David Matheson (1967-2014)
We were deeply saddened this week to learn that David Matheson, affectionately known as "Davie Embo", had passed away at the age of 47. Davie was a well known player and character in recreational football circles throughout both Ross-shire and Sutherland, having worn the goalkeeper's jersey for a number of different clubs, and for Tain Thistle as recently as 2010.
He will be fondly remembered. On behalf of the Tain Thistle players and committee, we wish to send our heart felt condolences to his family.
Article written on 08 Aug 2014 | Link to article
A double defeat to Alness Athletic ended the Jags' season this past week, as they fell 5-1 in their final league match, ending any hopes of a 2nd place finish, before losing 6-0 in the Cordiner Cup Final at the Links. The finale was not representative of Thistle's recent form, however, as they had been on a four match win streak prior to their visit to Alness's Academy Park. Shaking off the disappointment of a 1-0 semi final defeat Fortrose Union, Tain went on to beat Ross-shire Club 3-0, Contin 2-1 and Social Club 4-0, having exacted revenge against Fortrose along the way too, with a 2-0 win. The constant in each win was the free-scoring Liam Rostock who netted seven goals in as many games in July, reaching a century overall for the Club.
Jags wrap up season with defeat to Alness
Jags' fans will argue that the side was greatly weakened by absences on the day of the final, as well as the departures of John Allan, Alan Duff and Michael Brand towards the end of the campaign. It is interesting to note that just six of the fourteen man squad who defeated Alness in last year's thrilling play-off were in the same size squad for the Cordiner Cup Final on Saturday past - however there is no doubt that Alness Athletic were deserved winners of both the league and cups they won this season. The league table after all, tells the story. Fortrose Union were the only other team to enjoy success under the Ross-shire Welfare banner, securing the Coronation Cup and finishing 2nd place in the league. On the whole, Tain's most competitive games this season have been against the Black Isle side.
The Club concluded the season a week early off the field with their annual awards get-together with a meal at Tain Curry Club before the players and committee convened at sponsors The Railway Hotel for the presentations. Martin Smith, the youngest outfield player in the side, collected the Most Improved Player award, closely followed by the returning Brian Cameron, while Paul Cowie, in a landslide vote, was named Player of the Season. Chippie Mailley, for his looping shot over the Social Club keeper in Invergordon, won the Goal of the Season award. Though it was not awarded on the night, Liam Rostock is, this year, once again the winner of the Top Goalscorer Shield, with 14 goals.
The Tain Thistle players and committee are not about to rest on their laurels though, as there are already plans afoot for a Christmas dinner dance at the Saint Duthus Hotel during the festive season and manager Darren Mackay has expressed an interest in playing some friendly matches during the winter in a bid to keep players fit and playing together.
The committee wishes to thank Kirsty McFarlane, Alan Nimmons and The Railway Hotel for their continued sponsorship and hospitality throughout the season, not to mention their tireless efforts washing the kit after every game. We must extend our thanks to Isleburn Ltd for their kind sponsorship, as well as those who continue to subscribe to our Supporters Club. Thank you also to Tain Golf Club for their hospitality at the beginning of the season for our annual Texas Golf Scramble - we look forward to our third tournament in 2015.
Article written on 03 Aug 2014 | Link to article
The past week has been one of mixed fortunes for the Jags. Having avoided a near upset against Social Club in midweek to run out 6-2 winners, Thistle's hopes of reaching the Seaboard Cup final were dashed by a serious lack of fortune against Fortrose Union.
Mixed fortunes for the Jags in July
On Wednesday last week, Tain visited Invergordon on league business and by the forty minute mark they found themselves with a very comfortable 3-0 lead thanks to a goal from Martin Smith and a brace from Liam Rostock. An Allan Campbell penalty for the home side reduced the score to 1-3 at half time.
Tain struggled to find the same stride that had given them such a healthy lead at the start of the second half, and mid-way through Social scored again, this time through the pacey James McGroarty. Any chance of a scare was eliminated four minutes later though when Alan Duff slotted home. A spectacular left footed curler from Chippie Mailley made it 5-2 moments later and popping up in the last minute of the game was Duff again, nodding home with ease.
Team: Allan, Davis (Durrand), Cameron, Duff, Brand, Farquhar, Cowie, Mailley, D Christie, Smith, Rostock (Gourlay)
On Saturday, against the backdrop of the bustling Tain Gala celebrations, Thistle welcomed Fortrose Union to the Links, recreating the tension of their Coronation Cup meeting three weeks prior. It was to be just as tight on this occasion as both sides produced a competitive game - as they have done every time they have met this season - but neither could find the net in the first half. Liam Rostock hit the woodwork on a couple of occasions and Johnny Allan at the other end for Tain made a couple of good saves.
Despite enjoying the majority of the possession, Tain were hit with a sucker punch in the second half. The opener came for Fortrose midway through when Jordan Knight stabbed home from a counter attack. To make matters worse, Rostock again hit the bar having gone round Martin Smith in the Fortrose goal. It was certainly not looking like it would be Tain's day, and what happened in the 75th minute confirmed it, as Thistle's Martin Smith poked the ball through the legs of his namesake who was dwelling on the ball in the Fortrose goal. Bizarrely, and to the astonishment of both teams, the goal was disallowed! There were chances to equalise in the minutes that followed, but luck was clearly not on Thistle's side. As time ran away, Fortrose valiantly held on to their 1-0 lead to ultimately win the game and advance to the final.
Team: Allan, Davis, Cameron, Brand, A Christie, Duff, Farquhar, Durrand (Gourlay), D Christie, Rostock, Smith
Tain play at home again on Wednesday night, welcoming Ross-shire Club to the Links for the first time this season in Ross-shire Welfare league action.
Article written on 07 Jul 2014 | Link to article
Tain Thistle have advanced to the Seaboard Cup semi final.
