- Tain Thistle recorded their first home win of the season on Saturday with a 4-3 win over Lairg Rovers. Daniel Christie and Cammy Mackintosh joined the squad for the first time this year, and making a surprise return from the bench for the first time in over a year was Dave MacGruer, who has been recovering from a long term injury.Lairg took a surprise lead through Miller Mackay after just ten minutes but just a couple of minutes later Cammy Mackintosh made it a goalscoring return to the side when he left Conor Mackay in a pickle between the sticks with an awkward shot. Thistle asserted themselves well and took the lead on 35 minutes thanks to a majestic left foot strike from Graham Noble from 30 yards. The remaining five minutes of the first half saw two further goals scored. Miller Mackay was first up as he netted his second, this time from the penalty spot after a foul committed Alan Duff - but Duff did well to atone for his mistake four minutes later to put the Jags 3-2 up. Disappointingly for the Tain men, Gordy Mackay was then forced to withdraw at the half time break due to injury, with Paul Cowie being introduced as his replacement.Thistle made hard work of it in the second half and struggled to put the game beyond their opponents, despite extending their lead after just five minutes when Noble struck again, hitting a loose ball low into the net from the edge of the box to give Mackay no chance. Lairg did manage to pull a goal back in injury time though, when Shane McKay struck home the rebound following a save from Daniel Cormack, but it was too little too late for Joe Sutherland's men as the full time whistle followed just seconds later.Team: Cormack, Duff, Durrand, A Christie, D Mackay, C Mackintosh, Noble (Macgruer 63), D Christie (T Farquhar 87), Rostock, Goller, G Mackay (Cowie 46)
- After a fortnight’s break, the Jags welcome Lairg Rovers to the Links for what will be their latest North West Sutherland league match on Saturday.Thistle will be looking to record their first home win of the season, having lost 5-2 to Brora in their last game at the Links. Team manager Tony Farquhar is expected to have more players at his disposal than in recent games. This weekend, Cammy Mackintosh is among those returning, having recovered from a broken hand.The visitors have been in mixed form so far this season but have had no problem finding the net. The Lairg men have made several additions for their 2018 campaign and are expected to be among the teams challenging for the league title.Tain’s performance against Rovers tomorrow will give the manager and his squad a good indication of their standing amongst their new North West Sutherland peers.The game kicks off at 4pm.
- Tain Thistle secured their first win of the 2018 season with the lion's share in a ten goal thriller at Melvich today. An eight minute hat-trick for Gordy Mackay was the highlight of a first half goal flurry for the Jags which saw them end the first period five goals to the good before they rounded off the win in the second half.It took until the 35th minute for Mackay to open the scoring when he tucked away a long throw from Liam Rostock and immediately after, Murray Mackintosh netted to make it 2-0 with a header. Mackay scored his second five minutes before the break after good work from Rostock and just three minutes later Mackay made it 4-0 with a superb strike from 20 yards out to record his treble. To compound Melvich's misery, Arron Christie made it five on the stroke of half time with a low drive from outside the box which flew into the bottom corner.Melvich fired back through James Murray within five minutes of the restart with two quick goals to reduce the deficit, but Liam Rostock headed home a Christie corner at the other end to make it 6-2 just after the hour mark. Ten minutes later, Christie scored his second of the game to make it 7-2.
A goal for Melvich with a quarter hour remaining added to the second half goal tally, but the outcome remained academic, as Thistle ran out 7-3 winners to record their first points of the league campaign.Team: Cormack, D Mackay, Noble, A Christie, Noble, I Mackintosh, Fraser, M Mackintosh, T Farquhar, Rostock, G Mackay
- A 70 plus mile trip to the North coast of Sutherland awaits the Jags this weekend as they travel to play Melvich in their first away game of the new North West Sutherland AFA season.Injuries and absences continue to haunt player manager Tony Farquhar in his pursuit of a squad for the game, as Thistle look to steer the ship back on track by recording a first win in 2018. Despite the stuttering start, Farquhar remains in buoyant mood ahead of Saturday's match.
"It's a bit of a task for sure, but I'm sure there will be weeks when we have 20 players at our disposal and I'll be faced with a different dilemma then."Melvich will be no easy proposition, as was evidenced in their opening 4-4 draw against title contenders Lairg Rovers last weekend. A double from James Murray helped Melvich to the point, just a week after the same player had netted twice for Pentland United in the Highland Amateur Cup, against Thistle.
