game.

    The game kicks off this Saturday July 24th, at 12.30pm.
  • Ross-shire Club 4-1 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010


    Match report to follow
  • Results Roundup 14/7

    Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2010


    The full results from this weekend's Ross-shire Welfare league action were as follows:

    Balintore 3-0 Tain Thistle

    Invergordon Social Club 1-4 Cromarty

    Dingwall Vertex 0-7 Inver

    Alness Athletic 3-1 Ross-shire Club
  • Balintore 3-0 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, July 14, 2010


    (Last night's match report provided by Steven Martin.)

    Tain started brightly and looked the sharper of the two teams as Balti struggled to settle on the wet park. Darran Goller looked dangerous on the break down the right on a number of occasions in the opening spells.

    The first controversial incident came only 10 minutes in when a long hopeful clearance from stand in sweeper Robbie Ross deceived Henderson in the Balintore goal and bounced over his head and in to the back of the net. Gary McCarthy had judged there to be a foul on the stopper by Tain's young striker John McClellan, much to the amazement of all 22 players and coaching staff of both teams.

    After this match changing decision the home team were able to get a foothold in the game playing some excellent football, spreading the ball round a solid back three of Calderwood, Stainkie and Ross.

    Both teams were now looking to break the deadlock in what was turning into a rather exciting encounter, Martyn Farquhar and Daniel Christie coming close for Thistle.

    Andrew Ripley and Jamie Martin both had chances for the seaboard men which were dealt with comfortably by Steven Martin Michael Brand respectively.

    25 minutes saw the first goal of the night when a hopeful Gus Macdonald cross looped into the top corner of the net; the goal scorer admitting after the game that it was a fluke.

    The game slowed down after the goal with both teams keeping good position of the ball. The only other chance of note in the first period came after 40 minutes when Ally Macdonald hit a ferocious drive from 25 yards, Martin got a finger tip to it, but with the effort still flying goalwards Goller stood strong and saved the effort with his face, Mccarthy waived away a weak call for handball by awarding the corner kick.

    Half time 1-0

    The second half saw the league favourites taking firm grip of the match, and looking to build on their slender lead. Andrew Ripley and Ross Powell were starting to cause the Thistle back line some problems; however, Ryan Cowie, Andrew Sutherland and Robbie Ross were battling well and keeping the threats on goal to a minimum.

    The second and decisive goal came after 55 minutes when Jamie Martin was able to slip round the outside after a poor headed clearance from Cowie, as the full back tried to recover to block the cross, the ball deflected off of his trailing leg and deflected into the net despite the best efforts of Steven Martin and Ross on the goal line.

    Thistle continued to battle away but the home side still looked the more dangerous on the break. Jamie Martin thought he had added a third on the hour mark, but the goal was correctly chalked off as the midfielder had used an arm to put the ball over the line.

    The third goal was to come shortly afterward, the back line of the jags switching off for the first time in the match to allow a quick short corner to be played to the feet of Gus MacDonald who was able to turn his man and fire a low drive into the bottom corner and effectively kill off the game.

    The action however was far from over and Thistle seemed to get a lift for the final 20 minutes of the match. The now more advanced Farquhar and Christie linked up well and the latter forced a top drawer save from Henderson diving to his left and at full stretch guiding the ball over the cross bar.

    The home side had a chance to add to the score line with 10 minutes remaining when Martin in the Thistle goal was adjudged to have fouled the leagues top scorer Andy Ripley in the area, much to the surprise of the nippy striker the ref awarded a penalty kick. The striker dusted himself down to take the spot kick, he placed the ball low to Martin's left, but the stopper was equal to the effort and was able to push the ball round for a corner.

    The Jags survived one final scare when the impressive Ally MacDonald was able to skip between the tiring back line of Ross and Nimmons and was able to lift the ball over the advancing Martin, only for Ryan Cowie to sprint back from 8 yards to slide the ball off of the goal line under pressure from Ripley.

    Balti were reduced to 10 men in the final minutes when stalwart Alan Stainkie mistimed a challenge on McClellan, the forward doing well to get his standing foot off the ground in time.

    Final Score 3-0

    Team: Martin, Ross, Cowie, Sutherland, Farquhar, D. Nimmons (Johnson), Brand, Goller, Rostock (C. Nimmons), D. Christie, McClellan. Subs not used: Matheson

    Booked: Ross
  • Macrae/MacAngus testimonial game confirmed

    Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010


    A testimonial game has been arranged to be played on Saturday, July 24th to honour two of Tain Thistle's longest serving committee members, in Graham Macrae and Norman MacAngus.

    The match will pit the current Tain Thistle team against a Legends XI, consisting of Tain Thistle players of the past, managed by the club's inaugural manager Gordon Burry and his able-bodied assistant, former chairman Brian MacAngus.

    Former players are encouraged to call Gordon and Brian on 01862 893099 if they wish to be involved.

    The game will kick off at 12.30pm on Saturday, July 24th.
  • Full Tom Hunter Cup 2nd Round Results

    Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010


    The full results from last weekend's Tom Hunter Memorial Cup 2nd Round are as follows:

    Bishopmill Villa 2-0 Tomintoul

    Burghead 5-2 Lossiemouth

    Moray Social 4-1 Elgin Albion

    Cullen 3-1 Buckie United

    Tain Thistle 2-5 Lhanbryde United

    Port Gordon 6-1 Merkinch

    Rothes 3-2 Hopeman

    Crimmond 1-5 Aberlour
  • Alness to look for favour as title race hots up

    Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010


    Terry Stirling's Alness Athletic side were fighting against last place in the Maclean Electrical Ross-shire Welfare league last season when they held title contenders Ross-shire Club to a surprise 1-1 draw in Dingwall with two games left to play. The draw put Tain Thistle into pole position for the championship, leaving them with the task of beating Invergordon Social Club to secure the title.

    This Wednesday, Stirling will no doubt be looking to Tain to return the favour as Athletic sit behind league favourites Balintore.

    The Thistle men head to Seaboard-ville to meet local rivals and league favourites Balintore for their tenth league game of the season and suffering from injuries, holidays and absences in recent weeks, Thistle boss Arron Christie will hope that training will provide some good news ahead of the fixture, as they also try to make amends for their earlier 4-1 loss at Grant Park.
  • Seaboard Cup opener sees Tain tumble out

    Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010


    Depleted, short of key players and continuing a trend of under-performing this season, Tain Thistle were hammered at Cromarty by 8 goals to 3, as the Jags watched another chance at silverware vanish, in the first round of the Seaboard Cup.

    First half reply from Darran Goller and a penalty from Liam Rostock pulled the issue back to 4-2 at half time before Cromarty knocked a further four goals beyond Matheson in the second half. John Maclellan scored Tain's only goal of the second half.

    The result is Thistle's worst since July 2005, when they were on the receiving end of a 10-3 thrashing at the hands of eventual league winners Invergordon Social Club. Thistle went on to finish 2nd in the league that year however.

    Team: Matheson, Sutherland (C Nimmons), Johnston, Stewart, Farquhar, Brand, Cameron, Goller, Burry, Rostock, Maclellan. Subs not used: Shearer

    Goals: Goller 20, Rostock pen 42, Maclellan 50

    Bookings: Burry, Farquhar
  • Thistle's trip to Cromarty will be in small numbers

    Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010


    Absences aplenty are expected to play havoc with Thistle's Seaboard Cup 1st round tie against Cromarty this Saturday. A combination of holidays, injuries and T in the Park see Tain going into the game with no fewer than 11 players missing.

    Arron Christie, Daniel Christie, Steven Martin, Dave Nimmons, Garry Perks, James Rice, Ayah Rattanaphithak, Ryan Cowie, Robbie Ross, Michael Stein and Martin Mackay are all on the unavailable list.
  • Tain Thistle 2-0 Dingwall Vertex

    Posted on Wednesday, July 7, 2010


    Tain Thistle skipped back to winning ways with a rare 2-0 win over Dingwall Vertex, tonight. Late goals from Garry Perks and substitute Craig Nimmons put the contact centre men to the sword after a largely uneventful first hour.

    Full back David Nimmons was handed his first start of the season while David "Embo" Matheson stepped in for Steven Martin between the sticks. Still missing through injury were James Rice and Kyle Oliver.

    A quiet first half had few highlights in front of goal but was not lacking in spots of brief entertainment. In goal, Tain's Matheson looked very comfortable, dealing with frequent Vertex counter-attacks until being mercilessly capsized on the edge of his box -- his knee twisting unnaturally on the way down. Ever a trooper, Matheson continued on.

    Liam Rostock enjoyed the best chance of the first half, his effort from 18 yards breezing past the post. Moments later, Garry Perks passed on a glorious opportunity to open the scoring following a Darran Goller cutback when he let the ball go by him for an unsuspecting Rostock.

    Referee Keith Middleton became the star of the first half, for his sharp awareness of the rules and outstanding attention to detail -- the whistler gained applause for spotting an infringement following a Vertex corner, as the taker was illegally first to receive his own rebound off the woodwork. Crafty however, was Vertex right back Lewis Sinclair, who managed to stay out of Middleton's sight, taking all of his throw-ins in the first half while on the park.

    Despite not scoring, Thistle rarely looked in danger during the first half, with the back four of David Nimmons, Martyn Farquhar, Andy Sutherland and Colin Burry in good form.

    The second half started more brightly, with substitute Arron Christie adding a new dimension to the attack opportunities. Midfielder Brian Cameron could very well have opened the scoring with a long range effort held by Vertex stopper Del Welsh.

    Vertex themselves could very well have scored soon after as the otherwise resolute central defensive pairing of Thistle left Matheson with a one-on-one to deal with - but the capable stopper was able to adjust his position to tip the slow moving strike that followed, round the post.

    Thistle finally nicked an opener in the 72nd minute, when Garry Perks scored his tenth goal of the season in unconventional fashion as he headed home from a deep Arron Christie cross.

    Substitute Craig Nimmons made an almost immediate impact when he replaced Liam Rostock, playing as a winger. It was down to Nimmons to wrap the game up in the end, as he dribbled into the Vertex box to rifle the ball home for Thistle's second.

    Team: Matheson, D Nimmons, Burry, Sutherland, Farquhar, Cameron, Brand, D Christie (A Christie), Goller, Rostock (C Nimmons). Subs not used: Cowie, Stein

    Goals: Perks 72, C Nimmons 90

    Man of the Match: David Matheson
  • Perks breaks goalscoring record

    Posted on Monday, July 5, 2010


    Following his two goals against Lhanbryde on Sunday, Garry Perks has broken the record for Welfare goals scored for Tain Thistle.

    Only one behind the legendary Robbie Ross before the weekend, Perks now stands as the club's all-time record goalscorer with 71 goals.
  • Thistle fall short in Tom Hunter Cup

    Posted on Sunday, July 4, 2010


    Despite dominating the game for large spells, Tain Thistle could not find the scoring touch to eliminate Lhanbryde United side from the Tom Hunter Highland Welfare Cup, as they fell 5-2. Coping with multiple absences, assistant coach Steven Martin called in old faces Calum Macdonald and Gary Austin, while Colin Burry returned to the side for the first time since May.

    Simple chances for Daniel Christie and Darran Goller should have seen Thistle go 2-0 up after only 3 minutes, before Goller again found himself clean through only to blaze a shot wide.

    Thistle found themselves camping in the Lhanbryde half for the majority of the opening quarter hour, before a lapse in concentration allowed Graham Ingram to slip past Ryan Cowie to round Martin for the opener. As quickly as the first had happened, a burst forward from defender Lewis Anderson saw the Thistle defense sleeping to make it 2-0.



    Though stunned by the scoreline, Thistle continued to pressurize, again coming within inches of scoring, Calum Macdonald most notably with a shot off the post from a Perks free kick before too many touches right in front of goal between Goller and Christie saw an effort shot straight at the keeper. Christie was unfortunate once more before the half hour mark when his headed effort bounced off the crossbar.

    Feeling as though they should be winning the game and comfortably, Thistle were in for another shock. Caught at the back once again, Ryan Cowie was caught short of defending some clever wing play from a Lhanbryde side on the break; Martin once again rounded for the cut back and tap in. A fourth followed as Thistle heads in identical circumstances as Steve Ingram netted a few minutes later. Thistle's inability to cope with the long ball counter on the left wing was obvious and costing them dear, despite their countless chances to score.

    The second half started much as the first had ended with another Lhanbryde goal. Martin, in an attempt to clear the ball played the ball out to Ryan Cowie, but the full back was dispossessed, leaving Lhanbryde to take care of the inevitable - cut back and tap in for Graham Ingram's hat trick.



    The remainder of the second half was all Thistle, as they adjusted to take care of the basic threat of Lhanbryde. Goller again should have scored but shot the ball over before a Macdonald effort was shot straight at the keeper. The inventiveness of Goller and Perks created numerous opportunities in front of goal as the half progressed but in dealing with crosses, Dey was often successful.

    The goal finally came after what seemed like 15-20 glaring chances, as Garry Perks curled a ball home. A second followed for Perks before time, as he was fouled in the box. Referee John Nicolson awarded a penalty and the forward netted with ease to score a brace. Coincidentally, the goal was Perks' 71st for Thistle, a record for himself and for the club at Welfare level.

    The cup outing will come as an eye opener for Thistle, who certainly showed spectators that the Ross-shire Welfare brand of football is certainly of a good standard. Thistle will be especially disappointed to have lost today as for large spells they were clearly the more creative and talented side. However, Lhanbryde supporters will certainly agree there is a lot to be said for the simple long ball approach.

    Team: Martin, Sutherland (Austin), Cowie, Farquhar, Brand, Cameron, Perks, Goller, Burry, Macdonald (D Nimmons), D Christie. Subs not used: MacRitchie, C Nimmons, Matheson

    Goals: Perks 72, pen 90

    (Pictured below, the first Tain Thistle Tom Hunter Cup squad)

  • Gala football for all ages

    Posted on Saturday, July 3, 2010


    Gala spectators turned out in their droves for a double header of football festivities this past week as individuals aged six to sixty took part in the sporting proceedings.

    On Wednesday night, the primary schools 6s and 7s teams competed on two freshly marked pitches on the bottom Links park, with many a good showing in front of close to a hundred spectators on the hills at the park.

    Two days later on Friday night, the veterans of St Duthus football club got together once again for a match against the Black Isle Golden Oldies. The Gala Queen, Princess and Attendant were also on hand, to kick the game off. The St Duthus men are pictured below.

  • Key players absent for Lhanbryde showdown

    Posted on Friday, July 2, 2010


    As they head into their first ever Highland Welfare Cup tie, Tain Thistle are confirmed to be without player/manager Arron Christie, forward Liam Rostock and utility man Robbie Ross. In addition to that, James Rice, Ayah Rattanaphithak and Ryan Johnston all remain unavailable while on holiday.

    In a boost for the side however, goalkeeper Steven Martin is expected to return to action, along with Kyle Oliver and Colin Burry.
  • Grant Park prepares for five-game football fest

    Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010


    Just when you thought you'd seen enough football with the World Cup on every TV station, Tain's Grant Park will now play host to five different games across the next six days.

    On Friday night, the Tain Gala will kick off proceedings as they present a friendly match between veterans of Tain St Duthus and a team from the Black Isle. On Saturday, the Railway Hotel sponsored Cordiner Cup final will take place between Cromarty FC and Alness Athletic FC and on Sunday, home team Tain Thistle will meet Morayshire's Lhanbryde United in a Highland Welfare Cup 2nd round tie.

    The four-day consecutive fest will be completed when the Tain Juniors meet Aird Athletic in a Monday evening semi final for the Under 17s.

    The park will receive only a one day reprieve before Tain Thistle entertain Dingwall Vertex in a league game on Wednesday night.

    Summary:

    Friday 2nd July - St Duthus Oldies vs Black Isle Golden Oldies (7.15pm)

    Sat 3rd July - Cordiner Cup final: Alness vs Cromarty (3pm)

    Sun 4th July - Tain Thistle vs Lhanbryde Utd (2pm)

    Mon 5th July - Tain Juniors U17s vs Aird Athletic U17s (7.30pm)

    Wed 7th July - Tain Thistle vs Dingwall Vertex (7.30pm)
  • Alness Athletic 2-0 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010


    Football is at its cruelest when teams can play their best game of the season and still end up as the losing side. Last night was one of those nights for Tain Thistle, as they fell 2-0 to a strong and determined Alness Athletic.