Seaboard Cup tie awarded to Tain
Their 1st Round tie against Ross-shire Club, originally scheduled for Saturday, June 28th had been moved to the evening of Monday, June 30th, however Ross-shire Club have forfeited the tie due to not being able to raise a team.
Article written on 29 Jun 2014 | Link to article
Tain Thistle have won the Graham Jardine Memorial Quaich for the first time, defeating Balintore by 3 goals to 1, in a double header that also saw them secure three points in the Ross-shire Welfare league.
Jags secure Graham Jardine Quaich
Manager Darren Mackay, whose last involvement in the Jardine Quaich match was as a player for Saint Duthus in 2002, had to deal with a number of absences following the Coronation Cup final. Still carrying an ankle knock, Darran Goller missed out, while Liam Rostock was also unavailable due to limits on North Caledonian players. Martin Smith and Niall McVicar were also missing.
It looked like it was set to be a bad day at the office for the Jags when Terrence Brady, already a scourge of the Jags throughout this season, netted a first minute goal for Balintore, capitalising on an early defensive lapse. It took Thistle just ten minutes to level matters though as Daniel Christie took his time at the far post to control and slot the ball past Ross Powell to make it 1-1.
Thistle enjoyed the better of the first half from then on, and on the half hour mark, Martyn Farquhar handed Thistle a justified lead, showing class to calmly chip the ball over Powell in the Balintore goal from 25 yards. There were calls of "offside" from the Seaboard touchline, however the goal stood, capping off a neat fight back and a positive forty-five minutes for Tain.
Watching on from the sidelines, Jean and Jim, parents of former St Duthus and Balintore player Graham Jardine, issued a reminder of last year's second half comeback from Balintore - however, today it was not to be, as Tain set about ensuring a solid defensive display.
Balintore showed signs that they were capable of finding an equaliser in the first ten minutes of the second period, however resolute play at the back from Alan Duff and Michael Brand kept the Balty forward line at bay. A series of corners and set pieces at the other end heralded no further goals for Tain until the 65th minute, when Paul Cowie - a stand out candidate for man of the match in Tain's midfield - headed the ball home to make it 3-1.
Chris Mailley was unlucky not to extend the Jags lead as the minutes counted down and at full time, the score remained the same, handing Tain the victory. Post-match, Jim Jardine, accompanied by his grandson Robbie, presented the trophy to Thistle captain Daniel Christie. Both teams gathered for a photograph and applauded the winning team, concluding a derby match that had been contested in great spirits.
Allan, Davis, Cameron (Gourlay), Brand, Duff, A Christie, Farquhar, Mailley, Durrand, D Christie, Cowie
D Christie, Farquhar, Cowie
Article written on 25 Jun 2014 | Link to article
Alness Athletic emerged as the better side in the Coronation Cup Final yesterday as 2013 winners Tain Thistle surrendered the trophy to the better side on the day, at Dingwall's Jubilee Park.
Thistle lose in Coronation Cup Final
Despite looking the livelier of the two sides during the opening twenty minutes, Tain were unable to capitalise and soon after at the other end, Alness were first to force a save from open play, rattling the crossbar shortly after. Thistle's forward chances then took a bad turn when Darran Goller was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury.
The opener came from Gavin Legge as the centre half took advantage of a spill in the box to make it 1-0 to Alness, and not long after, the Jags were struck by misfortune as Brian Cameron turned the ball into his own net, giving Alness a somewhat flattering 2-0 lead at the interval.
If the scoreline had been flattering in the first half, the second half certainly ended any debate as Alness Athletic were in control throughout. John Allan made a number of saves to retain some hope for Thistle, but the writing was on the wall as Alness rarely faltered. To make it 3-0 with ten minutes remaining, Mark Lamont slotted home from the penalty spot after Niall McVicar had committed a foul inside the box.
Allan, Cameron, Davis, Duff, A Christie, Cowie (Gourlay), Farquhar, D Christie, Smith, Goller (McVicar), Rostock (Durrand)
Article written on 22 Jun 2014 | Link to article
A mature and methodical performance from the Coronation Cup Final bound Jags was enough to humble Dornoch City at the Meadows tonight, with a dominant 4-0 win over the Sutherland side.
Dornoch City 0, Tain Thistle 4
Arron Christie returned to replace Michael Brand in the only change to the weekend's penalty shoot out winning starting eleven, while Ross Gourlay and Niall McVicar were recalled to the bench following the release of Joe Sutherland.
The Jags got off to a brilliant start, dictating the pace early on with spells of possession allowing Darran Goller to threaten on the wing. Winning a free kick, it was Goller who got on the end of Arron Christie's looping ball into the box from the set piece, side footing the ball home at the far post with ease to make it 1-0.
It looked as though it may be a long afternoon for the young and inexperienced Dornoch side as Thistle enjoyed the lion's share of the first half, however the persistence of former Tain man Ayah Rattanaphithak gave Graeme Davis plenty of food for thought at the back as Dornoch's only real threat going forward.
Free kicks and corners were at a premium for Tain as Daniel Christie continued to show the same great delivery that he has all season; Alan Duff, Martin Smith and Darran Goller all unlucky not to score.
The second half signalled the beginning of the end for the home side following Tain's second. It took until the 69th minute for the goal to come and it did thanks to a long range effort from Paul Cowie which flew into the far corner of the net, leaving the Dornoch goalkeeper helpless. At 2-0, the gulf in experience became obvious as a petulant Dornoch back line fell foul of the referee's favour, earning themselves several bookings and a red card, all for dissent!
Thistle cantered during the final quarter hour and it was Darran Goller who netted the third, twelve minutes from time, finishing off a great move to slot home from an angle inside the box. In injury time, Martyn Farquhar netted a fourth for the Jags, getting a head to a speculative Daniel Christie cross to send the ball looping over the keeper and into the net.