- Brora Wanderers served up a harsh welcome to the North West Sutherland Amateur League for Tain Thistle yesterday, as a depleted Jags side were handed a 5-2 defeat.Debuts were made for the club by the father and son pairing from St Duthus of John and Jamie Skinner, while former club player of the year Will Macrae was recalled for an appearance in goal for the first time in over 15 years.The Wandies scored after just three minutes, Ben Campbell firing home from close range after getting on the end of a low driven cross at the near post. A second arrived eight minutes later when Liam Mcleod was left free to power a header past Macrae from a Scott Murray corner.Craig Sutherland called Macrae into action on 20 minutes when he hit a stinging drive from the edge of the box but the Tain keeper did well to tip the ball round the post for a corner. At the other end, Liam Rostock hit the crossbar from a free kick before the ball was cleared to safety. Thistle’s chances of halving the deficit were short lived though, as Brora snatched a third on 26 minutes. Fired through a packed box, a Sutherland shot from 25 yards cannoned off Garry MacLeod, leaving Macrae off balance as the ball flew into the bottom corner.Rostock had better luck with a free kick just after the half hour mark when he steered the ball past Rian Mackay to reduce the score to 1-3. Dave MacIver forced a save from Mackay moments later with a shot from just inside the box, but the score remained the same at the break.Thistle gave a better fist of it during a fiercely contested second half but the Jags’ hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a blow on 56 minutes when Liam Ridler finished with a neat lob to make it 4-1. Thistle fired back two minutes later and it was Rostock again who found the net with a lashed effort from the edge of the box which gave Mackay no chance.Tony Farquhar and Alan Duff were introduced late on in an effort to further reduce the scoreline, but a penalty award ten minutes from time secured the win for Brora; Scott Miller doing the needful to round off the scoring from 12 yards.Team: Macrae, Durrand, Cameron, John Skinner, Jamie Skinner, Cowie (T Farquhar), M Farquhar, G Mackay (Duff), MacIver, Rostock, As-Chainey
- Tain Thistle begin their North West Sutherland league campaign with the visit of Brora Wanderers to the Links from 4pm tomorrow -- but with several players already participating elsewhere, manager Tony Farquhar faces another team selection headache.Several key players are set to miss out on the opener due to their end of season involvement with North Caledonian League side Invergordon who meet Inverness Athletic in the Jock Mackay Cup Final on the same day. It is anticipated that the Jags will field a new goalkeeper for the game, while the manager may be looking to take to the field himself as the Jags look to get their season off to a good start. Thistle's chances will be boosted by the return of one of their longest serving players in Martyn Farquhar.The 'Wandies' will provide a stern test. They are frequent contenders for the North West Sutherland league and are sure to be among the favourites for this season's championship. Under the management of Jon Campbell, the Brora side kicked their season off last weekend in the Highland Amateur Cup preliminary round with an impressive 7-2 win over Top Joes. The star man on the day was striker Scott Miller, who netted a hat-trick to put the Caithness side to the swordThe game kicks off at 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) at the Links. Supporters welcome. Tea and coffee will be on sale, along with tickets for our half-time raffle.
- A date of Saturday, May 26th has been set for the Graham Macrae Memorial Quaich to be contested at the Links between two Tain Thistle select teams. Former players are encouraged to get in touch as soon as possible with their availability for the date.The Memorial Quaich, last played for in December 2016, was donated to the club by Steve Urquhart in memory of long serving Tain Thistle FC committee member, player and supporter Graham Macrae.The game will also mark the testimonial of striker Darran Goller who completed his tenth season with the Jags last year.
