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  • Brora Wands 2 Tain Thistle 4

    Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2024


    Tain got off to a winning start in league business with a hard fought 4-2 win over Brora Wanderers. Finn As-Chainey got Tain off to the perfect start early on in the game finishing a great cross from Adrian Voigt.

    Brora punched back with a quick equaliser shortly before debutant Lewis Smith headed in another Adrian Voigt delivery for his first Jags goal.



    An injury to John Maclellan forced Tain into an early change as Brora came back to level 2-2 at half time with a stunner of a free kick from Mike Maclean.

    Tain rallied early in the second half with a brilliant piece of individual technique from young Alexander ‘Biz’ Scott, who beat one man before slotting a low finish calmly from outside the box for his first Tain Thistle goal.

    The goal settled Tain Thistle and we got into a rhythm. Debutant Frazer Campbell then played the ball to Finn As-Chainey before the latter broke the lines, beating the entire Brora back 4 and Goalkeeper, before passing the ball into an empty net.

    Tain Thistle were soon after forced into their second sub as a result of injury to the direct and energetic F.Campbell who broke his nose from a collision with a Wandies midfielder.

    All the very best to the hospitable Brora boys, who are sure to take many points off other teams going forward.

    MOTM: Jamie Skinner. St Duthus' Player of the Year was instrumental throughout a stormy game and proved his worth a hundred times over.

    Tain’s next fixture comes away to Lairg in the Highland Am, this Saturday 11th. We look forward to what is sure to be a tough game.
  • Jags reach Stafford Cup final

    Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2024


    Tain progressed through to the Stafford Cup final today after an impressive 5-3 win away to Lochinver.

    This was Tain’s first trip West since Tony Farquhar’s league winning side of 2019, and a stern test for the boys. Tain went 1-0 down to an excellent goal from Jake Lockett, despite being on top for the majority of the first half.

    Our dominance eventually payed off when the superb right back Andy Kellock won a penalty, giving Finn As-Chainey the chance to equalise which he took no bother.



    Tain managed to turn it round just shy of half time with Adrian Voigt scoring a stunner from outside the box to add to his hatrick against Melvich, only this time playing from the left back position.

    Again we began the second half as the dominant team, with centre half pairing Adam Allan and Joe Cuthbert organising the team well orchestrating attack after attack.

    Jake Lockett continued to be a thorn in Tain Thistle’s side however and grabbed his second to draw the game level despite an excellent initial save from Khan in goals. Tain rallied again quickly with goals from Finn and Thomas Lewis before Lochinver again fired back to bring it to 4-3.

    Then came the moment of the game… A moment which will go down in Tain Thistle history, as teenage substitute Billy Knox scored a dipping, swerving strike from 40 yards with his first touch of the game to send the whole of the Tain Thistle bench onto the pitch as he secured the 5-3 win for the team.

    Team: Khan, Kellock (Lohse), Voigt, Cuthbert, A Allan, L Smith, MacRitchie (Knox), As-Chainey, Hulme (R Allan), Lewis (Scott), MacDonald (Wilson). Not used: D Smith

    MOTM - Liam Smitty ????

    Tain manager John Maclellan said: “Absolutely delighted for the boys, especially the young fellas, really happy with how we are shaping up this season.

    @We deserved our win today and got there through quality and hard work. All the best to Lochinver going forward; tough, tough opponents and we look forward to go head to head with them again.”

    Tain now look towards league action commencing, as the Stafford cup final versus the winners of Golspie/Helmsdale will be played towards the end of the June, date TBD.
  • Thistle reach Stafford Cup semi with win over Embo

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2024


    A young Tain side progressed to the semi-finals with a 4-0 win over league newcomers Embo.

    There was also a third entity on the pitch playing against both teams in the form of Storm Kathleen, and at certain points she had the upper hand, with referee Ian Ross calling a 5 minute break midway through the second half due to hailstones the size of spark plugs.

    Noah Edwards opened the scoring from right back in what was a class performance from the youngster. Scott Macdonald scored his first goal for Tain Thistle just before half time with a cracker from 20 yards.

    Youngster Jack Wilson set up John Maclellan for Tains third, before Scott Mac got his second after brilliant work from Robbie Allan. We now look towards our semi final away to Lochinver, date TBD. Well done boys and all the best to Embo going forward.

    Team: Ritchie, Edwards (D Smith), A Allan, JW Skinner, J Skinner, Lohse (R Allan), MacRitchie, Lewis, Maclellan, MacDonald, Knox (Wilson)

    MOTM: Noah Edwards ????????