Allan, Cameron (Durrand 65), Davis, A Christie, Duff, Cowie (Brand 70), Farquhar, D Christie, Smith, Goller, Rostock (Gourlay 82)
Subs not used:
Goller 6, 78, Cowie 69, Farquhar 90+1
Article written on 18 Jun 2014 | Link to article
Tain's defence of the Coronation Cup continued today as they secured a place in the final, squeezing past Fortrose Union in the narrowest of fashions with a penalty shoot out win after 120 minutes failed to separate the sides.
Thistle reach Coronation Cup Final
Rhys Shewan had given Fortrose a shock first minute lead after Thistle had hit the post to narrowly miss out on an immediate goal. The home side grasped control of the opening stages of the game that followed and through the crossing ability of Daniel Christie, both Alan Duff and Darran Goller sent headed efforts wide and over. Martyn Farquhar was next to try, firing just over the bar catching a stray free kick first time. At the other end, both Rhys Shewan and Kieran Fitzpatrick were unlucky for Fortrose, testing the Jags defence with clever dribbling and pace, but unable to find a goal.
Battling hard in what had become a very competitive game, the Jags finally scored an equaliser from a corner. Daniel Christie's cross found its way out to the edge of the eighteen yard box where Martin Smith was waiting to lash the ball home with authority to make it 1-1. The goal was a deserved reward for Smith who had held the ball up well in the game thus far.
A flurry of corners followed for Thistle with Liam Rostock enjoying the best chance, before the half ended with a few nasty exchanges, forcing referee Billy Murray to speak to both team managers during the interval.
The complexion of the second half changed considerably when Darran Goller found himself clean through on goal only to be taken down. The offending Fortrose player was then dismissed, leaving Fortrose to play the remainder of the game with ten men - an uphill task for the Black Isle side!
Despite the man advantage, the score remained 1-1 in normal time, Fortrose having bolstered the defence in a successful attempt to stifle frequent Thistle attacks. The proverbial game of chess was now being played as Tain embarked on thirty minutes of extra time against a Union side with their backs firmly against the wall.
Chances were plentiful. Martin Smith, Liam Rostock, Paul Cowie and Martyn Farquhar were all unlucky not to score as Fortrose expertly held their line and perhaps inevitably, the game went to penalties.
Anyone who has followed Tain Thistle in recent years will know all too well that penalty shoot outs have not ended well, however today the script was rewritten. Both sides scored all five of their allotted spot kicks before sudden death kicked in and stepping up for Tain was Martyn Farquhar - not renowned for his penalties! Despite the pressure mounted upon him by the bellowing Fortrose touchline, the Tain stalwart lashed the ball high into the net to make it 6-5 to Tain and the pressure moved to the Fortrose man, who fired into the on rushing hands of Johnny Allan in the Tain goal. The penalty had been saved and Tain advanced to the cup final!
The game was an exasperating one, but one that will be remembered for a while, as it possessed everything that a memorable game should have.
Thistle now travel to Dingwall to defend the Coronation Cup against a side who will most certainly be favourites in Alness Athletic. The game is scheduled for 3pm next Saturday, June 21st.
Allan, Cameron, Davis, Brand, Duff, Cowie, Farquhar, D Christie, Smith, Goller, Rostock (Cattanach 115)
Subs not used:
Article written on 16 Jun 2014 | Link to article
Tain Thistle made it two wins in five days over Invergordon Social Club tonight with a 4-2 league win to follow their 8-1 victory in the Coronation Cup 1st Round this past Saturday.
Thistle complete Social double header
The Saturday game saw Liam Rostock return to scoring form with four goals against the Invergordon side as well as a hat-trick for Alan Duff, who completed his treble with a penalty kick in the first half to see the Jags leading 4-1 at half time. A goal from Darran Goller took the tally to eight as Thistle won at a canter to advance to the semi-final of the Coronation Cup.
Tonight, the same starting eleven took the field and it took them only ten minutes to open the scoring with some excellent team play. Taking the ball inside from Arron Christie, Liam Rostock played an incisive pass back to the left midfielder. Christie, with precision, played the ball into the box for Martin Smith to take a final touch and side foot the ball home.
Thistle doubled their lead on thirty minutes when Brian Cameron's speculative effort into the box was turned into the net by Social's Number 3.
A lapse at the back handed Social a life line as James McGroarty pulled a goal back just before the break, but Liam Rostock, heading the ball home from a free kick, restored the two goal advantage ten minutes after the restart.
An injury to Niall McVicar saw the Thistle defence forced into some immediate changes, and the Invergordon men were quick to capitalise, forcing a save from Johnny Allan before scoring on the rebound. The reduced deficit was short lived though as Rostock scored once again, pouncing on a loose ball from a corner to make it 4-2, and 7 goals in 3 games.
Allan, McVicar, Duff, Davis (Brand), A Christie, Cameron (Sutherland), Farquhar (Cowie), D Christie, Smith, Goller, Rostock
Sub not used:
Smith 10, Cameron 30, Rostock 55, 79
Article written on 11 Jun 2014 | Link to article
A second half fight back for the Jags saw them record another draw in the Ross-shire Welfare league tonight. Manager Darren Mackay made a number of changes for the game. Sitting out of the squad due to a limit on North Caledonian players was Arron Christie, while Darran Goller, Paul Cowie and Michael Brand also dropped to the bench. Brian Cameron, Martyn Farquhar, Joe Sutherland and Martin Smith were all called into the starting lineup. Niall McVicar returned to the side for the first time since April.
Ross Club 2, Tain Thistle 2
The game proved to the proverbial game of two halves. Martin Macdonald and Liam Muir had given Ross Club a commanding lead in the first half, but following a number of second half changes, Martin Smith was able to pull a goal back for the Tain men. With twenty minutes remaining, a penalty award handed Thistle a lifeline, and Liam Rostock duly scored the spot kick to make it 2-2.
The game ended a draw and leaves Thistle sitting a point behind the Dingwall club in the Ross-shire Welfare league table. Next week's games involve a double header against Invergordon Social Club, both ties to be played at the Links.