    The expected stand-in for missing first team goalkeeper Steven Martin was Steve Bannatyne but a bad case of "RSI of the neck and shoulder" led to the keeper being forced to withdraw from the squad. Davie Matheson was the third in line, taking the numberless goalkeeping jersey for only the second time this season. Through suspension, player/manager Arron Christie was also missing, with brother Daniel returning to the lineup to fill the void. Brian Cameron also returned to the first team, replacing the absent Kyle Oliver in central midfield.

    Changes in personnel always force a period of readjustment, none moreso than when you have a different keeper between the sticks - but the introduction of Robbie Ross at sweeper certainly seemed to stem the flow of attacks that have left Thistle pinned back in many of their games this season. Ross, usually a forward, paired up well with youngster Andrew Sutherland to enjoy a flawless first half at the back, flanked by Ryan Cowie and Michael Brand, the latter playing as a full back for the first time since last season.

    The most significant chance of the first half came to James Cochrane of Alness, finding himself clean through after breaking free down the right wing. Cochrane, last season's top goalscorer in the Welfare league, failed to hit the target however, blasting wide of the far post.

    Thistle's interim stopper was called into action only once during the first half, when a Steven Alexander free kick forced a save; Matheson palming the effort away to his familiar right side.

    Despite a confident defensive display and numerous attacking runs from a blisteringly fast Darran Goller, Tain failed to find a first half answer in the final third.

    As quickly as the second half started however, front man Daniel Christie could very well have put Thistle into the lead, played in beyond the last line of defence by Garry Perks -- but Christie could only fire at the legs of oncoming keeper Scott MacGruer.

    At the other end, luck was on Thistle's side for a moment as Alness blasted a long range effort goalward only for it to cannon off the crossbar. The capable feet of Michael Brand ushered the rebound to safety.

    The luck would eventually run out however as an out-rushing Matheson was caught out of position and a goalmouth scramble ensued to clear the ball. Unfortunately for Thistle, it fell to the feet of Alness defender David Kennedy, who lashed the ball into the net for the opener.

    Within minutes of his first, Kennedy netted a brace. Played in for the easiest of chances for a one-on-one with Matheson, he watched his shot trundle beyond the fallen keeper; wrong-footed and unable to prevent the inevitable to make it 2-0.

    In search for a consolation, Thistle introduced young striker John Maclellan who made an immediate impact with a speculative cross into the box, only narrowly missed by an oncoming Darran Goller. The change was academic however as a resolute Alness defence held onto the their lead for the three points.

    Team: Matheson, Cowie (C Nimmons), Brand, Sutherland (Stein), Ross, Farquhar, Cameron, Rostock (Maclellan), Goller, D Christie, Perks

    Man of the Match: Darran Goller
  • Programme to be issued for Lhanbryde tie

    Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010


    The Tain Thistle matchday programme will return for the club's July 4th cup game against Lhanbryde United.

    The issue will be the first of 2010, having last been produced in August 2009 for the club's opening North Caledonian league match against Dingwall Thistle.
  • Bannatyne set for dramatic return

    Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010


    It's been a memorable week for Stephen Bannatyne. The experienced goalkeeper hasn't pulled on a Tain Thistle jersey since January 2009, however any doubts over his shooting skills were put to bed yesterday, as he announced the good news that he is going to be a Dad.

    But for Bannatyne, 28, the hands that will rock the cradle will be required to be in catching form as soon as this Wednesday, as he faces a quick return to action against Alness Athletic. The Thistle reserve stopper is expected to take the field for the first time this season in the absence of the holidaying Steven Martin, following a successful spell on the training pitch.

    "I'd been asked to play at Invergordon and elsewhere, but I wanted to hold out for this chance as I enjoy training with Tain and I've been building up my fitness".

    TainThistle.co.uk can confirm that rumours suggesting Stephen and his dear wife Kerrie intend to name their first born after former Rangers goalie Lionel Letizi, are entirely false.
  • Christie banned for one game

    Posted on Monday, June 28, 2010


    Player-manager Arron Christie has been hit with a one match ban following his dismissal against Inver last Wednesday.

    The Thistle boss will miss the club's visit to Alness on the 30th, but is expected to return for action at the weekend against Lhanbryde, before the visit of Vertex on the 7th July.
  • Tain Thistle 1-4 Inver

    Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2010


    In a ragged encounter tonight, Tain Thistle's hopes of retaining the Ross-shire Welfare league fell apart at the seams as they fell to their second defeat of the campaign, losing once again to local rivals, Inver. The list of scorers for the victors read like a "Who's Who" of Tain Thistle's 09/10 winter eleven, with Martin Smith, Chris Mailley, Ashley Mills and Andrew Durrand all netting for the visitors.

    Inver would certainly have been the happier of the two teams to see their opponents, holding an aggregate score of 11-3 in their favour this season, across three cup competitions. This, their first league meeting (aside from the postponed match in May) would prove to be no different.

    Returning from holiday, manager Arron Christie brought a near full-strength Tain team onto the park, with Andrew Sutherland, Liam Rostock, Martyn Farquhar and the manager himself all returning to first team action.

    Inver took the lead during a frenetic first half; tall striker Martin Smith breaking free to score. The young forward struck the ball with power, leaving Steven Martin with little to no chance of reaching the shot at his far post.

    Thistle were undeterred however, as they found the net soon after -- Liam Rostock heading in a rebound from close range to make it 1-1.

    The game took an ugly turn shortly before the break however when Martin Smith and Arron Christie became engaged in a physical battle. Referee Keith Middleton showed no hesitance in dismissing both players.

    Thistle struggled more to cope with the loss of their centre half than Inver did losing the forward Smith and soon the difference became apparent as Ashley Mills had lashed a shot beyond Martin to make it 2-1.

    Rostock should have been credited with his second midway through the second half as he finished a clever through ball from Garry Perks, but the referee with his back to play adjudged the player to be offside, disallowing the goal for Tain.

    Inver got the break of the ball for a third to make the score academic when Chris Mailley found the net. His daisycutting effort flew in from 20 yards with Martin helpless to prevent it.

    The Jags defence all-at-sea, former Tain man Andrew Durrand rounded off the scoring for a much more organised Inver side, as he placed a ball beyond Martin following an error-laden episode involving the Thistle back line.

    The loss spells bad news for Thistle as a draw between Balintore and Alness Athletic sees the former, their nearest rivals Balintore pull further away. While the league title is not an impossibility, the uphill struggle ahead will certainly be difficult. In other action, Dingwall Vertex beat Social Club 5-2, while Cromarty continued their good run of form with a 2-1 win over Ross-shire Club.

    Team: Martin, Cowie (Farquhar), Rice, Sutherland, A Christie, Brand (Maclellan), Farquhar, Goller, Rostock, Perks, Ross. Subs not used: Johnston, Matheson, C Nimmons

    Goals: Rostock 38

    Bookings: Maclellan

    Red Cards: Arron Christie
  • Juniors lose out in double header

    Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010


    Tain Juniors' Under 17s lost out in their final home league match last night to Muir of Ord in a double header, following the postponement of their May meeting.

    Chris Gordon offered the only reply for Tain, as Muir galloped towards a 3-1 win, despite missing a penalty and having a goal chalked off by referee Robbie Ross.
  • Tain Juniors U15s unveil new strip

    Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2010


    Tain Juniors Under 15s have been handed a brand new strip this season courtesy of club sponsor MSIS. The Tain boys wore the strip for the first time during their MSIS Shield final against Alness this past Thursday night, winning 2-1 on the night to capture the shield.

  • Thistle dumped out of Cordiner Cup

    Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2010


    Inver sensationally dumped defending champions Tain Thistle out of the Cordiner Cup today, after coming back from 2-0 down to blast seven past their rivals, advancing to the semi final.

    With Arron Christie, Daniel Christie, Colin Burry, Liam Rostock and Martyn Farquhar all missing from the first team, with Ryan Johnston, Craig Nimmons, Brian Cameron returning to the starting eleven. David Nimmons also returned to the bench, while Brian MacRitchie was also called into the squad for the first time.

    The opener, and the goal of the game came from Ryan Johnston of Tain who gave Thistle a 1-0 lead after only 5 minutes with a 25 yard shot looped over the top of Inver stopper Gary Mackay. Garry Perks continued the scoring before the twenty minute mark, scoring on the rebound after co-striker Robbie Ross shot at Mackay, to make it 2-0 for Thistle.



    Craig Nimmons could very well have made it three before the half hour mark but action at the other end delivered the third goal of the afternoon as Paul Austin's deflected effort found its way into Martin's net to make it 2-1.

    Inver found themselves 3-2 up at half time following a comeback that left Thistle looking ragged at the back; goals from Chris Mailley and Lewis Ross giving Inver the lead.

    The second half continued as the first had ended with a determined Inver finding it all too easy to break though the Thistle defence. Paul Austin added a second before Ashley Mills made it 5-2. A sixth followed soon after with former Tain man Andrew Durrand netting a rebound. Substitute Russell Ferguson rounded off the score with minutes remaining to make it 7-2.

    The win for Inver knocks Tain out of the Cordiner Cup.

    Team: Martin, Rice, Cowie, Johnston, Nimmons, Oliver, Cameron, Goller, Perks, C Nimmons (Sutherland), Ross. Subs not used: D Nimmons, MacRitchie, Maclellan

    Goals: Johnston 5, Perks 19

    Bookings: Rice, Oliver
  • Thistle's Top 10 All-time Goalscorers list released

    Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010


    Since 1996, a total of ninety different players have scored 655 goals for Tain Thistle during their Welfare campaigns. Among them are the one-goal superstars such as the Moroccan Jimmy Abbelour, former goalkeeper David Crombie, legendary centre half Brian MacAngus, the club’s first ever goal scorer Roy Anderson and of course last but certainly not least, Paul Morgan, who is rumoured to have scored his one and only goal on the promise of a bottle of vodka!

    But in this article we look at the men who have netted more times than any other, as we present the current All-time Tain Thistle Goalscorer records.

    1) Robbie Ross (70 goals)

    The #1 spot was clinched by Robbie Ross last season as he netted a record 63rd goal for Tain Thistle, completing a hat-trick against Inver on the 17th June 2009.

    Making his debut in 1998, Ross scored at the young age of 16 to open his account for the club, improving every season thereafter before achieving a personal best season tally of 18 goals in 2002.

    After leaving for a brief spell between 2003 and 2006, Ross returned to the club as a utility player, playing as a goalkeeper for large parts of the club’s campaign, but still managed to continue his count, which now stands at 70.

    2) Garry Perks (68 goals)

    Getting off the mark with a hat-trick in 2004, a seventeen year old Garry Perks would go on to score 62 goals in four years for Tain Thistle.

    Perks made his way to Thistle as part of the same Tain footballing generation as that of the current boss Arron Christie, goalkeeper Steven Martin and Kyle Oliver.

    Having held the club goalscoring record until it was broken in 2009, Perks finds himself returning to the club for their 2010 campaign following eighteen months in the United States on a college scholarship.

    With two back-to-back hat-tricks already this season, he could very well get his hands on that record again.

    3) Calum Macdonald (60 goals)

    Recognised for his instinct in front of goal, Calum Macdonald scored his first goal for Thistle in 2002 under Gordon Burry before taking his place as new manager Bill Russell’s top striker from 2003 to 2006 with 44 goals.

    Netting 20 times during the 2005 campaign, Macdonald holds the Thistle record for goals scored in one season.

    Adding seven to his tally during the club’s landmark league championship season in 2009, Macdonald now resides in Comrie.







    4) Colin Burry (34 goals)

    A club original, Colin Burry has scored many a spectacular goal for Tain Thistle since its formation.

    Having scored his first goal in August of 1997 during the club’s first ever win (against Dalmore), Burry went on to score goals under every manager the club has had, scoring as recently as May 2010.

    5) Mike McKenna (33 goals)

    Scoring his first goal for Tain Thistle during their 2000 campaign, Michael McKenna embarked on a goalscoring spree for Thistle that lasted for over two years. Scoring 14 goals in 2001 for his best season tally, he also notched four goals in one game against the Wheel Inn in 2000. McKenna moved onto Balintore but harbours a desire to one day pull the shirt on again.

    6) Liam Rostock (31 goals)

    Blessed with a combination of pace and dribbling ability, a young Liam Rostock made his mark late in 2006 in a Coronation Cup tie with Invergordon Social Club, before scoring a hat-trick only a week later in the club’s final game of the season. Rostock has become a mainstay of Arron Christie’s Tain Thistle side, scoring 26 goals since 2007. One to score a few when he gets started, Rostock is bettered only by Garry Perks when it comes to scoring hat-tricks.

    7) Darren Gilmour (29 goals)

    The first man to top the charts for Thistle, Darren Gilmour was the club’s top striker during their inaugural season. Under the management of Gordon Burry, Gilmour topped the Tain charts again in 1999, setting a club record of thirteen goals at the turn of the century. He went on to play until 2004.

    8) Arron Fraser (23 goals)

    Arron Fraser was brought to Tain in 2000 by Gordon Burry, netting the first of his 23 goals against BT Manpower in July that year. He enjoyed his best season in 2001, scoring 8 goals alongside Mike McKenna for a struggling Thistle who finished third bottom in the league. The striker left the club in 2003 along with Robbie Ross to play for Portmahomack, before eventually signing for Invergordon Social Club and Inver.

    9) Mark Reid (18 goals)

    Playing only two full seasons for Thistle, Reid’s pace and eye for goal led to the forward netting eighteen goals for Tain, in 2005 and 2009. Reid now plays for his native Alness.

    10) Craig Swanson & Daniel Christie (17 goals)

    Tied in tenth place are the young Daniel Christie and former player Craig Swanson. Swanson, now with Inver, enjoyed an outstanding season in 2002 after making his debut in 2001, netting an impressive 14 goals.

    Christie debuted long after in 2006, before making his best contribution to date with seven goals during Thistle’s Pattison Cup winning season in 2007.

    Tidbits!

    Both Calum Macdonald and Garry Perks scored hat-tricks to kick off their goalscoring careers with Thistle.

    Garry Perks holds the hat-trick record with 5, followed by Liam Rostock on 4, Robbie Ross on 3 and Matty Rooney and Mike McKenna on 2.

    Roy Anderson was the first Tain Thistle player to score a goal, but in fact the first ever goal the club scored was credit as an O.G - on the end of a 2-1 loss to Inver.
  • Juniors prepare for MSIS Shield match

    Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010


    Tain Juniors Under 15s will compete against Alness United tonight in the MSIS Shield Final. The match is scheduled to take place at Grant Park, Tain with a 7.30pm kick off.
  • Nimmons delighted with Lhanbryde draw

    Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2010


    Railway Hotel publican Alan Nimmons is as jagged a Thistle fan as you'll find. As a long time supporter and post-match host of Tain Thistle, he was never prouder than when he was able to present the club with the Cordiner Cup (also sponsored by the Railway Hotel) in 2009. This year again, he will watch with pride as Tain enter the Highland Welfare Cup for their first match on Sunday, July 4th.

    For Nimmons however, July 4th will be all the more significant, as it shall be a family affair. First cousin Johnny Bremner (a Fearn native) will don the yellow of Lhanbryde United as they travel north to face Thistle for the knockout tie.

    After discovering that his cousin's team were in the same cup pot as Tain, the pair had joked over social networking site Facebook about the possibility of the teams meeting in the draw for the 2nd Round and much to their amazement, the club's were indeed drawn against each other this weekend, stirring up an early sparring contest.

    "My cousin Johnny moved to Elgin when he was young and keeps me up to date on his team. He tells me that they are top of their league and haven't lost a single game this season but I'm confident my boys will do well!"

    "When I heard the news that Johnny's team would be coming up to Tain for the game, I got on the phone and told my Mum and my Grandad. He thought it sounded very nice for his boys to end up playing against each other - I'm yet to tell him that I don't actually play - I just watch and threaten to violate the referees!"

    With pre-match hospitality at the Railway expected to be up to its usual top notch standards, Nimmons expects many of the Lhanbryde boys to travel north a day early to take in some of the Tain Gala events before the game. The scoreline on the day however, could play a big part in the post-match festivities!

    "I haven't told them yet, but if Lhanbryde dare to win the game and go through, then the drinks will be on them all night!"
  • Inv. Social Club 2-10 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2010


    A confident Tain Thistle made very easy work of a downhearted Invergordon Social Club side tonight.

    Despite being without player-manager Arron Christie, forward Daniel Christie and winger Colin Burry, assistant boss Steven Martin named a decidedly strong eleven, with Liam Rostock returning to a side already boosted by the goal scoring of comeback star Garry Perks.