    Tain Thistle will play the Dogs of War Lairg Rovers in the first round of the Highland Amateur Cup on May 11th. This will be our first match in the HA for a good few years, and we look forward to a local derby which is sure to be hotly contested.
  • Tain Thistle Duck Race results

    Posted on Friday, April 12, 2024


    Congratulations to the ten winners, and a massive thank you to everyone who shared, liked a post, bought a duck for today's Tain Thistle Duck Race.

    A huge thank you also to Jock Mackinnon, Stevie Martin, Alex McDonald, Sean McCarthy, Alison McCarthy and of course young Tommy McCarthy for their help with the actual event.

    Check our Facebook live posts if you want to see how things unfolded!

    10th place #631 - Forrest Skelet

    9th place #521 - Andy Mair

    8th place #565 - Shane MacLochlainn

    7th place #725 - George Murray

    6th place #613 - Thomas Peden

    5th place #262 - Dan Fahy

    4th place #68 - Jamie Skinner

    3rd place #194 - Michael As

    2nd place #750 - Craig Nimmons

    1st PLACE #297 - CHRIS MAY of SOUTHEND ESSEX

    All winners will be contacted tomorrow for their prizes. Well done!!
  • Jags open season with ten goal bonanza at Melvich

    Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2024


    Tain Thistle defeated Melvich 6-4 on Saturday to progress through to the Stafford Cup quarter finals.

    Tough conditions in the North made for a tricky back and forth game, but goals from Darren Goller, Liam Rostock, Finn As-Chainey and a hat trick from Adrian Voigt saw Tain set up a home tie with Embo.

    Tain will take on the newcomers to the league this Saturday 13th at 3pm down the links.

    A big shout out to the gaffer for the day Alex McDonald, who as far as we are aware becomes the only Thistle manager in history to have a 100% win record.

    Team: Beaton, L Smith, Voigt, A Allan, JW Skinner, Wilson (Edwards), Lewis, As-Chainey, Rostock (R Allan), Goller (Knox), MacDonald (D Smith)

    MOTM: Adrian Voigt

    Our fundraising Duck Race is set to take place on this Friday (12th) at around 6pm at Tain Golf Course. This is dependent on tide times and weather, however at the moment it’s looking like a go-er.

    Spectators are welcomed, and you’re also welcome to come for post race pint after the race in the Golf Club.

    We still have some ducks left, so if you would like to grab some last minute ones then please message John Maclellan.

    You never know, it could be the winner ????
  • Maclellan rallies troops for 2024 return

    Posted on Friday, April 5, 2024


    Tain Thistle make their return to competitive action tomorrow in the first round of the Stafford Cup, with a tricky away tie to Melvich. Tain head up with a strong team fresh from last weekends successful memorial match.

    Assistant manager Alex Macdonald will deputize in the absence of manager John Maclellan, who had the following to say regarding the upcoming season and this weekends game.

    “There’s a fantastic buzz around the club after the last few weeks. We want to use this momentum to kick on from last season and impose ourselves in the new league format. We are going to come up against some quality teams and look forward to testing ourselves. I have added some new faces and am excited to see them gelling with the current thistle boys.

    Melvich absolutely deserved their win last summer, but the way everyone at the club used that defeat to turn round our season deserves a lot of credit. Young Alex McDonald has been fantastic for both St Duthus and Tain Thistle over the last two years, and deserves every bit of the opportunity he has this weekend. It’s a tough place to go but I have every faith the lads will get the job done”

    The match kicks off at 2:30pm in Melvich tomorrow. Come on the Jags!!
  • Ode to Garry Perks and Graham Macrae

    Posted on Sunday, March 31, 2024


    From Steven Martin:

    A massive thank you to everyone who came and supported us this afternoon, without you; players and spectators, the match would not have been possible.

    It’s never nice to lose friends and loved ones, but its something we have all experienced at one point in our lives, but it is hugely important that those of us left behind remember those who are no longer with us and celebrate their lives and achievements.

    So to Garry and Graham; your dedication and passion continue to inspire us. Your contributions to the club will forever be cherished and remembered.

    Here's to the memories we shared, the victories we celebrated, and the legacies that you've left behind, may your spirit live on in the hearts of all who love this beautiful game, here in Tain and beyond.