Team: Allan, Durrand (Cowie), Duff, Cameron, Sutherland, Farquhar, D Christie (McVicar), Mailley, Smith, Maclennan (Goller) and Rostock
Subs not used:
Smith 55, Rostock pen. 70
Article written on 04 Jun 2014 | Link to article
Thistle's hopes of defending the Ross-shire Welfare league title took a turn for the worse tonight against league leaders Alness Athletic, losing 4-1 despite hard battling and perhaps the team's best performance of the season.
Tain Thistle 1, Alness Athletic 4
With manager Darren Mackay returning from holiday, there were just a handful of changes made to the side. Assistant Martyn Farquhar dropped out of the side due to the limit on North Caledonian players, while Liam Rostock and Darran Goller both returned up front. In midfield, Paul Cowie returned to the starting eleven, with Brian Cameron and Martin Smith dropping to the bench.
The game was always going to be toughly contested, as has been the theme for Tain and Alness in recent, but for the away side, the Links had always been something of a hoodoo venue, having never won a competitive game at Tain. It looked as though they may suffer a similar fate during the first half, as Thistle dictated play, forcing the Alness defence with frequent possession and clever running from Liam Rostock and Darran Goller. John Maclellan up front was first to test Andrew Maitland in goal for Alness with a stunning overhead kick that the 'keeper had to tip onto the crossbar. Maclellan again found himself clean through on Maitland shortly after, forcing a tremendous save. A penalty claim shortly after for a foul on Darran Goller was turned down, and Arron Christie was desperately unlucky with a free kick which sailed just wide of Maitland's left hand post.
At the other end, Donald Sutherland clipped Johnny Allan's inside post following an incisive break, and the Tain stopper was called into action a couple of times soon after, but largely it was the Jags who would have gone in at the break feeling like they had missed an opportunity to take the lead.
Tain followed the pattern that has seen them punished often this season, starting the second half badly, and within thirteen minutes of the restart, Alness took the first second half chance that was presented to them; Donald Sutherland nodding home a cross at the far post to put Alness 1-0 ahead. The goal appeared to take the steam out of Thistle, who had worked tirelessly during a fruitless first half.
The forward threat of Alness became increasingly apparent as they began to pass with flair and continue to threaten and within ten minutes they had gone 2-0 up; Shaun Robertson getting on the end of a Ross Thomson pass to slot home.
It took until the second goal for Tain to pick up the pace and that they did. Dragged out of his goal but an on-running Darran Goller, it took Dave Murray in the Alness defence to rescue the situation. Moments later, Liam Rostock had the ball in the back of net with a turning drive, but the referee adjudged that the striker was off-side, much to the consternation of the Jags' players.
The goal for Tain finally came on 80 mins, as Chris Mailley foxed the Alness defence with a long range effort that sailed underneath Maitland to reduce the deficit to 1-2.
With three minutes left on the clock, Thistle had pushed for an equaliser, but a combination of tiredness and moving higher up the park ultimately took its toll as Alness scored twice late on to record a very flattering scoreline of 4-1, Ross Thomson and Ally Rose the scorers.
Allan, Davis, Duff, A Christie, Brand, Cowie (Sutherland), Mailley, D Christie, Goller, Rostock, Maclellan (Smith)
Subs not used:
Article written on 28 May 2014 | Link to article
Defeat in the Pattisons' Cup first round on Saturday to Balintore was followed by a chance lost at King George V Park in Fortrose tonight in the Ross-shire Welfare league. A first half lead for the Jags was eventually cancelled out by two second half goals for the Black Isle side.
Fortrose Union 2, Tain Thistle 1
With manager Darren Mackay still absent, stand-in Martyn Farquhar recalled Chris Mailley to the starting XI, with Lewis Ross, Darran Goller, Joe Sutherland all unavailable through injury. Paul Cowie, struggling with a hip problem dropped to the bench, while Liam Rostock sat out due to limits on North Caledonian registered players. Alan Duff, returning to the side, slotted in at the back.
Tain started as the better team in the first half, Mailley proving to be a nuisance down the left flank, linking up well with Martin Smith and Arron Christie to test the Fortrose 'keeper, also named Martin Smith, with an effort on target. Moments later a similar move resulted in Mailley firing over. Arron Christie had the best shot of the opening stages, however, with a shot that rattled the joint of the crossbar and post and cannoned away to safety, the Fortrose defence breathing a sigh of relief.
At the other end, Duff and Brand were composed in dealing with any Union counters during the first period and rarely looked threatened. The goal eventually came in the 42nd minute from Martin Smith, turning a shot across the eighteen yard box, rifled into the net at his namesake's far post. The goal was a product of persistence and handed the Jags a deserved lead at half time.
The second half started as the first had ended with Tain on top, and this continued for some fifteen minutes, until a turn in the tide saw Fortrose pull a goal back, now pushing much higher up the park. Having been one of the Union's most likely threats, it was Rhys Shewan who scored the equaliser for the home side and suddenly the game was wide open. John Allan, in goal for Thistle, had done his level best to deny the striker with two brilliant saves but on the third time of asking he was left helpless.
Within minutes, Fortrose had the ball in the net once again but the goal was disallowed for infringement. This was only temporary, however, as Jordan Knight got the final touch on the home side's second goal following what seemed like a foul on Johnny Allan.
The Fortrose men, with ten minutes left on the clock, worked tirelessly to ensure that Thistle's chances to equalise were greatly diminished. A late free kick from Arron Christie produced a great save from Smith but that was to be all the action, as referee Robert Macmillan drew a close to proceedings.
Allan, Davis (Durrand), Cameron, Brand, Duff, Farquhar, A Christie, Mailley, Smith, Maclellan, D Christie (Mein)
Sub not used:
Article written on 21 May 2014 | Link to article
The Jags finally got off the mark with three points in the league tonight, beating bottom side Contin by 3 goals to 1. Despite going a goal down in the first half, the Tain men showed grit and determination to turn the game back in their favour to climb up to fourth in the Ross-shire Welfare league table.