    Young striker John Maclellan was handed a return to the side up front, while Kyle Oliver also stepped into the midfield.

    Liam Rostock had the look of a player who had never been away as he slotted home with ease to give Tain a first half lead after eight minutes. Straight from kick off however, former Tain man Gordy Oman stunned the away side with an equalizer.

    The leveller was all-she-wrote for the Social men however as Tain pounced back with two further goals in the first half, from Darran Goller and Garry Perks.



    Thistle reached their comfort level at 6-1 in the second half as Liam Rostock rounded his performance off with a hat-trick, while Martyn Farquhar also found the net.

    As if Social's evening wasn't bad enough, a series of unsavoury incidents led to red cards for both defender Scott Stirling and substitute Ali Connell, during the second half.

    Rounding off the win for Thistle was Garry Perks, scoring a further two for his hat-trick, while Darran Goller netting a second for a brace. Completing a ten goal rout was Craig Nimmons, who saw his looping corner deflected into the net. The Social Club offered a late goal through Sean Broadbent to bring the final score to 10-2.

    Team: Martin, Rice, Cowie (Johnston), Farquhar, Brand, Oliver (Cameron), Perks, Goller, Rostock, Ross, Maclellan (Nimmons). Subs not used: Rattanaphithak, Sutherland

    Goals: Liam Rostock 8, 50, 58, Goller 16, 74, Perks 35, 76, 85, Farquhar 55, Nimmons 89

    Man of the Match: Garry Perks
  • Thistle land home tie in Highland Welfare Cup

    Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2010


    Tain Thistle have struck it lucky by landing a home draw in the last sixteen of the Tom Hunter Memorial Highland Welfare Cup.

    Elgin based side Lhanbryde United FC of the Moray District Welfare League will make the long journey north to Tain for the tie, having also received a bye in the 1st Round.

    The game is scheduled to be played on Sunday, July 4th with a 2pm kick off, with extra time and penalties required if the game finishes a draw.

    (Lhanbryde Utd, pictured below in yellow)

  • Tain Juniors represented in Ross-shire XI

    Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2010


    A Ross-shire Youth XI competed at Dingwall today against a Scottish Youth XI. From Tain, Donald Matheson, Reece Stewart and Graham Smart represented the side as they lost 2-1 at Jubilee Park.
  • Tain Juniors 1-2 Aird Athletic (U17s)

    Posted on Friday, June 11, 2010


    Tain Juniors' Under 17 side lost out to league leaders Aird Athletic tonight, despite a late fightback.

    Aird took a second half lead soon after the break before going 2-0 with a well struck free kick. Substitute Scott Murray pulled one back for the Tain side but the Juniors couldn't find an equalizer.
  • Cromarty 3-5 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010


    Tain Thistle narrowly avoided an upset tonight as they meandered their way to a 5-3 win over Cromarty at Victoria Park. A hat-trick and man of the match performance from Garry Perks was enough to secure the points for Thistle following a brilliant second half comeback from the home side.

    Manager Arron Christie rested Daniel Christie and Kyle Oliver, while Colin Burry was a late withdrawal from the side, leaving an opening for the incoming James Rice and Darran Goller, who was returning from suspension.

    A 4-0 lead at the end of the first half would have had many believing that the fixture was headed for the same scoreline witnessed in 2009 which saw Tain run out 9-0 winners. After all, the four goals were certainly the product of some excellent play from the Tain men. Garry Perks opened the scoring for Thistle thanks to a protracted dribble at the near post followed by a shot, rifled into the net. A second from Perks followed soon after, placed beyond Maclean to make it 2-0.

    Arron Christie, who had impressed all through the first half as the yin to Perks' yang enjoyed the goal of the game as he lobbed the Cromarty stopper from the right flank with perfection to make it 3. And finally, first half substitute Ayah Rattanaphithak ensured that he was not going to be knocked off the club's top goalscorer chart just yet by chipping in with a finish from close range on the stroke of half time.

    The scoreline certainly should have given Thistle the confidence to see the game out in style, however the second half started with a burst of encouragement for the Cromarty men; Ross MacMillan stunning the Tain defence with a first consolation, straight from the kick off.

    At 4-1, Thistle continued to look like offering something up front but lacked the precision that saw them score four in the first half. Within minutes, they were caught on the counter once again and this time the Victoria Park men's top scorer, Thomas Nicolson blasted a goal home to pull the score back to 4-2.

    Thistle looked noticeably affected by the comeback, now playing without the fluency that saw them breeze past the Cromarty defence only a half prior. Before long, in a moment of astonishment, Nicholson advanced once again, midway through the second half, and took great advantage of a miscommunication in a Tain defence that were all-at-sea, when he lobbed Steven Martin to stun spectators and make it 4-3.

    The close scoreline had Tain players and spectators alike wondering just what had happened, while late set pieces and corners could very well have seen the Cromarty equalise and nick a point. Were it not for a last minute moment of genius from Garry Perks, dribbling past the Cromarty defence to net his third and secure the points for Thistle, it could very well have turned out in disaster. The goal marked all but the last action of the half.

    The win keeps Thistle in third place, with Alness and Balintore also having won their league games. Alness secured all three points at home to Inver with a 1-0 win, while Invergordon Social Club conceded their game to Balintore when the scoreline reached 13-0. In the only other game of the evening, Ross-shire Club beat Vertex 4-1 in the league's Dingwall derby.

    Team: Martin, Cowie, Rice (Johnston), Brand, Farquhar, Cameron, Mackay (Rattanaphithak), Goller, A Christie, Perks (C Nimmons), Ross. Subs not used: Sutherland, Maclellan

    Goals: Perks 16, 19, 90, A Christie 26, Rattanaphithak 45

    Bookings: Cowie

    Man of the Match: Garry Perks
  • Martyn Farquhar named Player of the Month

    Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010


    Tain Thistle's Martyn Farquhar received the approval of his peers this week as he was voted Tain Thistle Player of the Month for May.

    The Thistle regular had impressed with displays in the Welfare club's opening games of the season, playing at centre half and in the midfield, while also chipping in with a goal against league rivals Balintore.

    Farquhar (pictured left) received his Player of the Month plaque at the club's league game against Cromarty this evening, presented with the award by fellow player Kyle Oliver.
  • Tain Juniors 1-2 Dingwall (U17s)

    Posted on Saturday, June 5, 2010


    In the first Under 17 action for two weeks last night, Tain Juniors failed to turned possession into goals as they fell 2-1 to a more determined Dingwall side.

    Faltering twice either side of the half, Tain found themselves 2-0 down before scoring a consolation goal ten minutes from time.
  • Thistle's fledgling four fitting in well

    Posted on Saturday, June 5, 2010


    Andrew Sutherland is just one of four new additions to Tain Thistle's Welfare league set up this summer, alongside Ryan Johnston, John Maclellan and Ayah Rattanaphithak. 2010 has been a year of transition not only for Tain Thistle, heading into their first year as defending Ross-shire Welfare champions but also for the "fledgling four", as they step into Welfare football having won the SWL Ross-shire league with Tain Juniors' Under 17 set up last year.

    Sutherland has featured in no fewer than six of Thistle's eight competitive games during their Welfare campaign after a short pre-season which also involved a trial game for Tain's North Caledonian side against Muir of Ord Rovers. The result on that day went anything but in Thistle's favour, but the experience thus far has been one to savour for the Northern Irish born defender.



    "Its been a really good experience so far. I never expected to have played as often as I have but I've learned a lot already. The trial game gave us an insight into what to expect in senior football and it was a good chance for us to show what we could do for the manager."

    Inspired by the now experienced youngsters who came before him, such as Farquhar, Christie and Goller, Sutherland seems humbled by just how much he has learned in a short space of time.

    "Martyn (Farquhar) has been really good for me this season, teaching me how to read the game much better since I arrived, and Darran (Goller) has been fantastic at making us all feel welcome. Football-wise, we'd always spent some time on quick feet with the 17s, and playing the ball quickly has been the main thing we've been doing here, so I feel like I'm learning all the time."

    Like Sutherland, the imposing young forward John Maclellan has found himself in the throws of first team action, starting up front on five different occasions amidst a continually changing forward line.

    Thistle have been lucky to have Maclellan as they continue to search for their scoring touch, now without Calum Macdonald and missing Liam Rostock for the early part of the season.

    Many claim the striker could very well have bagged a hat-trick in his trial start against Muir of Ord, were it not for the excellent goalkeeping of Robbie Rose, but instead he had to wait until Tain's trip to Dingwall in May for his first goal, slamming home a penalty in the club's 6-0 destruction of Vertex.

    Ryan Johnston, too, has impressed. Having swept aside other candidates to win the SWL Ross-shire league's Player of the Year award in 2009, the centre half for Tain Juniors has become a useful full-back for Arron Christie's Thistle side, none moreso than when he netted a goal from 30 yards on the left flank in his first start, picking the man of the match award up on the way.

    The last contributor, but most certainly not the least, is the continually impressive and entertaining Natthaphon Ayah Rattanaphithak. Bangkok born, Ayah - or "Natch" to his 17s brethren - had not kicked a football before moving to Scotland at the age of 10.

    Making up for lost ground, he has quickly asserted himself as one of the most skillful players to come out of the Tain Juniors' set up, wowing crowds with his dribbling ability since his inclusion in Tain's North Caledonian squad.

    The winger has also shown his goalscoring touch, netting for Thistle on two occasions, first against Invergordon Social Club in the opening Welfare game of the season, before showing that even as the shortest player in the league, he can still head the ball, with a perfectly placed nut over a helpless Ross Rae.

    Whatever the future holds for Thistle, one thing can be assured -- the continued efforts of Tain Juniors, working with the young footballers of Tain, are proving once again to be successful, especially if Sutherland, Maclellan, Johnston and Rattanaphithak are anything to go by - and Thistle are only too glad to continue the job.
  • Inver game postponed

    Posted on Saturday, June 5, 2010


    The league meeting between Inver and Tain Thistle scheduled for this Monday has been postponed for a second time, following injuries to the Portmahomack based side suffered during their Pattison Cup loss to Ross-shire Club.

    In Pattison Cup action today, Inver lost 2-1 to Ross-shire after extra time, while Balintore thumped Invergordon Social Club by 10 goals to 2.
  • Thistle hope to avoid Croms upset

    Posted on Saturday, June 5, 2010


    As the Ross-shire Welfare league season heads into the penultimate match of it's first round of fixtures, Tain Thistle will make travel to Cromarty this Wednesday, in the hope that they can put another three points on the board. Thistle currently trail Balintore by eight points with a game in hand and with memories still fresh in the mind from their one and only visit to Victoria Park last year, nothing but a win will be considered acceptable.

    Thistle ran out 9-0 winners on their way to the league championship at Cromarty in 2009, with veteran full back James Rice scoring a hat-trick, Liam Rostock doing the same, while Robbie Ross also bagged a goal. The night was rounded off with a sensational brace for substitute Craig Nimmons.

    Despite their -10 goal difference in the league, the Cromarty men are expected to have improved greatly, having won their first three points in the league last week at Dingwall after holding Inver to a draw two days prior.

    For Thistle, winger Darran Goller will return from suspension as well as James Rice who missed out last week due to work commitments. Kyle Oliver remains a doubt carrying a persistent shin complaint, while Andrew Durrand was confirmed to have played his final game for Tain last week when he was given his release on Saturday.
  • Thistle handed bye in Highland Welfare Cup

    Posted on Thursday, June 3, 2010


    Tain Thistle have been awarded a bye in the Tom Hunter Highland Welfare Cup. The 1st Round will be played on Sunday, June 13th, with the winners advancing to the last sixteen to join Tain Thistle, and other bye teams. The 2nd round is scheduled to be played on Sunday, July 4th with a 2pm kick off.

    The 1st round draw is as follows:

    Tomintoul vs Elizabethan Link Up, Merkinch vs Rock House, Hatton vs Buckie, Rothes vs Branders, St Marnans vs Bishopmill, Elgin Albion vs GS United, Crimond vs New Deer, Cullen vs White Eagles, Port Gordon vs Portsoy

    Byes: Tain Thistle, Lossiemouth, Hopeman, Lhanbryde, Moray Social, Burghead, Aberlour
  • Tain Juniors preview

    Posted on Thursday, June 3, 2010


    Followers of Tain Juniors' under 17 side are reminded that the team's next fixture is tomorrow night at 7pm at Grant Park against league rivals Dingwall.
  • Tain Thistle 2-1 Ross-shire Club

    Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2010


    Tain Thistle bounced back from three consecutive defeats tonight to leapfrog Ross-shire Club into 3rd place in the Ross-shire Welfare with a 2-1 win at Grant Park.

    Goals from Daniel and Arron Christie saw the league champions reaffirm their intentions as contenders to retain their title with a persistent and workmanlike performance.

    American college soccer supremo Garry Perks stepped back into the fold after an eighteen month absence to take his place on the right wing while Michael Brand also returned, following an ankle injury sustained in the pre-season. The suspended Darran Goller stepped out, while James Rice was also absent.

    Thistle started the game in nervy fashion, despite matching their opponents in most areas of the park.

    Robbie Ross came closest to opening the scoring in the early going; his header sailing only inches round the post before turning an effort over the hands of Mitchell and the crossbar.

    Despite the pressure from the home side, it was the Dingwall men who took the lead through a lapse in concentration down the right flank. Clever play from the Ross-shire men saw full back Donald Stewart's effort reach the far post and drift into the net, while keeper Steven Martin could only look on in astonishment.

    The disaster did not deter the Jags however as they continued to press at the other end of the park. In fact, within minutes the Thistle bench and players were all but celebrating when Andrew Sutherland saw his aerial effort sail goalward only to be deemed not to count, despite appeals from the home side that his header had crossed the line

    As the second half began, Thistle looked more positive, with player managed Arron Christie now in an advanced midfield position. Quickly, Christie and Perks began to link up well, creating chances in front of the Ross-shire goal with frequency; Ross again unlucky not to score as he watched his effort drift over the bar.

    The clever trickery of Garry Perks finally paid off for Thistle as the winger dribbled past a pair of defenders to square the ball for the waiting feet of Daniel Christie; the latter making no mistake with the finish, placing the ball beyond Mitchell to make it 1-1.

    Ross-shire Club continued to show solidarity at the back however, thwarting a series of corner attempts for Thistle as the Jags battled for a winner. But it was not for long, as an Arron Christie looping effort from the edge of the area soon found the net, taking a deflection on the way in. At 2-1, Thistle's domination was finally reflected in the scoreline.

    A late flurry of long ball attacks from the Ross Club put some late pressure on Martin's goal, but confident defending from Martyn Farquhar and Michael Brand saw the goal well tended until the final whistle; the visitor's best chance in the latter stages easily thwarted as Ryan Cowie covered ground with the grace of a gazelle to tackle Paul Fredricks at the key moment.

    The win pushes Thistle into 3rd place in the Ross-shire Welfare league, overtaking both Inver and Ross-shire Club, while Balintore strengthened their lead at the top with a thumping 6-1 win over their seaside rivals. At Invergordon, Alness beat the Social Club 3-0, while Vertex fell 2-1 to Cromarty.

    Team: Martin, Cowie, Sutherland (Durrand), Farquhar, A Christie, Brand, D Christie, Cameron, Burry, Perks (Rattanaphithak), Ross (Maclellan). Subs not used: Johnston, C Nimmons

    Goals: D Christie 50, A Christie 71

    Man of the Match: Michael Brand
  • Inver 2-0 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2010


    Tain Thistle fell at the first hurdle this weekend, losing 2-0 to Inver, in the teams' second competitive outing of the season. The match was in the first round of the Portmahomack hosted Pattison Cup



    Match report currently unavailable.
  • Moylan Urquhart Memorial Game scheduled

    Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010


    On Saturday May 29th, Grant Park will play host to the Moylan Urquhart Memorial Quaich match, which will kick off at 1pm.

    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 fifth 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 and a raffle will take place after the game at the Railway Hotel with prizes including a signed Celtic shirt and an acoustic guitar.

  • Tain Thistle 1-4 Balintore

    Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010


    A confident first half performance from league leaders Balintore saw them extend their advantage with a 4-1 win at Grant Park against a disjointed Tain Thistle side.

    Completing a number of changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Inver on Saturday, manager Arron Christie reintroduced striker Robbie Ross and Ryan Johnston, while also giving Thai winger Ayah Rattanaphithak his first start for the club, in place of Darran Goller.