  • Steven Martin on Garry Perks: I was fortunate enough to call him my best friend

    Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2024


    With one day to go, the stage is set for our memorial match for Graham Peeps MacRae and Garry Perks, with the park freshly rolled, cut and painted. The weather is set to be similar to today for tomorrow’s 2pm kick off, with refreshments and raffle opportunities available. Today’s final memory comes from current goalkeeper Stevie Martin, who has been the main organizer of the event and is a Thistle legend in his own right. Hope to see you tomorrow, mon the Jags! ???? ??????

    “Remembering one of our own.

    On March 31st we will hold out first annual memorial match for arguably one of our greatest ever players.

    Garry made his competitive debut for thistle on the 1st of May 2004 at home to Alness based 3Gs in the cup, a 2-1 success.

    4 days later he showed his ability and eye for goal with a hat trick at home to his former club, Portmahomack.

    The first of 81 goals he would score for the club over his 91 starts.

    Garry also had a successful spell with Brora Rangers representing their Under 18s, Under 19s and first team in the highland league where a number of notable goals were scored. Despite his youth he showed no fear making the step up to the higher level scoring twice from the half way line in his debut season (against Fraserburgh and Clach).

    Born in Staffordshire, England in 1986, Garry moved north to Tain at a young age, when Corinne, Garry’s mum, relocated the family back to her hometown. He attended Craighill Gaelic Primary school where he found his competitive edge and talent for football representing the school team at the earliest opportunity. His ability was clear, and he became the only player (as far as we are aware) to represent TRA 1st year boys whilst still in Primary 7.

    Always kitted out in the newest adidas predator football boots, the goals continued to flow on a weekly basis for Garry, scoring goals well into the hundreds by the time he became a prefect at TRA in 2004.

    Weekends as a youth were spent on the links pitches, with some 20 something young boys, who would be fine-tuning their skills from morning until night, returning home only when too dark to see the ball with a regular pit stop at Garry’s Gran and Grandad’s on Morangie road for a refreshment and a yarn from Wattie.

    Garry would score for fun, from flukes to the spectacular the way only natural strikers do.

    I remember one day, another where Garry couldn’t miss, he was challenged by Andrew Corbet,

    “£20 if you can hit both posts and the bar in one shot”

    Of course what seemed unachievable, was executed with ease as the ball hit both posts and the bar, before crossing the line. A goal you had to see to believe!

    I am not convinced Garry seen the £20 mind you; but I’m sure Andrew will donate it on the 31st ????

    but that’s enough about Garry’s footballing prowess, more than that he was a tremendous individual; funny, caring and always there to support his mates. The centre of attention and the life of the party.

    Always up for a laugh and regularly the instigator of a practical joke, you would be hard pushed to find anyone with a bad word to say about him (defenders and goalkeepers of the opposition excluded of course)

    I was fortunate enough to grow up with him in a time before mobile phones and games consoles became the norm, riding bikes, camping, playing football and stealing milk to put on Nikki Cattanach’s window ledge. And many more stories that are for another time.

    I was fortunate enough to call him my best friend.

    Miss you everyday Gaz ??????

    Steven Martin
  • Brian MacAngus on Graham 'Peeps' Macrae: Friends are good on the day of battle

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2024


    We are now into the week of our memorial match for Garry Perks and Graham 'Peeps' Macrae. This Sunday's game is a 2pm kick off down the links, with refreshments available from the tea hut and raffles/football card opportunities on the day.

    The St Duthus Hotel have also kindly offered soup and sandwiches after the match.

    We hope to see you there if you can make it! Today's memory comes from Brian MacAngus, about his dear friend Peeps, without whom there would be no Tain Thistle!

    "There are many things I can say about Peeps.....there are also so...very...very many things that I cannot say about him...many due to the hilariously funny, but politically incorrect nature of his epic adventures and ...umm...his unique sense of humour.

    He was such a talented, intelligent man....with an amazingly superb, finely skilled comedy soul.

    I was not only lucky to be a friend of Graham, I was very blessed to have known him since before I was born.

    He was always part of my life.....and more even more so with my big brother Norman. He was a constant part of my entire life...from my earliest memories.

    Our late mother Helen, was particularly fond of Graham and his banter.....manys a time I would be babysat by Norman and Graham when I was a beautiful wee toddler.

    I'm very proud to say that by my third birthday I was a regular skilled player of the Saints darts team with a fondness for scampi fries that is still with me to this very day.

    He was such a very, very funny man....so skilful with his comedy. In a different life I have no doubt that he would have been more than able to be a famous tv comedian....in the same kind of mould as Peter Kay or Billy Connolly.

