ARDROSSAN SAND DABS FOOTBALL CLUB
The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 15 January 1897 carried the report below.
ARDROSSAN CASTLEHILL ATHLETIC 1 - SAND DABS 2
Echoes From Montfod
We may inform those of our readers who are not in the know that the above (Montfod) is the name of the field on which the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic juniors chase the little piece of inflated leather and on Saturday last (9 January 1897), they formally opened their hunting ground by engaging in a friendly match with those keen opponents of the game known in the district as the Sand Dabs. A few enthusiastic supporters turned out to witness the match and to urge their favourites on to victory. In the visitors' ranks, there were one or two players of some experience and it was thought that the homesters would have to put up with a severe thrashing but when the signal was given for a cessaton of hostilities, it was found that he narrow margin of only one goal separated the teams. On the whole, the game was stubbornly fought and some good bits of play were exhibited on both sides. The Sand Dabs won the toss and elected to play against the wind. The Athletics kicked off and for a time gave the opposing defence loads of work but do as they liked, the home forwards could not score. The visitors broke away with a good run and out of a scrimmage, they notched the first goal of the match. The play in this half was fairly well divided but at half time no advance had been made in the scoring department. From the way in which the visitors started the second period, it looked as it the ground team were in for a severe flogging but the Athletic defenders stood nobly to their guns and for some time ably negotiated the good intentions of their opponents but at length from a stray shot, the Sand Dabs found an opening and the Athletics were now two goals down. The Athletics, although having the worst of the game, continued to play gamely and just to show their rivals that they had not 'shot their bolt', they scampered off in the opposite direction and succeeded in registering their first and only point. From this to the finish, the Sand Dabs were the aggressive party but the homesters manged to keep them out and the game terminated in favour of the visitors by two goals to one. The Mondfod trundlers, clad in white shirts and blue trousers, looked a very tidy lot and with a few more games should be able to give some of the neighbouring junior teams a stiff run for supremacy. Now that a football club has been formed in Ardrossan once more, it is to be hoped the lovers of the game in the district will turn out and encourage the new organisation.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 15 January 1897
'Echoes from Montfod' is the name of a column in the sports page of the Herald that gave news of Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic. The spelling of 'Montfod' is as it was consistently spelt at that time and not as the modern 'Montfode'.
There was uncertainty about where the Sand Dabs were based until the report below was found in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 20 August 1897.
WHEN WE GET THAT ESPLANADE
The delay in high quarters regarding the request of the Ardrossan Commissioners for the South Beach Green to be handed over to the town has moved a local poet thus:
When We Get That Esplanade
When we get that esplanade, my friend, our time of toil will cease
In fact, I'm sure our days will end in luxury and peace
For I've just perused the speech again that the scheme's proposer made
And it won't surprise, should our fortunes rise when we get that esplanade
They will come from out the Glesga reek, will visitors galore
We'll charge them thirty bob a week for sleeping on the floor
We'll knock out Largs and Rothesay too when our Green is nicely laid
We'll have strolls sublime and a splendid time when we get that esplanade
There's those who watch the Saun' Dabs play, that crowd can fairly howl
You hear them half a mile away say "corner", "goal" and "foul"
Said crowd will cheer their favourites on from a grandstand ready made
For from off the wall, they will shout and bawl when we get that esplanade
The poem suggests that Ardrossan
Sand Dabs Football Club was established by 1897 and played it home games on
South Beach Green.
There were no further reports on the Sand Dabs till the following were printed in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Heralds of 19 April and 5 July 1901.
ARDROSSAN SAND DABS 2 -
WINTON ROVERS 3
on Wednesday night (17 April 1901).
ARDROSSAN SAND DABS 2 - SALTCOATS SAVAGES 2
This week again another benefit match was played on Tuesday evening (2 July 1901) at Winton Park. A large crowd of spectators assembled to watch the Saltcoats Savages and Ardrossan Sand Dabs do their ninety minutes. Both teams were a somewhat mixed lot and play was more robust than scientific. At the close the teams cried quits with two goals each.