Tain Thistle 3, Contin 1
Standing in for manager Darren Mackay, midfielder Martyn Farquhar made just one change to the side who drew 2-2 with Balintore last week - Martin Smith stepping in as a forward, while Joe Sutherland dropped to the bench. Missing from the substitutes were Lewis Ross and Andrew Bell.
The stand-in gaffer could have taken the lead for Thistle after only six minutes as the first chance of the game was presented a chance at the far post which he only had to tap into the net, but amazingly, Farquhar hit it wide. An early candidate for miss of the season!
Daniel Christie was unsuccessful moments later with a powerful drive, and Liam Rostock, forcing a save from the Contin keeper after 15 minutes, was unlucky not to score.
Frustration was starting to grow in the Tain ranks, as it was beginning to seem like another one of "those days" and shortly after, Contin had scored on the counter. A defensive slip up allowed Contin's Ryan Dow to take a swipe at goal, and his shot curled into the net at Johnny Allan's far post, leaving the Tain stopper stunned. Thistle were all at sea.
Just minutes later, Tain were handed a game changing let off, as Contin were presented with a clear chance to go 2-0 up. It was, however, and fortunately for Thistle, fired just over.
Liam Rostock would become the catalyst in Tain's comeback with eight minutes remaining in the first half. Capping off a half of hard work, he burst clear of the defence to fire a shot goal-ward, netting his first goal of the season via the onrushing legs of a Contin defender.
Thistle were now in control and shortly after, Darran Goller made it 2-1. A sublime finish from Goller summed up Thistle's rediscovery of the swagger that had been missing earlier in the half, as he calmly placed his shot over the Contin 'keeper.
The vigour and graft shown by Contin seemed to have disappeared by the second half, and even although the score remained close at 2-1, the visitors appeared content to contain the Jags' threat. There was one cry of a penalty claim for Contin with fifteen left on the clock, but nothing came of it.
Instead, at the other end, substitute John Maclellan made his mark with a goal from just inside the eighteen yard box, turning to squeeze the ball home between the Contin 'keeper and his near post. The goal had been the product of some incisive plays between the midfield and the Jags' forward line, with Maclellan himself unlucky not to nab another moments later.
Contin seemed to all but fold when they were reduced to ten men following a seconding off and the remaining ten minutes were played out with seemingly little to play for.
Thistle now go on to Pattisons' Cup 1st Round business, once again in action against Balintore at the Links. Due to the Scottish Cup Final, this game will be played at 12.00pm.
Allan, Cameron, Davis (Sutherland), Brand, A Christie, Cowie, Farquhar, D Christie, Goller, Rostock (Durrand), Smith (Maclellan)
Rostock 37, Goller 39, Maclellan 77
Article written on 14 May 2014 | Link to article
As manager Darren Mackay sets off on holiday, Thistle midfielder Martyn Farquhar has been elected as the gaffer's stand-in for the game against Contin and next Saturday's Pattisons' Cup first round match against Balintore.
Farquhar - "Nothing but a win is acceptable!"
The Jags favourite, who has played 146 times for Thistle in the Ross-shire Welfare league, is confident of three points against Contin.
"I'm delighted to take over while Darren is on holiday. Nothing but a win is acceptable next Wednesday!"
Article written on 08 May 2014 | Link to article
The second of two wicked deflections denied the Jags their first win of the season at Balintore's Seaboard Park this evening, following a valiant second half fight-back against one of this weekend's League Cup finalists.
Balintore 2, Tain Thistle 2
Young goalkeeper Johnny Allan made his return to the Thistle team following his release from amateur business with Brora Rangers, while Lewis Ross also returned to the fold, on the bench. Joe Sutherland also made an unexpected return following an ankle injury.
As derbies do, the match begun with the fastest of paces, both sides aiming to get forward and take an early advantage. Terence Brady, hat-trick hero for the Seaboard men last time they met, tussled back and forth with Graeme Davis from the get-go but the lightning quick striker was kept at bay by the Thistle defender. In goal, Allan had little to do other than save a shot following an offside call. At the other end, however, Liam Rostock had the first chance of the game, running in between two defenders to bear down on former Jags keeper Steven Wemyss, before the ball unfortunately caught his shin and flew wide.
The opening goal came very much against the run of play and in unexpected circumstances. A harmless cross, sent in by Balintore's Robbie Murray, cannoned off the back of Arron Christie and sailed over the head of Allan, leaving the Jags dumbfounded as they found themselves 1-0 down. Thistle kept attacking, however, and Daniel Christie offered the next test, rifling in a shot from range which Wemyss had to tip over the bar, in the most athletic of fashions. Wemyss was tested again moments later, again by Christie, this time holding the ball from another cracker of a strike. A busy first half ended 1-0 to the home side.
Thistle upped the pressure in the second half and following the introduction of Martin Smith and Lewis Ross, Balintore's resolve was eventually broken. From a Daniel Christie corner, Martyn Farquhar was able to turn the ball into the net to make it 1-1 for what was a more than deserved scoreline by this point in the match.
Just thirteen minutes later, Thistle had asserted themselves as leaders in the match when, from another Jags corner, the ball was deflected into the net by a Balintore defender! Suddenly it was 2-1 to Tain.
Thistle continued to press for a third, Lewis Ross coming close with a shot at the near post which produced a great save from Wemyss. Darran Goller, who had worked tirelessly throughout the game, was unlucky shortly after, heading just over.
Martyn Farquhar, looking for his second, thought he had secured the third goal when his shot flew towards the top corner of Wemyss's goal but the ball flew just over, skimming the top of the bar with pace.
For all of Balintore's counter attacks though, Michael Brand, Arron Christie and Graeme Davis were up to the task in defence, that was, until within three minutes of remaining time. As the clock ran down, a lapse in defence allowed Ben Brown a chance from outside the eighteen yard box, which he fired goalward, and Johnny Allan could only watch as the ball took a horrible deflection off a wall of Tain defenders and rolled into the net.