    End to end action in the first half saw the first break fall to Balintore, as North Caledonian young player of the year Andrew Ripley tucked a shot underneath Steven Martin for the opener. Balintore made it 2-0 shortly after with a Dave MacGruer strike.



    Andy Bell added a third before the interval after Thistle failed to deal with persistent attacking play.

    Making two half time changes, Thistle re-emerged for the second half with Darran Goller and Andy Durrand introduced, adding new attacking options. The chances quickly came through Goller as he narrowly missed a chance to score, one on one with Balintore stopper Ross Henderson.

    Tain's second half pressure finally paid off when a Martyn Farquhar effort was adjudged to have crossed the line, despite protests from the Balintore bench. At 1-3 down, Thistle could have pulled another back thanks to a late Arron Christie lob, but the confident Henderson was up to the task.

    Despite their best efforts, Thistle could not prevent Balintore from adding a fourth. From a set piece, the towering Gus Macdonald knocked the ball beyond Martin with deflected header, concluding the scoring for the evening.

    Team: Martin, Cowie, Johnson (Durrand), Rice, Sutherland, Farquhar, D Christie, Burry, Rattanaphithak (Goller), Ross, A Christie. Subs not used: C Nimmons, Maclellan, Cameron

    Goals: Farquhar 77
  • U17s replay postponed

    Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010


    The proposed replay between Muir of Ord and Tain Juniors' under 17 outfits scheduled to be played tonight has been postponed.
  • Juniors held at Invergordon

    Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010


    Tain Juniors U17s finished all square with Invergordon U17s at the Recreation Grounds last night, as the game ended 1-1.<br /><br />More to follow.
  • Tain Thistle vs Balintore - when last they met

    Posted on Monday, May 24, 2010


    Tain Thistle can expect nothing but a tough contest from neighbours Balintore as the Jags challenge the 100% record of the seasiders this Wednesday night. The unbeaten Thistle will hope to make an advance towards top spot in the table by toppling their rivals with the home advantage on their side.

    As the game closes in, we look at the last two meetings between the sides at Grant Park, from 2009 and 2008.

    Tain Thistle 5-1 Balintore

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

    GoalsD Christie 3, Rostock 5, Rice 7, 19, Goller 28 ? Mackay 47

    Tain Thistle: Martin, Farquhar (Austin), Rice, Dingwall, A Christie, Oliver, D Christie, Cowie, Macdonald (McGaw), Goller (Durrand), Rostock

    Balintore: Crombie, Mackenzie (MacKelvie), Metcalfe, Ross (Allison), Stainke, MacMillan, Mackay, Macdonald, Smith (Vass), Martin 

    James Rice was the hero of the day against a beleaguered Balintore side, as he netted a first half brace before narrowly missing out on a hat trick to contribute towards a thumping 5-1 win, rocketing Thistle to the top of the Ross-shire Welfare league table.

    Tain Thistle 1-2 Balintore

    Wednesday, May 19th, 2008

    GoalsMcCourt 24 - Kay 65, Mackay 70

    Tain Thistle: Ross, Farquhar, George (Harkness), Rice, Cowie (Milne), Cameron, Burry, Brand, McCourt, Rostock (McQuillan), Perks 

    Balintore: Henderson, Metcalfe, Mackay, Davis, Stainke, Ross, Martin (J Vass), Wood (Moffat), Macdonald, Smith, Kay (B Vass)

    The Jags' early league momentum was quickly halted by a stubborn Balintore side as a flat footed Tain Thistle saw their early lead cancelled out by Ryan Kay and Martin Mackay to give Balintore three important league points.
  • Inver 2-1 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010


    Inver are the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup winners for 2010, following an entertainment packed ninety minutes at Balintore Lower Park yesterday.

    Both sides had made changes since their inconclusive meeting at Portmahomack weeks prior, with Craig McCourt in for Greig Mitchell and Gary Mackay replacing Stephen Campbell in the Inver goal.

    For Thistle, Kyle Oliver was introduced to the midfield with Brian Cameron stepping into a full back role for Ryan Cowie. Experienced forward Robbie Ross failed to make the final squad due to the imposed limit of six Winter form players, while the returning Mark Reid took a place on the bench.

    Pre-match, the Tain players and committee arrived together, universally clad in red and black bar ties. For many of the younger players, it would be their first Welfare final, having stepped up from the Under 17 ranks this summer.

    Nerves were apparent early on as neither side could figure a conclusive hold on the game, but it was Inver who had the first chance, Ashley Mills managing to win a header in the Thistle box before sending a shot just over the bar after some shaky defending from the Grant Park men.

    Despite the early pressure from Inver, it was Tain who opened the scoring, through an unlikely source. A looping cross from right back Brian Cameron reached the edge of the Inver area, but it was Inver captain Scott Innes who was first to the ball in what he must have hoped would be a headed clearance. The unlucky defender could only watch his effort drift into the net at Gary Mackay’s far post however, giving Thistle a surprise 1-0 lead.

    The goal should have served as encouragement for Thistle, who had seemed all-at-sea for most of the half thus far, but disaster struck moments later when Craig McCourt found himself through on the Tain goal, this time forcing goalkeeper Steven Martin to produce a save, beating the ball behind for a corner.

    The Thistle defence were caught napping once again as McCourt found himself in an advanced position and in a moment that player-manager Arron Christie will want to forget, the towering Inver forward was sent to the ground, leaving referee Michael Stainke with no other option than to point to the spot. McCourt stepped up and rifled the ball home to level the affair at 1-1.

    As the first half continued, frustration grew higher as the action flew from end to end. In the frenzy, Thistle could only stand and watch as the next goal flew in, as Stuart Wood struck the ball from 25 yards, over the Thistle defence and their keeper to make it 2-1.

    The deficit finally seemed to spur Tain on, as a flurry of chances before the half time whistle ensued. Kyle Oliver was unsuccessful first of all with a thumping shot that just skimmed its way over the bar, before the midfielder once again beat the keeper, only to see his angled shot bounce off the post; winger Darran Goller unsuccessful with the rebound.

    It was beginning to seem like one of those days for Thistle as John Maclellan also found himself clean through on Mackay. The forward dribbled the ball past the Inver keeper but in an infringement which seemed to escape the eyes of both the referee and his assistants, the young striker found his legs clipped by the keeper, ending his momentum and the scoring chance.

    The second half told a very different tale to that of the first, with forty-five minutes of Thistle pressure about to begin.

    Arron Christie, now in a forward position, should have made it 2-2 when he found himself one-on-one with Mackay, but much to the amazement of the Thistle support, after he beat Mackay his chipped effort came back off the crossbar! Christie’s frustration turned to scorn soon after as he found himself in the Inver box only to be wrestled to the ground; referee Stainke again ignoring any penalty claim to the amazement of both teams.

    Thistle’s best chance of the second period fell without doubt to Andrew Sutherland who, having advanced for a set piece found the goal gaping, but could only shoot directly at an Inver defender on the goal line.

    The Jags continued to pressurize up until the final whistle, Colin Burry, James Rice and even goalkeeper Steven Martin coming close to finding an equalizer but as time went on, it became evident that the name of Tain Thistle was never to be written on the League Cup this year.



    Competition sponsor Jim Oman of Highland Heatsave Ltd Plumbing & Heating presented the trophy to Inver captain Scott Innes after the match, before medals and awards were handed out at Balintore's Commercial Hotel. Any taste of bitterness following the result were soon washed away with some excellently prepared soup, provided by the hosts.

    Team: Martin, Cameron (Reid), Rice, Sutherland, A Christie, Oliver, Farquhar, Goller (Rattanaphithak), Burry, Maclellan, D Christie. Subs not used: Johnston, Cowie, Durrand

    Goals: Innes o.g. 15
  • Dingwall Vertex 0-6 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010


    Tain Thistle got off the mark in style at Dingwall this evening, winning all three points after putting six into the Vertex net.

    Manager Arron Christie made four changes for the visit. Resting winger Darran Goller, full back James Rice with Brian Cameron and John Maclellan dropping to the bench, while Kyle Oliver, Andrew Sutherland and Robbie Ross were recalled to the side along with the player-manager himself.

    A promising start for Thistle saw Robbie Ross and makeshift forward Arron Christie come close with efforts in the box, with Daniel Christie also firing over the bar in the early going. A resilient Vertex defence were able to stave off the pressure from Tain's determined wing pairing of Colin Burry and Andy Durrand but before long the floodgates opened; Arron Christie leathering the ball into the top corner to give Tain a 1-0 lead in emphatic style with his first goal of the campaign.



    Arron's brother Daniel Christie opened his account for the season soon after, turning a shot into the net beyond the keeper to make it 2-0, giving Thistle a more than comfortable half time advantage.

    Shortly after the restart, Ross could very well have made it 3-0, but failed to connect with a cross at the far post, heading wide from close range. The duty was left to Thistle's left back, in sensational fashion, as Ryan Johnston watched his deep looping cross turn into the shot of the game when it sailed over the head of an unsuspecting Ross Rae and into the net.



    Vertex enjoyed a brief reprieve from defending when Thistle brought on substitutes John Maclellan and Ayah Rattanaphithak as the visitor's rejigged their formation; the Dingwall side's Ryan Reid testing Steven Martin with a tame effort soon after with the call centre side's only significant chance of the game.

    Substitute Rattanaphithak found himself in the thick of the action quickly, winning a free kick outside the box, before finding the net himself, stunning onlookers with a deft header over the ample Vertex keeper finishing a Mark Reid cross; a feat in itself for the diminutive Thai dribbler, who would take some beating as the shortest player in the league!

    The tireless Burry added a fifth from a set piece outside the box soon after Rattanaphithak's contribution, much to the disappointment of the Vertex defence and their keeper who were caught off guard by Thistle's quickness in taking the free kick.

    Rattanaphithak, finding it all too easy to advance on the vulnerable Vertex defence was adjudged to have been impeded in the closing minutes of the game and a penalty was awarded to the visitors by referee Mark Dalton. Still chasing his opening goal of the campaign, young striker John Maclellan stepped up to the plate for the spot kick and after sending the Vertex keeper the wrong way, Maclellan knocked the ball home to round the evening off at 6 goals to nil for Thistle.



    The win gets Thistle off the mark in the Ross-shire Welfare league, catapulting them to 3rd in the table, behind Ross-shire Club who lost 1-0 to Balintore in another of the evening's games. Elsewhere in the county, Invergordon Social Club were beaten 3-1 at Portmahomack by Inver, while Alness Athletic regained form to make easy work of Cromarty in an 8-0 drubbing.

    Thistle's win over Vertex will be their final outing before they play Inver in the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup final, scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 22nd at Balintore Lower Park, Balintore, with a 3pm kick off.

    Team: Martin, Cowie (Reid), Johnston, Farquhar, Sutherland, Oliver, D Christie, Durrand (Rattanaphithak), Burry, Ross (Maclellan), A Christie. Subs not used: S McGaw, Cameron

    Goals: A Christie 23, D Christie 36, Johnston 56, Rattanaphithak 77, Burry 82, Maclellan pen 90

    Man of the Match: Ryan Johnston
  • Andy's Odds (19/5)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2010




    Tain Thistle's resident mascot and betting enthusiast, Andy "I'll play anKNEEwhere" Murray weighs in with another edition of "Andy's Odds", speculating on the fortunes of the Ross-shire Welfare's league teams for this evening's card of games.

    Inver vs Social Club

    Inver will be keen to get a league game under their belt finally and with that I think they will prove too strong for Social!

    My prediction: 3-0

    Alness Athletic vs Cromarty

    Alness are a strong team but have struggled to score goals so far. However think Alness will sneak this one!

    Mr prediction: 2-1

    Balintore vs Ross Club

    Both teams are currently sitting on 6 points with 1 goal between them. Going for a draw on this one!

    Mr prediction: 1-1

    Vertex vs Tain Thistle

    Pre-season friendly ended with a narrow 2-1. With 3 points at stake Tain will be keen to see this one off with ease. Team news is that there could be a change up front, so will all depend on whether the new 'striker' finds the back of the net!

    My prediction: 0-3
  • Thistle announce Estonian club link

    Posted on Monday, May 17, 2010


    Tain Thistle are proud to announce a new club association with Estonian side Jalgpaliklubi FC Eston Villa.

    Eston Villa play in the Estonian championship IV league and currently hold 2nd position in the East Zone. Thistle and Villa committees are currently working on setting up a friendly match, expected to be played in mid 2011.
  • Cup Final venue confirmed

    Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2010


    The Ross-shire Welfare league cup final between Tain Thistle and Inver will now be played at Balintore Lower Park, in Balintore.

    The match is scheduled for Saturday, May 22nd with a 3pm kick off.
  • Tain Thistle 0-0 Alness Athletic

    Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010


    Welfare sides Tain Thistle and Alness Athletic were deadlocked at Grant Park today as the league challengers finished their match goal-less.

    Injury concerns following the weekend saw Robbie Ross and manager Arron Christie drop out of the first team, with Andy Durrand and Andy Sutherland coming in while Christie's most recent signing Kyle Oliver took a place on the bench. Terry Stirling named a much changed starting eleven for Alness, with David Kennedy, Kraig Vass, Scott MacGruer and former Thistle welfare defender Keith Dingwall adding strength to the Alness side.

    The first half told a familiar story of end to end flowing football from both sides, with Colin Burry impressing once again on the left flank. Thistle got started early with a corner in the first minute; James Rice heading wide from a Burry cross with the first chance of the game. John Maclellan was unlucky minutes later with a one-on-one chance against MacGruer as he shot straight at the stopper.

    Alness enjoyed their best chance through Stuart Murray, who having spent most of the game offside was finally able to play the trap well to lob Martin, only to see his shot land on the crossbar and bounce over.



    Goalkeeper Steven Martin was called into action twice in the second half following a period of Alness pressure, doing very well to tip an effort away from goal before holding a free kick.

    Action flowed freely in the latter stages of the second half with most of the action coming through Burry and Darran Goller for the home side, but chances in the middle were few and far between for both sides despite creative play.

    At the back, the young combination of Martyn Farquhar and Andy Sutherland received good reviews from the touchline, keeping their first clean sheet of the season as a defensive pairing, as the game meandered towards a 0-0 finish.

    Elsewhere in the league, league leaders Balintore made it 2 from 2 with a 3-1 win at Dingwall over new side Vertex thanks to goals from David Calderwood, Ross Powell and James Metcalfe, while action at Cromarty never got started as traffic issues prevented Inver from reaching Victoria Park. In other game of the night, Ross-shire Club beat Social Club 2-0 at Invergordon.

    Team: Martin, Cowie, Rice (Oliver), Farquhar, Sutherland, Cameron (Ross), D Christie, Goller, Burry, Maclellan (Rattanaphithak), Durrand. Subs not used: C Nimmons, Johnston

    Man of the Match: Andrew Sutherland
  • Juniors game postponed

    Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010


    Tonight's match between Tain Juniors under 17 side and Muir of Ord has been postponed due to traffic problems preventing the away side's arrival.
  • Grant Park goal posts spruced up

    Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010


    The goal posts at Tain Thistle and Tain Juniors' Grant Park have been given a much needed tidy up and respray by Thistle committee members Ian and Arron Christie.

    The newly painted posts were put to good use tonight during Thistle's league match with Alness, netted up by the able bodied hands of Graham Macrae and David "Embo" Matheson.
  • Andy's Odds (12/5)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010




    TainThistle.co.uk's resident pundit, Andy "The Hatchet" Murray weighs in with his prediction for this week's Ross-shire Welfare league fixtures.

    Cromarty vs Inver

    Cromarty had a good 1st round cup win and results have been close and with home advantage don't think Inver will have this one all their own way, especially with their goalkeeper 'cast' aside through injury!

    My Prediction: 2-2

    Invergordon Social Club vs Ross-shire Club

    I think Ross Club will win this one although they don't seem to be as strong as last season. It all depends on what team Social put out however!

    My Prediction: 1-3

    Tain Thistle vs Alness Athletic

    This will be another close one. Alness are a physical team but as long as (we) Tain match them, I think it'll be 3 points for Tain!

    My Prediction: 2-1

    Vertex vs Balintore

    Vertex are the new team finding their feet, don't think they'll be a match for a seemingly strong Balti team!

    My Prediction: 0-4
  • By-Gone Games: Tain vs Alness

    Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010


    In 1920, the reformation of the Ross-shire League had begun -- with teams from Evanton (Black Rock), Invergordon and Dingwall competing again and among the others to join were Alness and Tain (St Duthus).

