In 1886, the number of teams in Ardrossan fell from six to two, those being Ardrossan Annfield and Ardrossan Ensign. Ensign was the more prominent team, competing in the Ayrshire Cup for the first time and having both first and second elevens.


ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 4 - KILWINNING MONKCASTLE 2
A scratch team from Kilwinning, comprising a number of the first eleven of the Monkcastle and some of the second, visited Ardrossan and played a friendly game with the Ensign on Saturday last (26 December 1885). Shortly after the kick-off, the home team scored their first goal and, within a short time, another three were scored in quick succession, the home team playing a splendid passing game. On change of ends, the strangers scored two goals and the Ensign none. At the close, the result was Ensign 4, Monkcastle 2.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 January 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 0 - STEVENSTON THISTLE 6
This game was played on the Ensign ground on Saturday afternoon (16 January 1886) and resulted in favour of the Thistle by six goals to none.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 January 1886

WEST KILBRIDE ATHLETIC 2 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2
These two teams met on West Kilbride's ground on Saturday last (13 February 1886). The day was unfavourable for football on account of the strong wind and rain. The strangers won the toss and chose to play with the wind in their favour. In the first half, both teams scored one goal each. In the second half, it was thought that the home team, with the wind in their favour, would have made matters hot for the strangers but such was not the case as the Ensign had much of the best play all through. A goal in the second half brought the game to a conclusion which thus ended in a draw two goals each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 19 February 1886

ARDROSSAN ANNFIELD 3 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 3
These two local teams played a friendly game on Wednesday evening (21 April 1886) in Annfield Park which was granted for the occasion. The weather was all that could be desired for football, it being cool with little or no wind blowing. Shortly after the game started, the Ensign scored a goal which was followed with another two in quick succession. The Annfield, which had previously been playing somewhat loose, now began to settle down to their work and, before half-time was called, had succeeded in registering two goals. On change of ends, the play was hard and fast, both goals being vigorously assailed but it was not until fifteen minutes from the close that the Annfield were able to be equal with their opponents and the game this resulted in a draw, three goals each. We may state that the Ensign was composed of first and second elevens.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 April 1886

STEVENSTON THISTLE 1 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 5
These two clubs played a friendly game of football at Stevenston on Saturday (1 May 1886). The weather was perhaps a little too hot for this popular winter pastime. The Ensign have had little or no practice since they lost their ground while, on the other hand, their opponents have shown exceptionally fine form throughout the season but notwithstanding this, the Ensign played a fine passing game, especially in the second half. The strangers, having lost the toss, played against the wind with a strong sun in their faces and after twenty minutes give-and -take play, scored their first goal which was equalised shortly afterwards by the home team. This goal was disputed on the ground of offside but was ultimately allowed and half-time was called with both teams equal, one goal each. On change of ends, the superiority of the Ensign was soon apparent as combined passing runs among the forwards were, from time to time made, and before time was called they had placed another four goals to their credit. The home team made strenuous efforts to score but the clever tackling of the half-backs and the splendid defence of the backs and goalkeeper frustrated these attempts. The game thus resulted in favour of the Ensign by five goals to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 7 May 1886

SALTCOATS AYRSHIRE RIFLE VOLUNTEERS 3 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2
These two clubs met at Saltcoats on Wednesday evening (12 May 1886) to play a friendly game at football. The home team won the toss and played with a strong wind in their favour and scored twice before half-time was called. The Ensign, in this half, played a good game against the wind and also scored twice and it was thought in the second half, with the advantage of the wind, they would improve this score but in their eagerness to score they either kicked the ball over the line or over the bar. On the other hand, the home team who played a hard game all through added another point to their score thus bringing it up to three. About five minutes from time, the Ensign claimed a goal from a high kick as being through before the goalkeeper put it out but the referee, who was a little biased in his decisions, disallowed it and the game ended in favour of the home team by three goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 May 1886