Both sides moved into fifth gear in search of a winner towards the end, but there was to be no additional time and very quickly, the game was drawn to a close. The Jags will certainly feel that two points were dropped tonight. Their next league test will be at home to new boys Contin next Wednesday, with a 7.30pm kick off.
Allan, Cameron (L Ross), Sutherland, Davis, A Christie, Brand, Cowie (Smith), D Christie, Farquhar, Rostock (Durrand), Goller
Subs not used:
Farquhar 62, Unknown o.g. 75
Article written on 07 May 2014 | Link to article
In the most miserable of conditions, the Jags drew a blank at the Links this evening against a Dornoch City side that will no doubt continue to impress as the season progresses. Martyn Farquhar and Arron Christie stepped back into the side for Thistle's opening league game of the season, while Daniel Cormack took the #1 shirt between the sticks.
Tain Thistle 0, Dornoch City 0
The Sutherland men got off to a lively start with clever passing and incisive runs from former Jags Ayah Rattanaphithak and Donald Matheson, giving the Thistle back-line food for thought. Despite their possession, they failed to really test Daniel Cormack in the Tain goal.
At the other end, Thistle rattled the woodwork when Martin Smith attempted to deflect a shot home but the ball cannoned back into play.
Action swayed back and forth for the remainder of the first half, with Dornoch always looking like a threat on the counter against the continuously pressing Jags. Edging further forward as the half reached a close, Thistle enjoyed a string of corners and free kicks, Rattanaphithak for Dornoch being booked amongst the infringements. For all the set pieces though, the Jags couldn't find the net, Martin Smith having the best chance with a powerful shot sent down the gullet of Dornoch 'keeper David Mitchell.
The second half was quite a mixed bag, for both sides. Daniel Christie forced a save from long range shortly after kick off before Cormack was forced to tip the ball over from a looping Scott Murray free kick to keep the scores blank. Matheson for Dornoch rattled the woodwork shortly after before sending a free kick into the arms of a well positioned Cormack.
Credit must be given to Dornoch City in what was their first Ross-shire Welfare league game as they held their position well against a Tain Thistle side frantically trying to put the ball into the back of the net during the closing ten minutes. Chances for Daniel Christie and Liam Rostock were saved, and Chippie Mailley shot wide before Darran Goller appeared to be felled in the penalty area - to no award. Alas, it was not to be and 0-0 was the final, and perhaps fair, result.
Cormack, Cameron (Durrand), Davis, Brand, Farquhar, A Christie, Mailley, Cowie, Goller, Smith (Rostock), D Christie
Article written on 30 Apr 2014 | Link to article
The Links will be the setting for a Ross-shire Welfare debut tomorrow night as new boys Dornoch City visit the home ground of the champions for their first game as members of the league.
Thistle welcome Dornoch for league opener
Both sides lost out in the first round of the League Cup on Saturday, so will be looking towards picking up their first competitive win of the season.
For Tain, manager Darren Mackay should have the services of goalkeeper Daniel Cormack, as well as the returning Arron Christie and Martyn Farquhar, making for significant changes from the starting XI who turned out against Balintore.
Messrs Joe Sutherland (ankle) and Craig McCourt (knee) are both expected to be absent due to injury.
Article written on 29 Apr 2014 | Link to article
Tain Thistle suffered a repeat of their 2013 fate as they crashed out of the League Cup in the first round today against local rivals Balintore. A hat-trick completed either side of half-time saw the Seaboard side hold firm against a Martin Smith equaliser to go 4-1 up, before Darran Goller pulled a goal back for Tain.
Thistle crash out of League Cup
Missing Martyn Farquhar and Arron Christie, gaffer Darren Mackay had to switch things about for his first competitive game in charge of the club, with Graeme Davis and Michael Brand being flanked by Brian Cameron and Joe Sutherland at the back. A midfield of Daniel Christie, Chris Mailley, Paul Cowie and Andy Durrand completed the 4-4-2 with Martin Smith and Darran Goller up top. Standing in to wear the familiar pink keeper's jersey following the sudden departure of Robert Ross was Niall McVicar.
Mackay's first eleven lasted only thirteen minutes, however, before the blood and thunder nature of the "derby" took its toll on Joe Sutherland, as the amateur boxer, victorious in a bout against Patrick Coates in Aberdeen earlier this month, never made it back to his feet after a knockout blow to his ankle. Returning to the side for the first time since 2008, Craig McCourt made his return debut as a substitute, forcing a reshuffle in the ranks.
Balintore drew first blood on 26 minutes following a controversially high boot to the face of the 6' 3" Michael Brand, which referee Michael Stainke deemed to be of adequate height. The young and pacey Balintore forward Terence Brady raced beyond the defence following the melee to net his first goal of the afternoon.
Thistle bounced back to equalise with four minutes left on the first half clock, taking advantage of an ill-taken James Metcalfe throw-in, the Balintore defender leaving his keeper Ross Henderson to deal with the imposing figure of Thistle's Martin Smith. Instinctively and in timely fashion, Smith nodded over Henderson to make it 1-1.
Having regrouped, Balintore emerged after the break as the more determined of the two sides, and they went 2-1 ahead five minutes into the second period, Brady again the scorer following a frenetic goalmouth stramash. Just eight minutes later, the Seaboarders asserted themselves as comfortable leaders when the diminutive Brady completed his treble.
Struggling with a knock to his knee in the first half, Thistle's McCourt was eventually replaced by Lewis Ross in the forward line, but the change, and a switch to 3-4-3 heralded no come-back for the Jags. Twenty minutes of pressure resulted in plenty of possession but nothing to celebrate as the Balintore back line kept the Jags at bay.
On the counter, Balintore wrapped things up with a fourth goal on 85 minutes, this time for Metcalfe, making amends for his earlier error with a well taken strike.
With injury time left to play, Darran Goller pulled a goal back for Thistle, but the point notched was merely academic as Mr Stainke brought the game to a close just a minute later.