    Most significantly for the latter two was their first meeting since the end of the First World War in 1920 with both sides finding themselves in the final of the Tain hosted Pattison Cup. Crowds flocked to "The Links" from both towns to view the spectacle, with the cup committee recording a gate of £10 - a record at the time for the town.

    Tain had disposed of Dingwall Vics (then recognised as Ross-shire's premier team) and Invergordon en route to the final, while Alness had made easy work of Cromarty and Golspie.

    The game was affected heavily by a strong wind, one which Alness benefited from early on, winning the toss for kick off and the weather advantage. Despite numerous corners for the visitors in the first half, no advantage was taken and the score remained 0-0 at the break.

    Despite Alness having the better of things (with three shots saved by the Tain custodian), it was Tain who took the lead with their first attempt on Maynard's goal -- and in bizarre fashion. A cross from Mitchell was left to go bye by the Alness stopped but it careered off the post and back into the goalmouth. The stramash that followed found the ball trundle into the net; Maynard's valiant efforts to prevent it going in only succeeded in pushing it further over the line, resulting in what would effectively be classed as an "own goal".

    The goal would be the only one of the game, with Tain securing the prize of the Pattison Cup in a 1-0 win. Presentations took place at the Temperance Hotel, awarded to the Tain captain by Mr D Sinclair of the North of Scotland Bank.

    The year marked a renaissance for Tain football, as they went on to secure the first post-war (1920/21) Ross-shire League championship soon after, overcoming teams from around the county, with five wins from six games.



    (Above: Tain St Duthus, Pattison Cup Winners 1920)

    The teams on the day were:

    Tain St Duthus

    W Munro, W Macleod, E M Fraser, R Earl, A Macleod, W B Dunnett, J G Holmes, D J H Mitchell, D Mackay, G Findlay, W Ross

    Alness United

    Maynard, Collins, Mackenzie, Grant, Macdonald, Maclean, Fraser, Young, Maclean, Darling, Lamb

    Referee - Mr W G Mackay, Dingwall
  • Juniors vs Muir moved to Wed night

    Posted on Monday, May 10, 2010


    Tain Juniors' home under-17s fixture against Muir of Ord, originally scheduled for Friday 14th May, will now be played this Wednesday 12th May on the TRACC all-weather pitch.
  • Sunflowers get off to a winning start

    Posted on Saturday, May 8, 2010


    Tain Thistle would like to thank Debbie Dyer and her crew of able bodied helpers from the Sunflowers Cafe for the provision of refreshments at today's semi final.

    Spectators were spoiled rotten throughout the match and at half time with baguettes, tea, coffee, soup, rolls, cakes and the much sought after "Shortbread Gollers" (pictured here).

    Thank you to Debbie, John and Sunflowers Cafe for their time and efforts.



  • Tain Thistle 2-1 Alness Athletic

    Posted on Saturday, May 8, 2010


    A last gasp winner from Robbie Ross was enough for Tain Thistle to book their place in the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup final this afternoon, against cup holders Alness Athletic.

    Arron Christie named a relatively familiar starting eleven, with Ryan Cowie coming back into otherwise the same side who played in the abandoned fixture midweek against Inver.

    Despite a positive start from Thistle, it was Athletic who broke the deadlock through Stevie Murray; the forward taking advantage of defensive frailties in the early going to knock the ball past Stevie Martin.

    The goal jolted Tain into action and before long chances came, mostly through Colin Burry as he found the head of Robbie Ross on two occasions, both being sent over the bar.

    As Tain continued to chase an equalizer, the game adopted a frenetic feel with chances at either end, Stuart Murray shooting over the bar while John Maclellan had an effort saved at the other end and bookings which soon followed, for Thistle's Rice and Athletic's Alexander.

    But, capping off a brilliant first half display down the left wing, it was Burry who was able to pull his side back into contention with a tremendous goal, looping the ball over Annal and into the net from an acute angle just before the half time break.

    The second half started as the first had ended, with much of the tough yet flowing football that both teams had promised to deliver pre-match on display for the 100 strong crowd. Chances falling to Darran Goller and Ross were squandered while Maclellan again found an opportunity held by Annal as Tain pushed for a winner.

    Just as the match looked as though it was headed for extra time, Robbie Ross provided the heroic touch, as he had done in the Cordiner Cup semi final last year, with a goal in the dying minutes. Winger Goller's seemingly tireless legs carried him into a fantastic position down the right hand side to cross for Ross; the forward carrying the ball over the line to send the Thistle crowd home delighted, with the prospect of another cup final to look forward to.

    Post-match, the Athletic touchline took issue with referee Billy Murray leading to ugly scenes at the full time whistle. Tain Thistle have been asked to post the following message on their official website at the request of Alness Athletic from the opposition club's manager Terry Stirling:

    "I would like to apologize for my bad temperament and my attitude towards the referee. I understand that he has a hard enough job. My apologies to the children in attendance and to the great support Tain had at the game, if any offense was caused. Well done and all the best in the final."

    In the other semi final, Inver travelled to Cromarty where they were able to win 3-2, setting up a derby final for the Invergordon hosted cup. The final is scheduled to be played on Saturday, May 22nd with a 3pm kick off Invergordon's Recreation Grounds.

    Team: Martin, Farquhar, Cowie, Rice, A Christie, Cameron, Burry, Goller, D Christie, Maclellan, Ross (Johnston) Subs not used: Durrand, C Nimmons, Sutherland, Rattanaphithak

    Goals: Burry 43, Ross 89

    Bookings: Rice, D Christie, Maclellan

    Man of the Match: Colin Burry
  • Aird Athletic U17s 3-2 Tain Juniors U17s

    Posted on Friday, May 7, 2010


    Despite a second half fightback, Tain Juniors' under 17 side fell by 3 goals to 2 to Aird Athletic tonight.

    Tain took the lead through Keiran Cunningham against a lively Aird side, but a quick fightback saw Aird go 2-1 before scoring third on the stroke of half time to go in 3-1 leaders at the break.

    A second half penalty from Reece Stewart reduced the deficit but the elusive equaliser could not be found as Aird held on to win 3-2.
  • Thistle prepare for Alness double header

    Posted on Thursday, May 6, 2010


    Tain Thistle are preparing to head into two back-to-back home meetings with Alness Athletic in the next five days. The latter meeting will on be on Wednesday evening on league business but first and foremost, the teams will meet in the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup semi final this Saturday afternoon.

    For Tain, they seem to have found their bogey team in Alness Athletic, having lost three times in four of the meetings between the sides in 2009. They lost first of all in a friendly, losing 3-2 at Grant Park before leveling the playing field in a league game with a 2-1 win.

    Tain's further matches with Athletic (both in visits to Alness) ended in defeat, first with a 4-3 loss thanks to a last minute Jordan Greig strike and secondly, in a game which followed Thistle's clinching of the Ross-shire Welfare league championship; Alness making easy work of a tired Thistle in a 3-0 win to reach the Seaboard Cup final.



    (Last season's Ross-shire Welfare League Cup winners, Alness Athletic)

    Defending cup holders Alness will go into Saturday's game having beaten Dingwall's Ross-shire Club by an outstanding 8 goals to 2 at Jubilee Park in the first round.

    Striker Stuart Murray opened his account for Athletic with a hat-trick in that game and despite defeat on Wednesday evening (to Balintore), the forward was able to add to his tally with a brace making him the league's top goalscorer thus far.

    Flanked by prolific scorers of last season, Jamie Macdonald and James Cochrane, Alness are sure to be a threat going forward.

    Thistle however will be determined to get a result at the weekend having seen a chance to get off the mark on Wednesday vanish following the abandonment of their game against rivals Inver.

    Full back Ryan Cowie is expected to be back in action for Tain, having impressed against the Social Club in Tain's first round win while Michael Brand is likely to remain on the sidelines due to injury, possibly to be joined by top scorer and winger Darran Goller, who picked up a number of knocks in the club's unfulfilled midweek fixture.
  • Results Roundup (5/5)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010


    While Inver and Tain Thistle's meeting at Portmahomack ended in postponement, three other fixtures opened the Ross-shire Welfare league season.

    At Evanton, Alness fell by 5 goals to 2, as Balintore's Gus Macdonald netted twice to put his side to the top of the league.

    Ross-shire Club of Dingwall join Balintore on three points after a 3-1 win over Cromarty, while in the only other game, Dingwall Vertex recorded their first point with a hard earned draw against Invergordon Social Club; Ryan Reid netting for the league newcomers in reply to a strike from Kenny Ross.

    Alness Athletic 2-5 Balintore

    Ross-shire Club 3-1 Cromarty

    Invergordon Social Club 1-1 Dingwall Vertex

    Inver vs Tain Thistle - abandoned
  • Inver vs Tain Thistle abandoned

    Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010


    A head knock to Inver defender Jamie Shepherd brought an impromptu end to this evening's league meeting between Inver and Tain Thistle at Portmahomack, as the game was abandoned after 73 minutes of play.

    Tain had started the game brightly and no sooner had they had their first attack when they scored through Darran Goller; the pacey winger finishing after his run down the right wing saw him one on one with Stephen Campbell.



    Daniel Christie was unlucky not to extend the lead straight after as he powered a shot wide following a goalmouth sclaff - but it was Christie who started the move for Tain's second, playing Darran Goller into space for the winger to play a ball across the face of Campbell's goal for striker John Maclellan to net his first welfare goal for Thistle.

    Before the half hour mark however, Inver's persistent counter play resulted in a goal for Ashley Mills, placing the ball under Steven Martin to pull one back for the home side.

    The second half looked promising for Thistle as it started, with Maclellan looking to find the net again. The striker was unlucky on two occasions, first watching his effort drift wide before failing to round Campbell to score moments later.

    The incident which followed led to the cessation of Shepherd's involvement and ultimately the postponement of the fixture. Following a tussle between Shepherd and Thistle's Robbie Ross, the oncoming goalkeeper Campbell collided with his defender (Shepherd) resulting in stoppage of play.

    The game was stopped for eight minutes as players and officials from both clubs helped the player from the field, awaiting an air ambulance. While the game resumed for a short time after, the air ambulance's arrival finally brought it to a halt.



    Following consultation with the paramedics, it was clear that the game was not going to be resumed with suitable light and referee Keith Middleton brought an end to proceedings, calling the game off after speaking to both team managers.

    News late tonight indicated that Jamie Shepherd has recovered well and has a concussion. Everyone at Tain Thistle wishes Jamie a speedy recovery.

    Inver: Campbell, Davis, Smith (Swanson), Shepherd (G Mackay), Innes, D Wood, Mailley, Austin, Mills, S Wood, Mitchell. Subs unused: D Mackay, Ferguson

    Goals: Mills (28)

    Tain Thistle: Martin, Farquhar, Rice, Sutherland, A Christie, D Christie, Cameron, Burry, Goller, Ross (Rattanaphithak), Maclellan. Subs unused: D Nimmons, Durrand, Johnston, C Nimmons

    Goals: Goller (2), Maclellan (13)
  • Thistle prepare for Inver

    Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010


    Tain Thistle and Inver met in a pre-season friendly in April in a game that ended 5-4 to the Jags, thanks to a Daniel Christie hat trick and goals from Brian Cameron and youngster John Maclellan however the landscape will prove different for both sides as they head into their first league game of the season.

    Regarding changes from their April meeting, Inver are expected to be boosted by the introduction of Invergordon natives Ashley Mills and goalkeeper Stephen Campbell, while Thistle are without the injured Michael Brand, Ryan Cowie and Liam Rostock having been strengthened mainly by the return of Robbie Ross.
  • Dingwall U17s 2-1 Tain Juniors U17s

    Posted on Saturday, May 1, 2010


    Tain Juniors' unbeaten start to their SWL Ross-shire Youth League campaign came to a halt last night as they were beaten 2-1 by rivals Dingwall.

    The Juniors were able to cancel out a Dingwall half time lead with a goal from Chris Gordon but were unable to prevent the home team from retaking their lead. Tain thought they had done enough to earn themselves a draw when Stuart Greenlees knocked the ball home but the referee on hand adjudged that the player was offside.

    Next week, Tain travel to Kirkhill to play Aird Athletic in the second meeting between the teams this season, this time on league business.
  • Tain Thistle 4-1 Social Club (aet)

    Posted on Saturday, May 1, 2010


    Tain Thistle got themselves off to a winning start this afternoon with a first round victory over Invergordon Social Club to advance to the semi final of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup, but not without hard work. Manager Arron Christie handed the reigns to father Ian in his absence and Christie the elder named a strong eleven; boosted also by the return of winger Liam Rostock.

    The Tain men got off to the perfect start when last season's top goalscorer Robbie Ross beat goalkeeper Daniel Cormack to put the home side 1-0 up after only nine minutes, opening his and Thistle's account for the summer.

    The pressure on the Social's goal continued throughout the first half with young striker John Maclellan coming close with a shot off the post before turning the rebound wide, leaving Thistle wondering if it was going to one of those days.

    The second half continued as the first had ended, with Maclellan again coming close before the the crowd witnessed miss of the game, credited to Liam Rostock, who shot the ball over the bar from four yards after a clever through ball from Ross. Ross could have scored not long after following clever link up play between Rostock and Ayah Rattanaphithak but his shot was sent wide.

    Under continued pressure, it looked as though things were only getting worse for Social as forward Ali Connell, who had received an earlier caution for dissent, was eventually dismissed for a wild tackle on Darran Goller outside the box leaving Social with ten men for the remainder of the game.

    But it was the Invergordon men who found the net in the second period; Neil Stevens surprising Thistle keeper David Matheson with an angled looped shot into the top corner. The goal had been Social's first significant shot on target during the ninety minutes of play, and it also confirmed that extra time would be needed to separate the sides, much to the astonishment and frustration of the Tain support.



    Matheson was forced to withdraw before extra time commenced due to vision problems and the change saw Thistle make their final substitution, with Ryan Johnston making his debut for the club while scorer Ross pulled on the goalkeeper's jersey. The loss of Ross's threat up front was countered when left back Colin Burry was pushed into midfield, while Rostock was moved from the wing to the front.

    Despite resurgent Social attacks in the first spell of extra time (Social still buoyed by their goal), centre-backs Martyn Farquhar and Andrew Sutherland both showed steely determination to protect their goal as they had done during normal time.

    Winger Darran Goller lit up the extra time period up front finally in the second half with a moment of brilliance; cutting into the box on the left hand side to drill a shot home with his right foot, much to the relief of the Tain touchline. The tricky Rattanaphithak picked up an assist for Goller's second goal soon after, as he crossed for the winger to thump the ball beyond Cormack to make it 3-1.

    With the game all but finished, Rattanaphithak nicked a goal of his own, adding the finishing touch on a Goller effort launched from the left hand side.

    The win advances Thistle to the semi of the League Cup, with another home tie looming. The opposition proved to be Alness Athletic, who handed Ross-shire Club an 8-2 drubbing at Dingwall. In other action, Dingwall's other team in Vertex were drubbed 5-0 at home by Cromarty, while Graham Davis, Stuart Wood and Greig Mitchell scored the goals necessary for Inver to beat Balintore 3-1 after extra time in Portmahomack.

    Team:

    Matheson (Johnston), Cowie, Burry, Farquhar, Sutherland, Cameron (Durrand), D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Ross, Maclellan (Rattanaphithak)

    Sub not used:

    Stein

    Goals:

    Ross 9, Goller 109, 113, Rattanaphithak 116

    Bookings:

    Rostock 63

    Man of the Match:

    Martyn Farquhar

    The semi finals of the League Cup will be played this Saturday, May 8th with a 3pm kick off.

    Tain Thistle vs Alness Athletic

    Cromarty vs Inver
  • 2009: A Season to Remember

    Posted on Friday, April 30, 2010


    As we begin a new Welfare season, TainThistle.co.uk looks back on the most successful season in the club's history. From the reintroduction of the Christopher Grant Trophy contested with Tain St Duthus to the visit of the HMS Sutherland and the Homecoming Cup, the infamous "Peeps is my hero" t-shirt, the Cordiner Cup win and the memorable league win.

    Below we have a blow by blow account of the season, as it happened.

    Mar 4th

    The Tain Thistle committee was represented by ten members at the club’s AGM. Niall Harkiss was re-elected as Chairman, with Alan Forsyth re-assuming the position of Secretary and Treasurer. The committee also agreed that James Rice and Steven Martin should assume interim organisation of the Welfare team, pending confirmation of an official team manager.

