The first formal football match in Ardrossan was played by Ardrossan Football Club on 13 September 1874.



FIRST FOOTBALL CLUB FORMED IN ARDROSSAN

We are glad to understand that a football club for the exercise of this emphatically exhilarating game has been formed in Ardrossan. No better fun and diversion could we suggest to our youths. From the list sent us, we see that Mr H Barclay has been appointed captain and Mr J McAuslane, vice-captain; Messrs R McCubbin and J Hepburn, secretary and treasurer respectively; Messrs Stevenson, Reid and Hughes, members of committee. The field selected for the games is opposite Paisley Street (shown below in 2011) and as the first game is to be played tomorrow (13 September 1874) commencing at three o'clock, we hope to see a good muster of new entrants.

           Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 12 September 1874
There was no match report in the following week's Herald so the opponents and result are not known.

KILMARNOCK 2 - ARDROSSAN 0
This, the opening match of the Kilmarnock club for the season, was played on Saturday last (26 September 1874) in the presence of a large number of spectators and resulted in the defeat of the Ardrossan club by two goals - and a disputed one - to nothing. These were kicked by Messrs Wallace and D Brown. The play on both sides was of a rather loose nature but with some little practice, both clubs will overcome that. The goals were kicked within ten minutes of the kick-off but after that the play was pretty general in both territories. Teams - Kilmarnock: forwards - J Wallace, D Brown, J B Wilson, D Sturrock, P Brown and F Reid; backs - G H Lipscombe, D Lauder, G Paxton, J Paxton and R Rankin, goal and captain. Ardrossan: Messrs Barclay captain, McAusland, Reid, Stevenson, Hogarth, Bryce, Martin, Breckenridge, Kirkhope, McKelvie and Templeton.
           Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 October 1874

ARDROSSAN TO PLAY AYR ACADEMY FOOTBALL CLUB
The Ardrossan Football Club and Ayr Academy Football Club will play a match on the grounds of the former in Paisley Street today, Saturday (24 October 1874) at three o'clock.
           Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 24 October 1874
There was no match report in the following week's Herald.

DERBY (GLASGOW) 0 - ARDROSSAN 1
Last Saturday (14 November 1874), a football match was played between the Ardrossan and Derby (Glasgow) football clubs on the ground of the latter. At the close, the Derby had gained two tries and the Ardrossan two tries and one goal. Our local club thus came off victorious by one goal
           Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 21 November 1874

ARDROSSAN AND PAISLEY DRAW
Last Saturday (21 November 1874), a football match was played between the Ardrossan and Paisley clubs which resulted in a draw.
           Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 November 1874

ARDROSSAN 2 - AYR ACADEMY 1
A match between the Ardrossan and Ayr Academy clubs was played here on Saturday last (12 December 1874) and resulted in favour of Ardrossan by two goals to one. The players were: for Ardrossan - John Reid, James Stevenson, John McAusland, Alex Allison, Robert McCubbin, John Hepburn, John Smith, J McDonald, John Gillies, Archibald McKenzie, Henry Boyd. For Ayr - A Hutton, J Niven, J Reid, A Lennox, G Grant, D M Wilson, W J McCormick, D Kirkland, J McGaw, A Simons. Ayr played one man short and failed in getting forward as good a team as was desirable with which to meet such as strong body of opponents. A match to be played according to association rules will take place on Saturday 26 December.
           Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 19 December 1874
There was no match report in the following week's Herald. The sentence starting 'A match to be played according to association rules' implies that some previous games may not have been played to such rules. In this era, there were at least two sets of rules - the Sheffield Rules and the Association Rules. The latter endured and becames the rules of today. It is also possible that local games were played to local rules. These rule variations might explain the statement in the Herald of 21 November 1874 that 'Derby had gained two tries and the Ardrossan two tries and one goal'.