    I often cried with pure delight at his magnificent, hilarious one liners and shenanigans.

    On the field of play he was a more than decent goalkeeper, but a total nightmare to me during games. Being the centre back with that fool of a man, berrating my every move, my every mistake, yet singing my praises as being the slowest centre back he had ever had the misfortune to embarrass publicly.

    Calling me "a unique cross between a bad tempered rhino and a rusty stannah stairlift" is the finest insult that was ever thrust on me in my long life of being constantly insulted on or off the field of play.

    Peeps off the pitch had a magnificently astute knowlege of music and literature....he was always reading a book or asking me obscure general knowledge questions. He was well known throughout the thriving local music scene, with bands from far afield such as Del Amitri, Big Country, Tonight at Noon, Echo and the Bunnymen, Gun, Ralph McTell etc all knowing Peeps personally through his roadie duties on the music scene.

    Infact im sure he was credited on one of "Tonight at Noons" albums for his assistance and banter when they played in the Town hall during the early 90's.

    A favourite song of Grahams makes me chuckle very often...."The Corries" ...."The Portree Kid"....he was always giving it laldy....mainly when I was trying to organise the defensive wall during free kicks.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, Tain Thistle would never have survived if it wasn't for Graham. During the long now forgotten struggles of the Club, back at the very beginning of the club. We were bombarded from all directions regarding us simply existing.

    No pitch, strips, players,money, yaddah yaddah yaddah, Peeps refused to let the club fade into obscurity.

    From arguing the cause locally, at league meetings, on the pitch etc he flew the colours proudly and defiantly. He wouldnt give an inch to anyone that laughed at us for propping up the league. No one dared insult our club to his face or knowlege. There would not be a Tain Thistle F.C without his stoic efforts.

    As i said at his Church service...."Là a' bhlàir 's math na Cairdean"

    Friends are good on the day of battle.

    On a final personal note to Graham, we are not apart forever, we have just stopped for a wee break of soup and stovies off a coronation tray.
  • Jags Ladies Day announced

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2024


    We are delighted to have acquired the services of resident DJ and Mr Tain, Alasdair Mackintosh for a Ladies’ Day Fundraiser coming very soon.

    Saturday the 13th April there will be a curry and cocktail afternoon in the St Duthus Hotel, followed by a disco, bingo and raffle in the Underground hosted by Ally Mack.

    Always certain to be a good carry on when he’s on the mic, if you are interested in attending please give us or John Maclellan a message with tickets available for £20.

    A massive thank you to Kirsty McFarlane as well for hosting us.
  • Memories of Garry Perks shared

    Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2024


    As our Peeps and Perks testimonial match draws closer, today we have some memories to share from two close friends of Garry Perks; Craig Nimmons and Arron Christie.

    The attached picture is from a match against Cromarty in 2010, with a few throwback heroes! A reminder that the match will take place on Sunday the 31st March, with a 2pm kick off down at The Links.

    "What else can I say about Gaz that's not already been mentioned?

    A man that was a joker, so kind, caring and a loyal friend. I spent my childhood with him playing football day & night and getting the boys together. We went to Raasay to go fishing, building dens etc, memories that will last a lifetime.

    Then as we got older, I'll always remember Gaz trying to get on big brother (I still believe this would have been class). The parties & stories I could tell from jubilee drive, most better not told though.

    The one night that has stayed with me forever since is the last night I ever saw Gaz. He visited us when we lived in Rosemarkie on a trip back home.

    He told me he wasn't a light weight anymore and could out drink me. Needless to say this did not happen and he went missing, only for me & a couple other boys to find him sleeping in the back seat of my car.

    The photos from that night make me smile whenever I look at them.

    It was a complete honour to call Gaz my best friend. I miss you every day.??"

    Craig Nimmons

    "Garry, my earliest memory is of around the age of 7 or 8 when he asked me to play football for Craighill P4,which I said yes of course. That was the start of our childhood friendship leading onto what was to be the best of friends, having football and Celtic in common made it so easy to bond.

    I don’t think we missed a day of football together from that day onwards if we could help it. From just Garry and myself smashing footballs at my brother who we put in goals at the bottom of Craighill primary using the metal fence as goals, to the 20 odd boys we could get to play straight after school and weekends when he lived a crossed the road from me.