    Mar 14th

    Tain Thistle officially re-registered for the Ross-shire Welfare League at a meeting of all Welfare clubs, chaired by Jimmy Patullo.

    Mar 19th

    A team management meeting between chairman Niall Harkiss, interim coaches James Rice and Steven Martin and former manager Arron Christie was held, confirming Christie’s reappointment as manager of the Welfare team.

    Mar 20th

    Manager of the Tain St Duthus XI for the upcoming Christy Grant Trophy match, Jim Jardine, announced a squad of 19 featuring Tain football veterans such as Alan Duff and DJ McCarthy.

    Mar 21st

    Following an excellent hospitality dinner at the St Duthus Hotel, spectators at the Christopher Grant Memorial Trophy match watched Tain Thistle defeat Jim Jardine’s St Duthus XI by 6 goals to 2. Kenny Johnstone and Gavin Macdonald netted for the veterans, while goals for Thistle came from Bob Swann, Paul Cowie, Daniel Christie and Calum Macdonald - the latter scoring a hat-trick in his first game for the club since 2007.

    Post match, St Duthus Hotel manager and son of Christy, Alan Grant presented Thistle captain Scott Innes with the trophy.

    Throughout the day, the committee raised a substantial amount for the club, as well as raising £115 for Macmillan Nurses.

    Apr 4th

    Tain Thistle’s Welfare league preparations began well as they coasted to 6-0 win over Embo in Sutherland. Returning winger Liam Rostock netted a hat trick, while Ally Macdonald, Robbie Ross and Arron Christie also scored.

    Apr 7th

    The draw for the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup saw Thistle pitted at home against local rivals Inver.

    Apr 15th

    Thistle’s Welfare preparations took a turn for the worse as Kraig Vass’s amateur Black Rock Rovers demolished an under strength Tain side, winning 5-0 at Grant Park.

    Apr 19th

    Unable to bounce back straight away, Thistle fell 3-2 to new side Alness Athletic in another pre-season friendly, after going 2-0 up.

    The same day, members of the Thistle committee began the first phase of a sponsored walk up Tain Hill.

    Apr 22nd

    April’s pre-season was rounded off in dire fashion as Invergordon’s Sutor Inn handed Thistle a third friendly defeat in a row; club secretary Alan Forsyth in goal unable to prevent the Sutor from netting twice to cancel out a Daniel Christie penalty.

    Apr 24th

    Injuries to goalkeeper Steve Martin, striker Calum Macdonald and winger Darran Goller raised concerns for manager Arron Christie ahead of the club’s first competitive game of the season.

    Apr 25th

    Goalkeeping errors and the absence of key players led to a 4-1 defeat for Thistle in their League Cup opener.

    Apr 26th

    It was announced on Moray Firth Radio that Tain Thistle would play the football team of the HMS Sutherland, a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy on May 2nd.

    Apr 30th

    Tain Thistle’s opening league match finished goalless, against Inver.



    May 1st

    The Homecoming Cup was unveiled on the club’s official website, an attractive trophy to be played for between Thistle and the HMS Sutherland.

    May 2nd

    Tain Thistle soundly defeated the HMS Sutherland by 5 goals to 1 to win the Homecoming Cup.

    May 6th

    Buoyed from their Saturday Cup win, Thistle got back to winning ways this Wednesday with a resounding 3-0 win over the Sutor Inn, avenging their pre-season defeat to go 3rd in the Welfare league.

    May 13th

    Despite injuries to Mark Reid and Kiki Dingwall, Thistle continued their run of wins with a 2-1 win over Alness Athletic, coming back from 1-0 down with goals from Calum Macdonald and Andy Durrand.

    May 20st

    Goals from Daniel Christie, Darran Goller and Liam Rostock as well as a brace for right winger James Rice led to a demolition of local rivals Balintore; the final result ending at 5-1. The win put Thistle joint top of the Welfare table along with Invergordon Social Club, who had got off to a very good start.

    May 23rd

    Making amends for their earlier cup exit, Thistle battled a stubborn Sutor Inn side to a 2-1 win at Grant Park, advancing to the Pattison Cup semi final in the process.

    May 26th

    Rescheduled to avoid a clash with the Champions League final coverage, Thistle’s league tie with Dingwall’s Ross-shire Club ended in a 1-1 draw. Supersub Craig Nimmons provided the cross for Calum Macdonald to nod past the Ross Club keeper for an equalizer.

    May 30th

    Thistle’s hopes of repeating their 2007 Pattison Cup winning feat were dashed as they lost 3-2 on penalties to a dogged Invergordon Social Club side in the semi final.

    Jun 3rd

    Thistle shrugged off semi final defeat with the 5-0 demolition of Cromarty. Darran Goller notched his first goal of the campaign, unveiling the infamous “Peeps is my hero” t-shirt.

    Jun 10th

    Tain’s dominance continued in the league as semi final opponents from the past week, Invergordon Social Club, crumbled at home against Thistle. The game finished 5-0 with Thistle going two points clear of Balintore at the top of the table.

    Jun 13th

    Thistle breezed into their second semi final of the season with yet another win over Balintore, this time 3-1 in the Cordiner Cup.

    Jun 17th

    The intimidating small pitch at Portmahomack proved no problem for Thistle as they brushed aside rivals Inver with a 4-0 win in the league; Robbie Ross netting a hat trick along the way.

    Jun 19th

    Tain Thistle re-registered for the North Caledonian Football league, now with the intent to play in both the league and cup campaigns.

    Jun 20th

    A repeat of the Pattison Cup tie that saw Thistle eliminated saw the Cordiner Cup semi final took place between Tain and Invergordon Social Club, this time with Thistle the victors. Deadlocked at 2-2, it was Robbie Ross who powered a header past Barry Nimmons to record a 90th minute win for Tain.

    Jun 25th

    Despite being 3-0 up, Thistle laboured their way to a 3-2 win against the Sutor Inn in the league, with reserve keeper David Matheson making an appearance for their absent Steve Martin.

    Jun 28th

    Tain Thistle defeated Inver in the final of the Cordiner Cup, by 3 goals to 1 in blistering heat. Thistle won the cup after extra time was required to separate the sides.

    Jul 1st

    The cup hangover combined with the absence of stalwart centre half Arron Christie saw Thistle lose in the league for the first time to a Jamie Macdonald inspired Alness Athletic, by 4 goals to 3.

    Jul 4th

    Missing eight key players on Gala day, Thistle were again defeated, this time by Inver in the 1st round of the Seaboard Cup.

    Jul 9th

    A combination of questionable refereeing decisions and poor luck cost Thistle dear in the league, as they fell 2-1 to Balintore; both of the seasiders’ goals coming from the penalty spot.

    Jul 10th

    Training for the North Caledonian league team was held for the first time.

    Jul 16th

    Thistle were robbed of a glorious 2-1 win over Ross-shire Club by Steve McCallum’s blistering 94th minute strike, which saw the Tain and Dingwall sides drawn level for the second time this season.

    Jul 22nd

    Thistle returned to winning ways in style with a sensational 9-0 win over Cromarty. Hat tricks from James Rice and Liam Rostock were complimented by a Robbie Ross header and two goals from substitute Craig Nimmons.

    In Alness, Terry Stirling’s Athletic side held Ross-shire Club to a draw meaning that a win for Thistle in their final game against the Social Club would guarantee them the league title.

    Jul 23rd

    Tain Thistle were awarded a bye in the Coronation Cup, putting them into their third semi final of the season, following the withdrawal of the Sutor Inn.

    Jul 29th

    It was announced that Tain Thistle would re-feature in Sports Interactive’s Football Manager game, for its 2010 release.

    Jul 30th

    Tain Thistle made history in the Ross-shire Welfare league by winning their first ever League Championship, beating Invergordon Social Club by 5 goals to 1 to lift the shield.

    Aug 2nd

    Thistle lose out by 3 goals to nil to an inspired Alness Athletic in the Coronation Cup semi final.

    Aug 16th

    Welfare affairs were concluded as Thistle won the Charity Shield with a 4-1 win over Ross-shire Club of Dingwall. Daniel Christie accepted the League and Charity Shield on the club’s behalf at a presentation, post-match.

  • Welfare League Cup preview

    Posted on Friday, April 30, 2010


    Tomorrow, the eight teams registered with this year's Ross-shire Welfare Football Association will contest the first round of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup.

    Defending champions Alness Athletic will travel to Dingwall to play Ross-shire Club, while last year's other finalists Balintore will play host to Inver in what is expected to be a hotly contested derby.

    Terry Stirling's Alness side will be hoping to get off to a good start by defending their trophy in 2010 having made their mark by winning the trophy last year at the first time of asking, while Inver and Balintore, who have both handed out thrashings in the pre-season (to Vertex and Invergordon Social Club respectively) will be looking to reach the semis.

    In the other two first round games, newcomers Dingwall Vertex will entertain last year's debutants Cromarty in a 12pm kick off (owing to both Dingwall sides being handed home draws), while Tain Thistle play Invergordon Social Club at Grant Park.

    Coaches Arron Christie and Steven Martin are both expected to be missing for Tain's opening tie against Jimmy Patullo's young Social Club side.
  • Results Roundup (28/4)

    Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010


    The North Caledonian FA's league fixtures concluded last night as Bonar Bridge hosted Dingwall Thistle, while Tain Thistle entertained league runners-up Muir of Ord. At Bonar, Dingwall recorded a 5-1 win, taking six points in what was scheduled as a double header. At Grant Park, Tain were soundly beaten by Muir, 8 goals to nil.

    In other news, Fort William Reserves were unable to raise a team to play Bonar Bridge for the only other game outstanding in the league. As a result, the points from the game have been awarded to Bonar.

    Tain Thistle finished their campaign with 15 points from 18 games, an eleven point improvement on their 2008/09 finish.
  • Players net club NCL awards

    Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010


    As the North Caledonian league season came to a close, Tain Thistle players and committee voted for the club's Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season.

    Talented winger Darran Goller picked up the clubs' Young Player award, having scored 3 goals in 14 games for the club, while the club's most regular starter centre half Chris Mailley was voted Player of the Year.

    Russell Lawrie, not present, was awarded the prize of Top Goalscorer.
  • 2010 Fixtures announced

    Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2010


    Tain Thistle's fixtures for the Ross-shire Welfare season have been announced. The club will travel to Portmahomack (Inver) on May 5th, before hosting Alness Athletic on May 12th.

    A full list of fixtures can be found here: Tain Thistle Fixtures
  • Thistle gear up for first welfare cup game

    Posted on Monday, April 26, 2010


    On the back of two friendly wins, Tain Thistle now prepare to meet Jimmy Patullo's Invergordon Social Club side this Saturday in the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup 1st Round. The team will no doubt want to make amends for last season's 5-1 drubbing against Inver on the opening day of the season in the same competition, having brought together virtually the same squad as last year.

    Assistant boss Steven Martin is expected to take charge of the game while manager Arron Christie remains on duty with Brora Rangers.

    "We have a strong team going into this game but we wont have the depth we want until Michael Brand regains fitness and we can reintroduce Garry Perks and Liam Rostock in June."

    "We'll hopefully have Daniel (Christie), James Rice and Colin Burry back in the fold this Saturday, strengthening from our side that played against Vertex."

    Thistle and the Social Club enjoyed two highly competitive cup ties last season; the Invergordon side knocking Tain out of the Pattison Cup after a frenzied penalty shoot-out in Tain, before a 92nd minute Robbie Ross goal secured a 3-2 win and Thistle's place in the Cordiner Cup final three weeks later at Invergordon.

    Tain Thistle and Invergordon Social Club's detailed head-to-head history can be viewed here:

    http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/opponent.php?opp=7

    The game takes place this Saturday, May 1st with a 3pm kick off at Tain's Grant Park.
  • Sutherland nets against Motherwell for Ross Youth Group

    Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2010


    Tain Thistle youngster Andrew Sutherland bagged a goal for the Ross Youth Group's football team this afternoon in the Jordan Ross Memorial charity game.

    The group of youngsters played against a select from Motherwell FC's Under 17s at Invergordon's Recreation Grounds. In a double bonus for Tain, Ayah Rattanaphithak grabbed the club's man of the match award.

    The Ross Youth Group was established in April 2009 to encourage young people from the Easter Ross, Caithness and Inverness Area to get together on a regular basis to take part in different activities. One of their main activities is their football team who play regular friendlies and charity matches against different teams.

    The Ross Youth Group are also currently looking for coaches to volunteer to help with the running of the team. Volunteers should contact Andrew McNeil on 01862 892592.
  • Tain Juniors U17s 3-2 Invergordon U17s

    Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2010


    Tain Juniors' Under 17 side remaining on maximum points in the SWL Ross-shire Youth League this weekend after a Friday evening win over neighbours Invergordon.

    Despite taking the lead through Stewart Shearer after twenty minutes, Tain found themselves 2-1 down at the break following a below par first half. The hairdryer treatment from coach Rob Nicolson sent the team out with a renewed desire and before long Keiran Cunningham had nicked a deserved equaliser. Tain had gained control and with ten minutes to go, captain Chris Gordon scored the winner to give Tain a 3-2 win.

    Next week, the 17s travel to Dingwall in a much anticipated clash between last season's top two teams.
  • Results Roundup (24/4)

    Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2010


    Thurso were crowned NCL Champions for the first time in seven years this afternoon, with a thundering 12-0 win over Fort William Reserves at Fort William's Sports Centre. Five goals from Stuart Mackenzie, a hat trick for Nigel Mackenzie, brace for Mark Nichol and two more from Jamie Mackenzie and Sean Munro completed the rout.

    In other action, Golspie Sutherland beat Dingwall Thistle by 3 goals to nil and the SWL Cup final was played between Muir of Ord Rovers and Halkirk United, with the Rovers running out 2-0 winners in Thurso.
  • Tain Thistle 2-1 Dingwall Vertex

    Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2010


    Tain Thistle ambled their way to victory this afternoon in a friendly match against Welfare newcomers Dingwall Vertex.

    A below par and stuffy first half saw little action from either team with minimal chances being created. Andy Durrand opened the scoring early on however with a bounced effort over the away side's keeper to put Tain 1-0 ahead, before Vertex were able to cancel out the opener with a volley beyond Martin five minutes before the break.

    The second half saw a change in pace from Tain, having introduced John Maclellan and Ayah Rattanaphithak to the game. Renewed attacking options meant that the Vertex back line had to be up the task on a number of occasions. most notably when Maclellan's near post effort flew inches wide.

    The breakthrough came when Maclellan was fouled outside the box and defender-come-forward Robbie Ross blasted a 20 yard free kick into the roof of the net. Despite late pressure, Thistle held on for a ropey 2-1 win.

    Tain Thistle's first competitive game will be this Saturday, May 1st against Invergordon Social Club in the First Round of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup.

    Team:

    Steven Martin, Ryan Cowie, Andy Murray, Andy Sutherland, Robbie Ross, Martyn Farquhar, Brian Cameron, Andy Durrand, Mark Reid, Darran Goller, Lewis Montgomery

    Subs (all used):

    Davie Matheson, Ayah Rattanaphithak, John Maclellan, Stephen McGaw
  • Results Roundup (21/4)

    Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010


    Tain Thistle and Golspie Sutherland tied up loose ends in a fairly meaningless mid table fixture which saw neither team move up or down in the table. Golspie took a first half lead courtesy of a Shane Sutherland penalty, before Martyn Farquhar levelled for Thistle. Late goals from Kristof Mikula and Neil Stewart handed Golspie the points.

    In the only other game played on Wednesday night, Muir of Ord Rovers kept the pressure on Thurso with a 2-1 win over rival side Dingwall Thistle at Jubilee Park. Ewan Dance and Martin Callum gave the Pavilion Park men a 2-0 lead before Michael Manson netted for the home side in consolation.
  • Golspie Sutherland 3-1 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010


    A closely fought encounter between mid table sides Golspie Sutherland and Tain Thistle ended with the points going to 'home' side last night, thanks to late goals from Kristof Mikula and Neil Stewart. Golspie had foregone their home advantage to play the game at Tain upon the request of the Ross-shire side.

    The match was Tain's first North Caledonian fixture to be played as an evening game since they joined the league in July 2008. Assistant manager Ian Christie took the side for the game, having to contend with the suspension of Darran Goller while Michael Brand, Kyle Oliver, Russell Lawrie and Martin Smith were also injured/unavailable.