While Balintore move onto the League Cup semi-finals for a match with Fortrose Union, Thistle look ahead to beginning their league campaign with a home game against new boys Dornoch City. The game takes place this Wednesday at the Links, with a 7pm kick off and manager Darren Mackay and his squad will be looking to get back to winning ways in their quest to defend the Ross-shire Welfare league championship.
McVicar, Cameron, Sutherland (McCourt (L Ross)), Davis, Brand, Cowie, Mailley, Durrand (Gourlay), D Christie, Goller, Smith
Subs not used:
Smith 41, Goller 89
Article written on 27 Apr 2014 | Link to article
The Jags made amends for their loss in a practice game earlier this year with a 3-1 win over visiting North West Sutherland amateur side Lairg Rovers on Tuesday night. With many absences, only nine of Darren Mackay's envisaged eleven were available for selection, prompting the introduction of a couple of others.
Tain Thistle 3, Lairg Rovers 1
Goals from Darran Goller, Liam Rostock and substitute guest player, Clachnacuddin striker Ross Grant in the second half wrapped up the win.
Squad: R Ross, Davis, Sutherland, Chisholm, Brand, Farquhar, Cowie, Mailley, Rostock, Goller, D Christie, MacIver, Grant
Article written on 10 Apr 2014 | Link to article
Two late goals gave Embo a narrow win over Tain Thistle as the Jags visited the North West Sutherland side in a friendly today. Martyn Farquhar had given Tain the lead for most of the game before a lapse in concentration led to a quick fire double to send the visitors home with a defeat.
Embo 2, Tain Thistle 1
R Ross, Durrand, Davis, Sutherland, A Christie, Cowie, Farquhar, Rostock, Bell, McCourt, D Ross, Smith, D Christie, Mailley, McVicar
Article written on 05 Apr 2014 | Link to article
Thistle look set to complete their pre-season with two friendly matches. The Jags will play Embo in a return fixture from last year's game on Saturday, April 5th with a 3pm kick off. Last year's game at the Links saw the Sutherland side run out 1-0 winners. This year's game will be played at Embo Park with Thistle out to secure a victory over last season's North West Sutherland league runners-up.
April friendlies arranged
On Tuesday, April 8th, Thistle will welcome Lairg Rovers to the Links for the first time since 2012, having already played them this pre-season in a practice game at the TRACC all-weather pitch in March. The game kicks off at 7pm.
Article written on 27 Mar 2014 | Link to article
Thistle's friendly match of the pre-season ended in comfortable victory as Darren Mackay's depleted Jags battled to a 3-1 win over Muir of Ord United.
Muir United 1, Tain Thistle 3
Run by former Tain striker Stu Ross, Muir of Ord United had played Thistle three years ago under their former name of Dores FC in a Christmas friendly. That day the game ended in a 7-7 draw in bitterly cold and wet conditions. Thankfully, the weather made for a much better game today. Missing several of their regular side, Thistle took only twelve players to Muir of Ord for the game.
The Jags got off to a flier after only one minute of play when the speedy Darran Goller capitalised on lackadaisical defending to run past the keeper with ease and score.
The next twenty minutes of the game, though, belonged to Muir as they began to press the Thistle back line. Despite a couple of debatable offside calls going the home team's way, Muir were unable to take their chances, blasting shots high and wide.
At the other end, Paul Cowie was desperately unlucky not to score when he rattled the crossbar on the 20 minute mark. Six minutes later though, a free kick for the Jags led to a second goal. Floating the ball into the eighteen yard box with precision, Arron Christie found Goller who volleyed the ball home to make it 2-0.
With only one man on the bench, Thistle did well to cope against the frequent introduction of fresh legs in the Muir ranks in the second half and should have made it 3-0 on the hour mark when Goller again found himself in on the keeper. Finding himself with his back to goal though, he could only back heel, and the chance went awry.
The score remained at 2-0 until the 79th minute when the referee awarded a penalty to Muir, amidst much protestation - goalkeeper Robert Ross being booked for dissent during the furore. For Muir, Alan Smith made no mistake with the spot kick to reduce the deficit to one.
Tain wasted no time from the restart and from a Chippie Mailley through ball, Goller was on hand once again to dance past the keeper and walk the ball into the net for his hat-trick.
With Liam Rostock leaving the field with an ankle injury, Paul Cowie replaced him up front towards the end of the game, and nearly made it 4-1 in the dying moments with a curled effort that hit the woodwork. The score, however, remained 3-1 and Thistle recorded their first win of the pre-season in style.
R Ross, G Davis, A Durrand, M Brand, J Sutherland, G Smart, P Cowie, L Rostock, C Mailley, A Christie, D Ross, D Goller
Article written on 23 Mar 2014 | Link to article
Today's Texas Golf Scramble was another huge success, raising over £1,000 towards club funds. Thank you to Tain Golf Club, the companies and individuals who donated raffle prizes and to everyone who participated.
Golf scramble raises over £1,000
Congratulations to Frank Sutherland's team who won the second annual Tain Thistle Shield with a score of 55.7.
The standings at the end of play were as follows:
1st. Frank Sutherland
2nd. Alan Sangster
3rd. David Macleod
Article written on 16 Mar 2014 | Link to article
In a back and forth match at Tain Royal Academy Community Complex, Tain Thistle lost 3-2 to a feisty Lairg Rovers side last night.
Rovers overcome the Jags
Missing key players Daniel Christie and Martyn Farquhar from the draw against Maryburgh, manager Darren Mackay introduced Chris Mailley and Jamie Macdonald to the side.
Lairg played effectively on the counter with Thistle having enjoyed most of the early pressure, and took the lead with a shot squeezed in at the near post to make it 1-0. Liam Rostock levelled for Tain on the half hour mark, and the scores remained level for some time. Midway through the second half, Lairg capitalised on a mistake at the back to make it 2-1, but with five minutes remaining Chris Mailley made it 2-2.
It seemed as though the game would end a draw until a momentary lapse for the Jags gave Lairg the easiest of goals, as the ball was walked into the net.