    Or the days aged 14&15 playing LMA manager on the computer and playing outside his house up in Arthurvile using a neighbour’s garage as goals, Garry practising free-kicks all the time and always with the best boots and latest Celtic tops. His mum and Ewen must have hated us playing there.

    All those years growing up together from little 8yr olds playing football to this very day, thinking of all those moments with Garry were more precious than I would have ever realised and what I would do to be able to go back to one of those days. Memories that last a life time. ????????"

    Arron Christie

  • Stevie Urquhart on Graham Macrae: Thanks for being a mate

    Posted on Friday, March 8, 2024


    Between now and our Peeps and Perks Memorial Match on the 31st March, we will be sharing some happy memories passed on by the people who knew them best to celebrate their lives.

    Today's comes from Stevie Urquhart, who was a long-standing and close friend of Graham 'Peeps' Macrae. Thank you Stevie!

    "I take great pleasure in remembering of my very good and much missed mate, Graham Peeps Macrae. I participated in many, 'ventures' and, adventures, with him, which included organising and presenting quizzes in various pubs, amongst other things.

    No matter what it was he was, 'into' at the time, he always showed great, 'enthusiasm' for whatever it was, none more so than his association, support, and love, yes, love I'll call it, because that's what it was, for Tain Thistle FC.

    Whatever it was, from fundraising, during the week, to, Saturday mornings, (which I accompanied him on a few times) spent cleaning out the dressing rooms, organising nets, corner flags etc, his willing and dedication for the cause was unceasing. Then relentless support before during and after games, often being the bearer of the, 'bag with the magic sponge', he would do anything to support the team.

    He was both, critical and praiseworthy of performances, often heard crying, 'C'mon Tain, if you play any worse they'll have to bring me on'. Which, in his day would have been no bad thing, as he was quite a decent player from all accounts.

    It's fitting that Graham, and others like him who show such dedication should be remembered and honoured, and I'm privileged to be involved.

    But also for me, it's a double edged sword, happy and delighted that Peeps is remembered, but tinged with a wee bit of sadness that the mans not here.

    But onwards ever onwards, not much more I can say except, Peeps, Thanks For being a mate and all the laughs along the way.

    Slai'nte

    Stevie Urquhart
  • Tain Thistle 5 Inver 3

    Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2023


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

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



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

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

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

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

    Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Teams:

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

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

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

    Posted on Friday, April 21, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

    5th Place - £10 - Will Ross 

    4th Place - £10 - Rebecca Crawford

    3rd Place - £10 - Brian MacAngus

    2nd Place - £50 - Lyle Mackay

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

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

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

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

    Posted on Saturday, April 1, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Press article: https://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/sport/its-time-to-give-something-back-says-new-manager-of-tain-307771
  • Stafford Cup Draw for 2020

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020


    The first round of the Stafford Cup will be played on Saturday 18th April, with draw having been made as follows:

    Lochinver v Dornoch City

    Golspie Stafford v Brora Wanderers

    Lochbroom v Inver

    Melvich v Kinlochbervie

    TAIN THISTLE v Embo

    Byes - Helmsdale United, Invergordon Social Club & Lairg Rovers

    The subsequent rounds shall be played at weekly intervals, allowing only for the prelim. round of the Highland Amateur Cup on April 25th. The first league matches will be played on May 30th.
  • Jags lift fifth consecutive league title

    Posted on Saturday, August 17, 2019


    Despite clinching the title off the park last weekend (due to results elsewhere), the Jags had to wait until full time away to Lochinver to get their hands on the North West Sutherland League championship trophy.

    The title win is marks back to back championships since joining the amateur ranks two seasons ago, and their fifth in a row overall, having won the Ross-shire Welfare in 2015, 2016 and 2017 also.

    The Jags collected the trophy in style with a 12 goal celebration away to Lochinver at Culag Park. The game finished 9-3 in Tain's favour, with Liam Rostock notching a hat-trick. Darran Goller and Finn As-Chainey chipped in with two goals each, while Robbie Murray and David Mackay also scored.

    The Polla Cup remains the only outstanding competition, a one game final due to be played between Thistle and the winners of Division 2, Lairg Rovers.

  • Golspie Stafford 1 Tain Thistle 4

    Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2019


    All the action took place in the first half at Stafford Park, as a late rout before the interval put Thistle out of sight – despite Golspie having taken the lead.

    The home side had gone ahead after 20 minutes when Mark Mackenzie worked his way through the Tain defence before finding the bottom corner with a brilliant strike. It took until the 38th minute for Tain to get back in the game though and the goal came from Liam Rostock who levelled with a cute chip over the Golspie stopper.