    Thistle started the match brightly, surprising Golspie with a couple of chances in the first five minutes. Daniel Christie bettered his counterpart on the left wing to send a ball across the six yard box for Paul Cowie, but the midfielder failed to connect with the ball. Shortly after, a looped ball from Martyn Farquhar found an advancing Andy Durrand; goalkeeper Stephen Campbell up to the challenge with a save from close range.

    Golspie took the bull by the horns as they reached the half hour mark however, forcing a number of saves from Steven Martin, most notably when Kristof Mikula powered an effort down the middle of the goal only for Martin to palm the shot away.

    Thistle's good luck ran out on 33 minutes however as Mikula was felled on the edge of the box. Despite protests, referee Jason Hasson awarded a penalty to Golspie; Shane Sutherland making no mistake with the spot kick to give his side the lead.

    Just before the half time break, Thistle again found themselves with a goalscoring opportunity, full back Andy Murray this time failing to turn and shoot in good time within the six yard box, after being played in by Christie.

    Thistle will have felt aggrieved to have finished the first half a goal down having been their opponent's equal throughout. Despite the deficit, they were undeterred after the break, Durrand and Sutherland switching on the right flank to create new attacking opportunities.

    Thistle's hard work finally paid off just before the hour mark when Craig Sutherland's persistent play down the right wing enabled him to find Martyn Farquhar in an advanced position; the midfielder slotting past Stephen Campbell with ease to make it 1-1.

    The game eventually took its toll on Paul Cowie who is still carrying a knee injury and his substitution saw the introduction of youngster Ayah Rattanaphithak to the fold; the Thai winger impressing quickly with a series of runs down the left.

    But it was Golspie's Mikula who had the final say on the outcome of the game, bursting past the Thistle defence to round Steven Martin and score. Thistle's protests that the Polish forward was offside were waved off.

    A late chance for David Mackay following a burst forward from defence proved to be Tain's final chance of the game, as the centre half forced a save from Campbell. Neil Stewart had better luck at the other end of the park almost straight after however as he placed a shot beyond to Steven Martin to make the final score 3-1.

    Thistle now have one game remaining in their North Caledonian league season, at home to Muir of Ord Rovers next Wednesday, with a 6.30pm kick off.

    Team:

    Martin, Durrand, Murray, Mackay, Mailley, Cowie (Rattanaphithak 64), Farquhar, Burry, D Christie, Sutherland, Cameron

    Subs not used:

    Matheson

    Goals:

    Martyn Farquhar 55

    Bookings:

    None
  • Happy Birthday Andy

    Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010


    Tain Thistle’s stalwart utility man, Andy Murray, despite appeals, has been forced to accept yet another birthday.

    Never afraid to stick a leg in, for Murray, tackling old age is no stressful feat.

    “Each birthday is like the last these days. After a while you just get used to it, although I got a nice letter from the Queen today, so that made this one a bit more special.”

    The hard-hitting Murray is certainly no stranger to a birthday. Speaking exclusively to the Tain Thistle website, he fondly recalled one of his more memorable birthdays.

    “I canna mind the year eh. I think it was a Pattison Cup final, but I could be wrong. It was the year before Moses took the team and I made up a back three with Alexander the Great and the boy who made the wheel. I think I scored about eight that day, but back then the games used to last for ages, because the watch hadn’t been invented yet.”

    “I was really pleased with that win though. It was the first cup I’d won since coming back from injury. I’d done my knee in and ended up missing most of the Jurassic period due to it.”

    Murray will be brushing the cobwebs off to take the field in his final North Caley game of the season this coming Wednesday, in what is believed to be his 1,000,000th game - a record for any player in the league.

    It is expected that he will be awarded a plaque after the game, and a bus pass.
  • Saturday friendly confirmed

    Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2010


    Tain Thistle's second welfare friendly match will now be played against Dingwall Vertex on Saturday April 24th, with a 12pm kick off at Tain's Grant Park.
  • Results Roundup (17/4)

    Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010


    In North Caledonian league action today, Thurso all but confirmed themselves as 2009/10 champions with a 1-0 win over rivals Dingwall Thistle, thanks to a second half strike from Mark Nichol.

    At Invergordon, Golspie Sutherland hit the home side for eight, Allan Campbell netting a consolation as his side were thumped 8-1. Elsewhere in Ross-shire, Balintore were soundly beaten by 6 goals to 1, by a confident Muir of Ord side; Martin Callum netting four times.

    In the final game of the day, Halkirk Utd beat Bonar Bridge 7-1 to complete their league season, Luke Sawyer netting a hat trick along the way. Tain Thistle and Fort William were not in action.
  • Thistle battle Inver at Port

    Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010


    Tain Thistle's Welfare side took on Inver in their first pre-season friendly this afternoon at the villagers' temporary home of Portmahomack.

    Still waiting on the arrival of a number of players from Winter commitments, manager Arron Christie took the opportunity to introduce a group of talented youngsters promoted from the Under 17s, namely Andrew Sutherland, Ryan Johnston, Ayah Rattanaphithak and John Maclellan to the fray, combined with the core of the side who won the Ross-shire Welfare league title last year.

    Exhibiting some good passing football, Tain took an early lead through Daniel Christie, as the midfielder dazzled Inver stopper David Crombie with a long range effort into the top corner. A second followed ten minutes later, as winger Darran Goller was fouled inside the box and referee Harry Corbett pointing to the spot. Christie made no mistake with the penalty to put Tain 2-0 ahead.

    Full back James Rice and midfielder Darran Goller withdrew from the game early, seeing Ryan Johnston and Ayah Rattanaphithak introduced on about the half hour mark.Thistle could have gone 3-0 up through the returning Colin Burry on two occasions, but the winger was unable to capitalize.

    Inver were not without their share of chances however; mostly notably when Tain Second XI star Chris Mailley rattled the cross bar for the home side.Tain would have gone in 2-0 leaders at the break, were it not for a fortunate cross, which looped over Steven Martin into the Tain net, giving Inver a consolation before half time.

    Tain started the second half as they began, winning a free kick to go 3-1 up after the restart; Daniel Christie netting again for his hat trick with the set piece, placed over the Inver wall into the top of the net.

    With a quarter hour remaining, Inver assistant boss Darren Mackay showed some style of his own, pulling the score back to 3-2 with a classy effort looped into the top corner.

    Thistle were undeterred however and could have scored through Ayah Rattanaphithak, with the diminutive winger thwarted only by an oncoming David Crombie.Tain managed to nick a further goal however; Rattanaphithak playing his former Under 17s team mate John Maclellan into space for the calmest of finishes to make it 4-2. A fifth followed soon after as Brian Cameron drove a ball into the bottom left corner from midfield.

    Despite a 'meaty' atmosphere at times, Thistle's younger players showed great discipline and determination, never showing themselves to be overawed -- a credit surely to the great lessons learned under the coaches of the Ross-shire league winning Tain Juniors U17s.

    Late on, Christie introduced substitutes Craig Nimmons and Michael Stein, along with reserve keeper Davie Matheson. Matheson was brought into action straight away however, having to tip an Inver effort round the post before a goalmouth stramash found its way into the net for Inver's third. Matheson was unlucky moments later as Inver pulled the scoreline back to 5-4. The stopper was able to block a shot at close range before being beaten by the rebound.

    The scoreline remained at 5-4 despite late chances at either end.

    Thistle's Welfare side are likely to travel to Dingwall this coming Saturday, April 24th for another friendly against newcomers Vertex.

    Starting XI:

    Steven Martin, Ryan Cowie, James Rice, Mark Munro, Michael Brand, Martyn Farquhar, Daniel Christie, Brian Cameron, Colin Burry, Darran Goller, Dickie Durrand

    Subs (all used):

    Davie Matheson, Andrew Sutherland, Ryan Johnstone, Ayah Rattanaphithak, Michael Stein, Craig Nimmons, John Maclellan
  • Golspie vs Tain venue changed

    Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010


    The game between Golspie Sutherland and Tain Thistle, originally scheduled to be played at Golspie, will now be played at Tain, on the evening of April 21st, with a 7pm kick off.
  • U17s continue good start with league win

    Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010


    Tain Juniors' Under 17 outfit continued their good start to the season tonight, with a comfortable 3-0 win over Alness United. A fortunate own goal combined with confident finishing from Stewart Greenlees and Keiran Auisal were enough for the Tain side, as they won their first three points in the SWL Ross-shire Youth League.

    Playing on TRACC's 3G surface, the Juniors had dumped nine man Muir of Ord out of the John Maclean Cup at the start of the month thanks to a Dale Maver 25 yard strike. The 17s could not carry their winning form into the semi final however, losing 4-2 to Aird Athletic.

  • Grant eyes Cup glory with County

    Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010


    As many of his childhood teammates prepare to defend the Ross-shire Welfare league title for Tain Thistle, Ross Grant prepares to complete a different competitive journey with his current club Ross County, as they eye Scottish Cup silverware for the first time in their 81 year history.

    Ross is one of the names on Tain’s increasing list of footballing sons, having grown up alongside fellow town players such as Martyn Farquhar, Michael Stein, Daniel Christie and Andrew Durrand ? a group who came from similar beginnings at a young age, playing together when the chance arose while also learning under the Soccer 7s program run by Tain Juniors. But for Ross, his talent began at home.

    “My Dad (John Grant) got me started when I was younger; he had me kicking a ball as soon as I could walk. He used to take me down to the local park or just in the garden. There wasn’t a lot of football played in the primary schools apart from the Soccer 7s.”

    “I never moved onto elevens with Tain Juniors, as I got picked up by Ross County before I got the chance. I went to a County run event at the Tain Links when I was 12 and a short while after I got a letter through the post asking me to go to Dingwall for training. I’ve never turned back since and my Mum and Dad have both been great ? they’ve spent a lot of time travelling and given me a lot to get me where I am today.”

    Coming through the youth ranks, Ross transformed himself into a first team option for the club, making his debut against Brechin City at the age of 17. Ross made the jump from Under 19 to First Team in summer 2009/10, marking the day he signed his first professional contract by scoring County’s third and decisive goal in the Reserve Cup Final victory that evening. When recalling his brightest memories, he reserves special praise for his youth coach, David Kirkwood.

    “After a couple of months training under David I felt like double the player I ever was. Derek Adams and Craig Brewster have both taught me a lot, as have many of the first team players, but I’d say that David has been the biggest influence on my career.

    Also amongst his fondest memories will be the Staggies’ fateful visit to Hampden Park, when they cast aside competition favourites Celtic to reach the Scottish Cup final last Saturday.



    ”Coming off the bench against Queen of the South earlier in the season was one of my better memories, but beating Celtic has to be the best. The whole season has been really good. I’ve enjoyed training with the first team as there is a really good spirit at the club.”

    “Dundee United will undoubtedly be favourites for the Cup final when we play them but I believe that will suit us. We have beaten Hibs and Celtic and we have shown what we can do. If we play the way we know we can then anything can happen on the day.”

    Despite the excitement and glamour of the Scottish Cup however, Ross maintains a keen eye on the progress of his home town side, Tain Thistle, as they prepare for another Ross-shire Welfare season, this time as defending champions.

    “It’s been hard through the winter to keep up with the team as I am involved with County on Saturdays, but I always try to get down to watch the games I can. I always make a point of texting Martyn (Farquhar) to find out the scores!”

    “The team did very well last year. Tain has a lot of good players, and some great young players. Any time I’ve been down to watch, I’ve always been impressed by Michael Brand as well as players like Martyn Farquhar, James Rice, they have all stood out. If they can keep the players together, they have every chance of winning the title again. ”
  • Tain Thistle training continues

    Posted on Monday, April 12, 2010


    Training for Tain Thistle's Ross-shire Welfare side continues tonight at 6.30pm at the Links park.
  • Christie signs on for another year

    Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010


    After protracted discussions, Tain Thistle's only league winning manager Arron Christie has agreed to run the Ross-shire Welfare side into another summer campaign, flanked by assistant Steven Martin.

    Christie was nominated as the club's Player of the Year in 2009, having also nabbed the Man of the Match award during Tain's Cordiner Cup win. As gaffer, Christie completed a treble by securing the Ross-shire Welfare league title and Charity Shield double for the first time in the club's thirteen year history.

    In 2010, he will look to defend the championship -- a feat which few teams have managed to achieve in recent years. Thistle, however, will hope to be even stronger this year, buoyed by the return of forward Garry Perks from the US and youngsters Martyn Farquhar, Daniel Christie, Darran Goller and Andy Durrand benefiting from regular experience in the North Caledonian league.

    Tain Thistle will begin their pre-season campaign on Saturday April 17th, with a pre-season meeting against rivals Inver at Portmahomack.
  • Thistle to open against Social Club

    Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2010


    Tain Thistle were drawn into the Ross-shire Welfare cups last night, with the following matches set for the first rounds:

    League Cup:

    Tain Thistle vs Inv. Social Club

    Pattison Cup:

    Inver vs Tain Thistle

    Cordiner Cup:

    Inver vs Tain Thistle

    Seaboard Cup:

    Cromarty vs Tain Thistle

    Coronation Cup:

    Tain Thistle vs Inv. Social Club
  • Thistle to play Inver in friendly

    Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2010


    In their first scheduled pre-season friendly, Tain Thistle's Welfare side have confirmed that they will play Inver FC at Portmahomack on Saturday April 17th, with a 3pm kick off.
  • Thistle to begin Welfare training

    Posted on Saturday, April 3, 2010


    Training for Tain Thistle's Ross-shire Welfare league team will begin on Monday 5th April at Grant Park from 6.30pm for anybody wishing to take part this season.

    For more information please contact the club via the Contact Us link.
  • Results roundup (27/3)

    Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2010


    Eight teams competed in the weekend's North Caledonian league fixtures. The game of the day was at Golspie, as the Sutherland side played host to title hopefuls Halkirk United.

    Alex Bone gave Golspie an early 1-0 lead before the Caithness side levelled through Colin Sinclair mid way through the first half. In the end, only an Adam Sutherland strike would seperate the sides; the Halkirk man making it 2-1 with three minutes to go.

    League leaders Thurso required a penalty to beat Invergordon in an unlikely result; Mark Nichol scoring the all important set piece in a narrow 1-0 victory at the Recreation Grounds.

    In other action, Dingwall Thistle got the better of Fort William by the odd goal in five at Claggan Park, while Ewan Dance added to his season's tally with a superb hat trick at Bonar Bridge, giving his Muir of Ord side a handsome 4-0 win.

    The complete results are as follows:

    Invergordon 0-1 Thurso

    Bonar Bridge 0-4 Muir of Ord Rovers

    Golspie Sutherland 1-2 Halkirk Utd

    Fort William Res. 2-3 Dingwall Thistle

    Balintore and Tain Thistle were not scheduled to play.
  • Thistle committee prepare for Welfare

    Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2010


    The second pre-season meeting of Tain Thistle FC's welfare football committee took place last night, with matters of registration and sponsorship discussed.

    Messrs Niall Harkiss and Dale Finlayson were re-elected as Chairman and Club Secretary, respectively, while Mr John Dyer was proposed and seconded as the treasurer for the club's welfare campaign.

    Following the club's registration for this year's Ross-shire Welfare League, the club committee also unanimously voted to enter the Highland Welfare Cup -- a first for Tain.

    The office bearers also acknowledged support from Zzzing!!! Recording Company as a multiple match sponsor and Sunflowers Cafe as the season's match ball sponsor.

    In attendance were Mr N Harkiss, Mr D Finlayson, Mr I Christie, Mr G Macrae, Mr N Macangus, Mr B Patullo, Mr A Murray, Mr S Martin, Mr J Dyer and Mr J Rice. Apologies from Mr A Forsyth.
  • Golspie vs Tain date moved

    Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2010


    The initial date for Tain Thistle's visit to Golspie has been changed due to the clash with the Scottish Cup semi final between Ross County and Celtic.

    The game will now be played at 6.30pm on the evening of Wednesday 21st April.
  • Thistle re-enter Welfare league

    Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010


    Ross-shire Welfare league champions Tain Thistle have registered their participation in the 2010 campaign, joined by Balintore, Inver, Ross Club, Alness Athletic, Cromarty, Invergordon Social Club and newcomers Dingwall Vertex.

    Former members The Sutor Inn did not re-enter.

    The Jags will be looking to defend both the Ross-shire league title and their Cordiner Cup trophy this summer.
  • Darran Goller handed ban

    Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010


    Tain Thistle winger Darran Goller has been issued with a one match ban following his caution against Bonar Bridge last Saturday.