Team from: R Ross, Davis, Durrand, Brand, Macdonald, Sutherland, Cowie, Mackenzie, Pelka, A Christie, Smith, Goller, Rostock, D Ross, McCourt
Article written on 05 Mar 2014 | Link to article
As the sun battled its way through the clouds to show its face for the first time this Spring, the Jags took to the Links for the first time this year, under new management, to face the visiting amateur team from Maryburgh.
Tain Thistle 1 Maryburgh 1
Despite being a friendly, the first half saw a couple of tasty challenges from both sides, with chances shared too. Thistle could have gone 1-0 up after only three minutes when an effort deflected off a Maryburgh defender and looked to be looping over their keeper, but the shot drifted just over. At the other end, Robbie Ross in goal for the Jags did well with a save from close range to keep the scoreboard clear at half time.
Playing in the middle of the park, Paul Cowie was a candidate for man of the match, winning headers as though he were 7 foot tall against some big lads in the Maryburgh team.
The second half saw the introduction of several substitutes including the nephew of goalkeeper Robert, Dean Ross, and it was the youngster who eventually opened the scoring after the hour mark, firing into the far corner following a neat counter attack to make it 1-0 to the Jags.
With the makeshift pairing of Graeme Davis and Michael Brand looking comfortable at the back alongside the re-introduced Arron Christie, it didn't seem as though Maryburgh would have any luck up front, but following a tussle in the box, referee Billy Murray awarded Maryburgh a penalty - and the visitor's imposing Number 2 thundered the ball over a diving Ross to net the spot kick.
The game ended with both sides one goal apiece, and all told the outing proved very useful for the new manager, Darren Mackay, who saw his Tain side pick up where they left off last season in many ways; the signs of determination and grit still apparent despite many absences.
Thistle have to wait just two days for their next friendly match, playing on the TRACC all-weather pitch against Lairg Rovers on Tuesday evening.
Robbie Ross, Joe Sutherland, Andy Durrand, Graeme Davis, Michael Brand, Arron Christie, Paul Cowie, Daniel Christie, Martyn Farquhar, Darran Goller, Martin Smith, Liam Rostock, Dean Ross, Ross Gourlay
Article written on 02 Mar 2014 | Link to article
Tain Thistle will get their fundraising off to a driving start with the help of Tain Golf Club this March, as the club hold their second annual Texas Golf Scramble. On March 16th, players, supporters and golfers alike will gather to compete in the event, which takes place just as the golf and football seasons are set to begin. The day is being co-ordinated by former Jags keeper and current committee member Steven Martin who also works for the golf club's bar.
Tain set to tee off with Golf Scramble
Speaking to the official site, Steven said,
"We did really well with the scramble last year and it worked well in the interest of both the football club, who raised a lot of money, and the golf club, who had a few extra people through the door playing the game."
"We've managed to sell every available space for the competition itself, which is great news, but we'd encourage supporters of the club to join us in the evening for the presentations and a good night."
The golf will be followed up by a raffle with many fantastic prizes to be won, kindly donated by several local businesses and individuals.
Article written on 11 Feb 2014 | Link to article
With the new season fast approaching, Jags manager Darren Mackay has moved quickly to secure three friendly dates in March to get his team ready for the campaign.
Jags' March calendar filling up
On Sunday, March 2nd, United will play host to Carrbridge FC. The match follows two weeks of training preparation at the TRACC all-weather pitch and one week later they will make an away visit to Contin on the 9th. The team will take a break the following weekend to attend the club's Golf Scramble fundraiser before resuming play on March 23rd with a match at Muir of Ord against Inverness Welfare side Dores FC.
In other news, the Ross-shire Welfare league have scheduled a pre-AGM meeting for February 20th at the Social Club in Invergordon to discuss team involvement and season plans.
Article written on 01 Feb 2014 | Link to article
The first training session for Tain Thistle FC under new manager Darren Mackay will take place at TRACC all-weather pitch on February 19th from 7pm. Any new players wishing to join in, please get in touch via Facebook.
Training and friendly announced
We also have a first friendly arranged which will be held on the Links, in Tain on Sunday, March 2nd with a 1pm kick off, up against Carrbridge FC from the Strathspey & Badenoch Welfare league.
Article written on 28 Jan 2014 | Link to article
The Tain Thistle AGM was held tonight with office bearers and committee re-elected, and the appointment of a new club manager, following the resignation of Gary Ross.
Thistle AGM toasts good health and a new manager appointed
(Above: The present Tain Thistle committee sans Arron Christie who was taking the photograph!)
Dale Finlayson retained his position as Chairperson while Niall Harkiss was also re-elected to the roles of Treasurer and Club Secretary. A committee was elected comprised of the following attendees; B Patullo, J Cairns, R Ross, A Christie, A Murray, I Christie, A Nimmons as well as AGM absentees K McFarlane, J Rice and S Martin, who gave their apologies.
The treasury showed a healthy club balance, which the committee believes can only improve as the season progress with successes expected from the club's Golf Scramble on March 16th and plans provisionally in place for a club dinner in April.
Following a unanimous vote from those in attendance, the club have moved to appoint Darren Mackay as the manager of the club for the forth coming season. The club are hopeful that Darren, a former player and manager with Inver (among other clubs) can continue to bring the success enjoyed by Thistle in recent seasons.
Article written on 27 Jan 2014 | Link to article
Tain Thistle annual general meeting will be held on 27th January at 6:30pm in the Railway Hotel.
Article written on 15 Jan 2014 | Link to article
Search for new manager begins! League winning manager has announced he will not be able to commit to managing Tain Thistle in defending the league title next season due to the expansion of the Ross household.
Search for new manager begins
We would like to thank Gary for all the work he put in last season in guiding Tain to a memorable League Championship. The way it was won will be remembered for a long time. We look forward to seeing Gary still at matches this season and wish him and his family all the best for the future.
Applications for managing the team are welcome.
Article written on 10 Jan 2014 | Link to article