- Despite a gallant effort, Tain Thistle’s debut in the Highland Amateur Cup ended in extra time defeat today, at the hands of Caithness side Pentland United.Chances were missed at both ends during a hard fought ninety minutes which saw no goals scored. The period of normal time wasn’t without incident though, as Adam MacDonald (knee injury) was forced to withdraw after just 16 minutes, leaving only manager Tony Farquhar on the bench after Roy Smillie was introduced.Making his debut, Finn As-Chainey gave a solid display in midfield alongside Paul Cowie, who put in a committed performance despite battling injury. Thistle mostly threatened from set pieces with Goller a frequent feature going forward.The Jags’ goal led a charmed life in the latter stages as legs began to tire but resolute defending from Cameron, Mackay and Durrand kept the wolves from the door and a good display from Dan Cormack ensured that the score remained 0-0 when normal time ended.Pentland broke the deadlock five minutes into extra time after a defensive lapse allowed James Murray to fire home with a shot that was drilled low into the far corner of the net. The Jags fought doggedly throughout the remainder before a penalty award handed United a 2-0 advantage with ten minutes left.Paul Cowie halved the deficit from the spot for Tain to make for a nervy ending to the match but the visitors held out for a 2-1 win.Team: Cormack, Noble, Durrand, Cameron, D Mackay, Cowie, G Mackay, As-Chainey, Goller, Rostock (Farquhar 90), MacDonald (Smillie 22)
- On Saturday, Tain Thistle will begin a new chapter in their 21 year history when they welcome Pentland United to the Links for a preliminary round match in this year's Highland Amateur Cup.The game marks the club's first foray not only into the Highland Amateur Cup, but also in amateur football, having taken the decision to switch to the amateur code in March to join the North West Sutherland Amateur League.The Jags' Caithness visitors will be strong favourites for the game, having won the overall competition no fewer than seven times in their history. Tain Thistle team manager Tony Farquhar, a long time Pentland United man himself, will be faced with several late fitness calls as a number of key players continue to recover from injuries picked up at the end of the winter season.Speaking today, Tony said,
"Having completed several good training sessions over the past few weeks, we are really looking forward to the game against my old club on Saturday. We go into the game as underdogs and without a few regulars but we will be give it our best efforts and see what happens on the day."The game kicks off at 3pm tomorrow at the Links. Supporters welcome. Tea and coffee will be on sale, along with tickets for our half-time raffle.
- The first set of league fixtures for this season's North West Sutherland Amateur League campaign have been released, and Tain Thistle have learned that they will begin with a home game against Brora Wanderers on April 28th. A trip to Melvich follows a week later before the Jags play host to Lairg Rovers on May 12th.A full set of fixtures can be viewed here.
- For the first time in their 21 year history, Tain Thistle FC will play in the Highland Amateur Cup and following Saturday's draw, it has been revealed that the Jags' preliminary round opponents will be Caithness AFA side Pentland United AFC, who will visit the Links on Saturday, April 21st.Seasoned Highland Amateur Cup competitors, Pentland United will provide formidable opposition for the Jags, having won the competition 7 times in the last 31 years. The "Stabbies" are the former club of Jags manager Tony Farquhar, who takes the reigns at Tain Thistle for their maiden season as an amateur club. It will surely be a bittersweet feeling for Thistle's championship gaffer as he leads the club out for their first amateur game against a club so close to his heart.A home tie in the first round proper awaits the winners, who will host Wick Groats on Saturday, May 12th.
- Tain Thistle FC have today been accepted as a guest club in the North West Sutherland Amateur League for the 2018 summer season, ending concerns that the club may not be able to play this year.The Jags were represented at a meeting of the NWSAFA committee this afternoon by team manager Tony Farquhar and following a vote held by member clubs, the Jags’ application for entry was accepted.The season will see Tain compete in the league competition against amateur clubs from all across the North Highland landscape, including Golspie, Dornoch, Lairg, Brora, Embo, Helmsdale, Lochinver, Tongue, Melvich and Kinlochbervie.The move ends a 21 year association with the Ross-shire Welfare League, of which Thistle are the reigning champions, having won the championship in each of the last three seasons. The committee of Tain Thistle greatly appreciate the efforts of both Jimmy Patullo and John MacLeod in particular who have served the league during the club’s years of membership.The club are now very much looking forward to a new challenge under the amateur code as competitors in the North West Sutherland League as well as our entry into the Highland Amateur Cup for the first time.
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Team Pld GD Pts Dornoch City 4 16 12 Golspie Stafford 4 15 7 Helmsdale Utd 4 1 7 Lochinver 3 8 6 Brora Wandrs 4 2 6 Tain Thistle 3 2 6 Embo 3 0 4 Melvich 4 -7 4 Kinlochbervie 4 -10 4 Lairg Rovers 3 -7 1 Tongue Utd 4 -20 0