    The Jags regular had accumulated points on the back of a sending off earlier in the season.
  • Remaining fixtures announced

    Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010


    The management committee of the North Caledonian FA met last night to discuss matters arising during the current season, covering issues of player registration and remaining fixtures.

    League secretary Rod Houston announced fixtures for the remainder of the season, which will see Tain Thistle travel to Golspie Sutherland on Saturday, April 10th before the evening of Wednesday April 28th, when Tain will host Muir of Ord Rovers for their final game. An updated list of fixtures is available here.

    In other news, Tain Thistle and Invergordon were both fined £200 for failure to fulfill fixtures.

    The North Caledonian FA office bearers also announced that they would rewrite the league constitution following the close of the season.
  • Tain Thistle 0-1 Bonar Bridge

    Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010


    Bonar Bridge avenged their early season defeat at Grant Park today, with a narrow 1-0 win over rivals Tain Thistle.

    A single goal from Barry Duncanson was enough to separate the sides following the dismissal of Bonar's Billy Ferries early in the game.

    Match report to follow.
  • Weekend results 13/3

    Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010


    The weekend saw only two league fixtures fulfilled in the North Caledonian league.

    Fort William Reserves recorded their first league win in spectacular fashion with an 8-1 thrashing of 6th placed Balintore, while Dingwall dumped Invergordon 6-0.

    The match scheduled between Halkirk Utd and Tain Thistle was off, with the points awarded to Halkirk.
  • Tain vs Bonar date arranged

    Posted on Tuesday, March 9, 2010


    Tain Thistle will play Bonar Bridge on Saturday, March 20th at Grant Park in one of the club's remaining league fixtures, with a 2.30pm kick off.
  • Halkirk game rescheduled

    Posted on Saturday, February 27, 2010


    Tain Thistle's visit to Halkirk has been pushed back one week due to the postponement of all of today's North Caledonian league fixtures.

    The match will now be played on Saturday March 13th with a 2.30pm kick off.
  • Thurso 5-0 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010


    In the only North Caledonian league match of the day, Tain Thistle were soundly beaten by league leaders Thurso at Sir Georges Park.

    An early pitch inspection conducted by referee Graham Elder led to the pitch being passed for the game despite frosty conditions across the region.

    Thistle manager John Oliver coped with the absence of Michael Brand, Daniel Christie and Darran Goller to name a makeshift eleven with last week's unused substitutes Andy Murray and Kyle Oliver slotting into the midfield.

    Thurso's Andrew Bremner gave the Vikings the earliest of leads to put his side in pole position, before going 2-0 up through Sean Munro on the half hour mark.

    Second half goals from Jamie MacKenzie and a penalty from Mark Nichol wrapped up the afternoon.
  • Thurso game faces morning pitch inspection

    Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010


    Officials from Thurso FC will conduct a 9am pitch inspection to determine the playability of Sir Georges Park tomorrow morning, with forecast frost and snow threatening to postpone the fixture.

    Should the game go ahead, Tain will see a near full strength squad travel to Caithness, with only Darran Goller and Michael Brand missing from the side that lost 3-1 to Golspie last week.
  • Fixtures announced for Feb/Mar

    Posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010


    Fixtures for the next three weeks have been announced by the NCL committee, with Tain Thistle travelling to league leaders Thurso this coming Saturday (Feb 20th) for a 2pm kick off, followed by a visit to Halkirk on Saturday March 6th. Thistle are expected to have a free week on February 27th, with a full set of Football Times Cup 2nd Round fixtures scheduled for that day.

    20/2 - Thurso vs Tain Thistle (2pm KO)

    27/2 - No game

    6/3 - Halkirk Utd vs Tain Thistle (2.30pm KO)
  • Results Roundup (13/2)

    Posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010


    The 2nd Round of the Jock Mackay Cup saw Golspie Sutherland, Thurso, Bonar Bridge and Muir of Ord advance to the semi finals, with the following results:

    Bonar Bridge 3-1 Balintore

    Kraig Vass recorded his second win as Bonar manager, once again in cup competition, this time beating league rivals Balintore. The Bridge were 2-0 ahead after only 20 minutes, but Gus MacDonald replied for the Seaboard side on the stroke of half time. Chris Campbell ended all doubt however with a second half goal for Bonar.

    Tain Thistle 1-3 Golspie Sutherland (also a league result)

    A lively first half saw NCL champions Golspie take a 1-0 lead before Darran Goller made amends for two earlier missed chances by leveling the scores on 53 minutes. Golspie were undeterred however, capitalizing on errors with goals from Krystoff Mikula and Stuart Thomson to seal the win.

    Muir of Ord 2-1 Dingwall Thistle

    Goals from Ewan Dance and Scott Morrison were enough for Muir of Ord as they cast aside local rivals Dingwall Thistle at Pavilion Park. A 90th minute strike from David Murray was the Jags' only reply.

    Thurso P-P Invergordon - Invergordon failed to raise a team

    In league action this weekend, Fort William's reserve side put up a good fight away to Halkirk United, in another double header played in Caithness. Halkirk opened on 20 minutes with a Colin Sinclair penalty, before Fort equalized. A second Sinclair penalty secured a close 2-1 win for Halkirk on 87 minutes.
  • Tain Thistle 1-3 Golspie Sutherland

    Posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010


    A tough display at the newly rotated Grant Park ended with Golspie Sutherland advancing to the semi final of the Jock MacKay Cup while also notching a further three points in the North Caledonian league in today's "double header".

    John Oliver could enjoy a near complete squad for today's tie, with travellers Chris Mailley and Darran Goller back from holiday and Russell Lawrie shaking off a groin strain to become available.

    Thistle started the game in lively fashion, with Darran Goller unlucky not to have put his side in the lead on 3 minutes. Clever link up play between Russell Lawrie and Goller led to the winger finding himself one on one with the Golspie stopper, the latter standing up to the challenge. Lawrie also came close to finding the net in the opening stages, watching his effort sail just past the post.

    Golspie struggled to find their way in the first half, thwarted on the counter numerous times by a steadfast Thistle defence of Mailley and Mackay. The Tain men found themselves out of luck however on the half hour mark as the visitors found the net with their first effort. An early call for offside was waved off by the referee before Golspie's Krystoff Mikula was able to round Steven Martin to make it 1-0.

    Tain were undeterred however and finished the first period as the more likely side, Lawrie again hitting the side netting following some silky wing play, and Martyn Farquhar coming very close with a 20 yard dip.

    Thistle started the second half with the same vigour and soon were rewarded for the efforts. Lawrie and Goller linked up again, with the latter connecting with the killer touch to place the ball beyond Budge.

    At 1-1, Tain were back in the game and could very well have taken a lead through Lawrie, had the striker not been unsuccessful with a lobbed effort from close range.

    Golspie did not waste time in restoring their lead however, with a second goal on 68 minutes. Following a counter down the wing, goalkeeper Steven Martin was pulled wide and rounded for a predator's toepoke from Mikula for his second.

    Within minutes, Golspie had rounded off their afternoon with a fortunate third; Stuart Thomson pouncing on a loose ball after Martin had failed to hold.

    Despite the 3-1 scoreline, Thistle battled on and were handed an opportunity for the remaining ten minutes as Golspie were reduced to ten men. The Golspie offender had been handed a second yellow for a bad challenge on Lawrie and Chris Mailley came extremely close to pulling a goal back when his set piece effort cannoned off the bar.

    The result keeps Thistle in 6th place in the North Caledonian League, but sees Golspie advance to the semi final of the Jock MacKay Cup - ending Thistle's debut season in the NCL cup competitions.

    Thistle have five games remaining this season, with trips to Golspie, Halkirk and Thurso awaiting scheduling and home games against Muir of Ord and Bonar Bridge still to be played.



    Team:

    Martin, Sutherland, Farquhar, Mackay, Mailley, Brand, Cowie (Durrand), Smith, Goller, Christie, Lawrie



    Subs not used:

    K Oliver, Murray



    Goals:

    Goller 53



    Bookings:

    Farquhar 38, Cowie 42



    Match details:

    Click here



    Man of the Match:

    -
  • Thistle and Golspie to meet in double header

    Posted on Saturday, February 6, 2010


    The outstanding Jock Mackay quarter final cup tie between Tain Thistle and Golspie Sutherland will now be played on February 13th at the Jags' Grant Park with a 1.30pm kick off.

    To alleviate fixture congestion, the clubs have also agreed to count the result after 90 minutes as their rearranged league meeting, after blustery conditions postponed their first outing in December.
  • Thistle pull out of Football Times Cup

    Posted on Saturday, February 6, 2010


    Today's match between Dingwall Thistle and Tain Thistle in the 1st Round of the Football Times Cup has been scratched from this weekend's fixtures, following Tain's decision to withdraw from the tie.

    The game, originally scheduled to be played at Dingwall's Jubilee Park, had been moved to the HFA's 3G astroturf park yesterday due to weather concerns.

    Tain later conceded that they could not guarantee a team to play on the artificial surface, following a number of player withdrawals.
  • Tain vs Golspie called off

    Posted on Saturday, January 30, 2010


    For the avoidance of any doubt, the club can confirm that today's cup game against Golspie Sutherland has been postponed due to excessive snowfall.
  • Grant Park to be turned in February

    Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010


    Following discussions between Tain Thistle and Tain Juniors committee representatives, it was agreed that Grant Park, Tain's only active football pitch, should be turned in February. The measure will be taken to prevent any disruption to Thistle's remaining North Caledonian fixtures and also to prepare it for the rest of the year.

    It was also suggested that Thistle's welfare football team could play on the Links park during the upcoming summer months. The Thistle committee are expected to organize an informal trial match to be played on the surface to determine its playability.
  • Goalkeeper Martin wants consistency

    Posted on Sunday, January 24, 2010


    Goalkeeper Steven Martin is a footballer in transition. Touted by many as the number one keeper in the North Caledonian league, it was not surprising that many clubs came knocking when he left Bonar Bridge last year.

    Top of the list were Brora Rangers. The Highland League club had trained Steven in the past as a youth player before he left for Bonar Bridge, but it was the new management team led by Andy Macleod (who snapped up left winger Arron Christie from Tain last October) who were keen to see him return to join the squad of keepers at Dudgeon Park.

    "After Bill (Russell) left Bonar, I knew I was not going to stay there and I had a few options open to me.”

    “I wanted to test myself at a higher level again and when Andy (Macleod) asked me to go back to Brora I had to go.”

    But the talented custodian has yet to be handed the chance of first team football and for now, has agreed to see out his season with Tain Thistle, the club he grew up playing for and supporting.

    “I am a Tain fan and always like to see them do well so I am always willing to help out when I can.”

    “I picked up a calf injury at the end of November and have struggled since, only managing one training session in the past 7 weeks. My main focus at the moment is getting a few good sessions under my belt.”

    “I would like to think when I get back training on grass that I will be able to get my fitness up and get involved up at Brora again.”

    Steven made his unofficial return to the side as an outfield substitute during the Graham Jardine Quaich match with Balintore in November but it was not until this past weekend that the Fearn resident pulled on the gloves for Thistle and he could not have gotten off to a better start, keeping a clean sheet in the club’s first win of 2010, as Tain overcame Fort William by one goal to nil.

    The stopper reserved special praise for the club’s resolve in victory.

    “Winning is always pleasing and keeping a clean sheet is a bonus. It makes it easier for the strikers, knowing one goal is enough. After a bad run of defeats it was important to get 3 points on the board.”

    “We did something that Tain have struggled to do lately -- win ugly.”

    Martin is the fifth goalkeeper to play under John Oliver this season, with young Maryburgh native Ali Matheson the only to have kept a clean sheet until Martin’s arrival. Along with the players and supporters, Martin hopes that the team can find a new level of consistency for the remainder of the season.

    “Every team needs a steady goalkeeper and defence. The NCL (North Caledonian League) is so unforgiving, and one mistake can be the difference between teams at times.”

    “If you can get a settled team that are comfortable playing together it cuts out the mistakes.”

    But Martin, under no illusions, sees next weekend’s fixture as a different story, with talisman Chris Mailley and winger Darran Goller missing.

    “Golspie are always a difficult team to beat, and missing key players only makes the task that much harder. Chippie (Mailley) was fantastic yesterday and will be a key player for the rest of the season.”

    “Darran's pace can hurt every defence in this league, but Daniel and Dickie will bring a bit of quality back into the team and hopefully we can put in a good performance.”

    “You never know, with a bit of hard graft and the rub of the green an upset might be on the cards.”

    Steven Martin is expected to be between the sticks for the club’s first ever Jock MacKay cup tie, at home to Golspie Sutherland this Saturday, January 30th.
  • Fort William Res 0-1 Tain Thistle

    Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2010


    What a difference a break makes. It has been seven weeks since Tain and Fort William took to the field and as both sides played for the first time in 2010, the occasion proved most fruitful for the Jags, running out 1-0 winners in a tightly contested affair.

    The game had been switched due to the unplayable state of Fort's Claggan Park and while registered as a home game for Fort William, the Jags certaintly registered their home field advantage.

    Manager John Oliver named a makeshift eleven, coping with mid-winter absenses and the fitness effects of a lengthy layoff. The major change came with the inclusion of goalkeeper Steven Martin, making his first start between the sticks for Tain's Second XI's side following his move from Bonar, while Chris Mailley moved back to defence. Missing from the early December defeat to Invergordon were Ali Matheson, Daniel Christie and Andrew Durrand.

    Thistle started the game brightly, with winger Darran Goller keen to open the scoring with a series of midfield runs, his most potent tipped round the bar by goalkeeper Gary Macleod after a run down the left wing.

    Debutant keeper Steve Martin had little to do in the early stages, with only a header from Iain Maclellan to hold.

    Martyn Farquhar also came close to scoring following a mazey midfield run late in the first half, but it was Fort William who had the best chance of the first half; centre half Chris Mailley clearing a netbound shot from the Fort on 42 minutes to prevent a first half lead.

    The second half proved more productive for Thistle, as they pressed for an opener against a livelier Fort William. With action flowing from end to end, the breakthrough eventually came following a mistimed challenge on Paul Cowie in the eighteen yard box, which resulted in a penalty. Referee Gavin Dearie pointed to the spot, issuing goalkeeper Garry Macleod with a stern talking to for his involvement. This season's top goalscorer Russell Lawrie made no mistake from with the kick to put Tain 1-0 ahead.

    Within moments however, a clash at the other end led to a moment of tension and outspoken goalkeeper Steven Martin was booked for dissent, along with the offending Fort defender.

    The Claggan Park men never gave up however and thirty minutes of defensive determination were what saw the Jags finish the game with a clean sheet and a win; Chris Mailley impressing once again as a centre half.

    The well earned three points keep Thistle in 6th place in the North Caledonian league despite a poor end to 2009, while in other action Balintore fell 3-0 in Golspie and Invergordon suffered a 4-0 loss at home to Muir of Ord. The only other result was in the Jock MacKay Cup, Thurso beating Halkirk by 3 goals to 2.



    Team:

    Martin, Farquhar, Murray (D Oliver), Mackay, Mailley, Cowie, Brand, Sutherland, Goller, Smith, Lawrie



    Subs not used:

    K Oliver



    Goals:

    Russell Lawrie pen 62



    Bookings:

    Stevie Martin 64



    Man of the Match:

    Chris Mailley



    Match details:

    http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/matchdetails.php?id=377
  • Fort William game set to go ahead

    Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010


    The weekend fixture between Tain Thistle and Fort William's reserve side looks set to go ahead tomorrow as planned, following a midday pitch inspection.

    Spectators and players alike are encouraged to approach the park entrance with caution due to icy conditions.
  • Fixture rearranged

    Posted on Saturday, January 16, 2010


    Due to Thurso's advancement in the Jock Mackay Cup, Tain Thistle will now play Fort William next weekend on January 23rd.

    The league game, originally scheduled to be held at Fort William will instead by played at Tain's Grant Park, with a 1.30pm kick off.
  • Halkirk game postponed

    Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2010


    Along with most of the weekend's northern fixtures, Tain Thistle's trip to Halkirk has been postponed by the North Caledonian league, due to weather concerns.
  • Winter weather freezes fixtures

    Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010


    With this past Saturday's match against Fort William postponed due to excessive snow and frost, Tain Thistle can only wait until later in the week to find out if their league trip to Halkirk will go ahead this coming weekend.

    The Jags are due to play Halkirk on Saturday, 17th January, before returning to Caithness on the 24th to play Thurso.