    Finn As-Chainey was next to score, giving Tain the lead with a finish from close range. A Darran Goller double put Thistle on easy street for a quieter second half. They weren’t without their problems, however, as goalkeeper Steven Martin found himself dismissed for an off the ball incident.
  • Tain Thistle 0 Brora Wanderers 1

    Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2019


    Brora Wanderers needed just one goal to humble champions Tain Thistle at the Links today. A first half goal from Jon Campbell, who pounced on a short clearance from the goalkeeper before lobbing the Tain custodian from 30 yards was all that separated the sides at half time.

    It could have been 2-0 but a second half penalty for Wanderers was saved well by Will Macrae, and at the other end a foul on the Brora goalkeeper denied Tain their only netbound effort.

    In the latter stages, the home side were unlucky not to score with a Finn As-Chainey shot that deflected onto the crossbar as the signs were that it was not going to be their day.

    Thistle’s push for an equaliser was against a Brora side who were defending resolutely, and against Tain’s best efforts the Wanderers held on to claim an impressive away win.
  • Jags ousted by Staxigoe in Highland Amateur Cup

    Posted on Saturday, May 18, 2019


    It was to be another first round exit for Tain Thistle in the Highland Amateur Cup, losing 3-1 to Staxigoe United this afternoon.

    During an evenly contested first half both keepers were called into action, and on twenty minutes Thistle thought they had broken the deadlock when the ball appeared to have crossed the line – but referee Eric Robertson waved play on.

    The Caithness side eventually opened the scoring with 10 minutes of the half left through Martin Banks but within five minutes Darran Goller had equalised. Capitulation followed in the second period as Staxigoe netted twice in the final twenty minutes to put the game beyond Tain.

    Staxigoe retook the lead via an unfortunate Paul Cowie own goal and the final goal to make it 3-1 was a second for Banks.
  • Match Highlights: Melvich v Tain Thistle

    Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2019


    Match highlights, courtesy of Darren Manson, Picture House.

  • Melvich 3 Tain Thistle 5

    Posted on Saturday, May 11, 2019


    There were goals aplenty in Melvich in a back and forth affair. Thistle got off to a great start with a goal after just three minutes, when new signing Shaun Kerr headed in from an Arron Christie corner.

    Kerr made it 2-0 seven minutes before the break with a good finish from six yards out after David Mackay found the striker inside the box with a cross. As the second half began, Melvich pulled a goal back from a corner kick, Kyle Innes beating Stevie Campbell with a headed effort.

    The North Sutherland side must have been taking inspiration from England’s midweek European hopefuls as they proceeded to complete the comeback to make it 2-2 when James Murray nodded home from a corner — and ten minutes later Martyn Cook put the home side ahead with a shot from inside the area to leave Thistle reeling.

    Were it not for some good goalkeeping from Campbell, the home side could have extended their lead. But Melvich’s resolve was tested just minutes later when Gordy Mackay was able to sweep the ball home to make it 3-3.

    From then on, it was Thistle who showed the metal to retake control when Darran Goller finished from a tight angle to make it 4-3.

    There was to be no second Melvich comeback this time though, and with five minutes remaining Goller netted again, this time with a header to wrap up the win.
  • Jags knocked out of Stafford Cup

    Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2019


    In the early kick off at Ferrycroft Park, Lairg Rovers had put three past Thistle after just 20 minutes. Liam Mcleod opened the scoring with a good finish from six yards on the end of a Michael Newlands cross.

    Michael Newlands doubled their advantage four minutes later when he pounced on a loose ball and rounded the keeper.

    Newlands netted again on twenty minutes getting on the end of a clearance from Craig Ross, but shorty after, Thistle reduced the deficit with a goal following a penalty award for a foul on Finn As-Chainey; Liam Rostock putting away the resultant spot kick.

    Lairg remained undettered in their first half assault though, and Adam Mackay added a fourth before the interval, scoring with a neatly hit volley which cannoned in off the post.

    Thistle stemmed the tide in the second half and on 55 minutes, Darran Goller reduced the scoreline to 4-2 after rounding the keeper.

    The comeback continued as Goller netted again just five minutes later heading home a Cammy Mackintosh cross, leaving just a goal between the sides.

    The Jags were given further hope when Craig Ross was red carded with half an hour remaining — but there was to be no equaliser as the home side held on to advance to the semi-final.
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