STEVENSTON THISTLE SECOND ELEVEN 2 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 2
This game was played at Stevenston on Saturday last (8 May 1886) and after a hard game resulted in a draw, two goals each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 May 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN FOOTBALL CLUB ANNUAL MEETING
The annual meeting of this club as held on Monday evening (6 September 1886) in Mrs Wylie's Hall. There was a good attendance of last year's members and a fair number of new ones. The chief business of the meeting was the election of office-bearers for the ensuing year. They are as follows: captain - J Greig; vice-captain G Stewart; match secretary - J Barbour, 94 Glasgow Street; financial secretary - D H Mack; committee - Messrs J Alexander, J Miller, J Ewer, D Stewart and G Jamieson. It was intimated to the meeting that the committee appointed to look out for suitable ground owing to the former being unsuitable had been successful in their efforts and it was agreed to open it by a friendly game on Saturday 18 September. Those desirous of joining the club can do so by applying to the secretary who will also furnish all particulars. With the view of increasing the somewhat abated interest hitherto taken in this most exhilarating game, the club has joined the Ayrshire Football Association and as that Association embraces several clubs of high standing, it is to be hoped that our local team will give a good account of themselves when the day arrives. The drawings for the Ayrshire Cup will take place shortly and in about a fortnight or so, we may have an opportunity of witnessing a cup competition which, after a lapse of several years, will prove quite a novelty in this locality. From the situation to the field held by the club last year, little or nothing was gained from the general public but as a new field has been obtained for the present season's campaign and at a high rental, it is hoped that the lovers of football at least will ungrudgingly come forward and assist the members of our rapidly-rising team in carrying out this highly popular game. Those wishing to become honorary members of the club can secure tickets from Mr D H Mack or any member of the committee.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 September 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 4 - IRVINE ACADEMICALS 3
Ardrossan Ensign opened their ground, Seafield Park, on Saturday last (18 September 1886) with the Irvine Academicals. The game was a pleasant one and resulted in favour of the home team by four goals to three. For the strangers, the back division excelled and the result would have been greatly augmented but for their able defence. The home team, as usual, played a good all-round game although for want of practice, they were slow on the ball at times. We may add the home team play their cup-tie match with the Second Ayrshire Rifle Volunteers at Newmilns.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 24 September 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 4 - IRVINE ACADEMICALS 3

On Saturday afternoon last (18 September 1886), our local Ensign club opened their new field for the season by a friendly game with the Irvine Academicals. Being the first match and favoured with excellent weather auspices, there was a fair turnout of spectators. The game in the first half proved a little loose on both sides for about half and hour, during which both citadels, however, had hair-breadth escapes. At this point of the game, the strangers registered their first goal but which the home team disputed on the plea of offside. Ultimately, however, this goal was granted. The strangers and the play afterwards became hard. Goal succeeded goal for both teams and before the second half, which was the more interesting, was far advanced, the home team had more than retrieved their loss in the course of which one or two clever points were displayed by each team. When time was called the game stood Ensign four goals, Academicals three. We understand our local team plays Newmilns in the first round of the Ayrshire Association Cup on Saturday (25 September 1886) at Newmilns. We wish them every success.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 24 September 1886
Strangely, there were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Ardrossan Ensign versus Irvine Academicals match in the same Herald.

NEWMILNS 4 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 1
Three weeks ago, we embraced the hope of witnessing a competition here for the Ayrshire Association's Challenge Cup but unfortunately, our hopes have been blighted as the Ardrossan Ensign team suffered defeat at Newmilns on Saturday last (25 September 1886) in the first round to the tune of four goals to one thus debarring them from further competition for the Cup this season. The ground, we understand, was rendered somewhat heavy through the inclemency of the weather which militated the play considerably on both sides. The news of the defeat of the Ensign youths was received with much chagrin by the football fraternity while, we must confess, we were also somewhat disappointed after hearing the announcement. The only consolation now left is, we hope, that they may have better luck next time. As the football season is now open, we would advise them to work more collectively than they have hitherto done. No doubt, individual play is of much worth but the secret combination of a team is of greater consequence and would, we believe, ultimately tend to place a club on a higher footing while the backs and half-backs should carefully measure and correctly measure the distance with their eyes when kicking the ball instead of indulging in a sort of promiscuous play. Should these hints which, we presume, are already known to several be put into practice by our home team, we have no doubt but they will give a good recount of themselves at friendly games during the campaign just commenced.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 October 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 5 - KILMARNOCK SECOND ELEVEN 2
On Saturday afternoon last (2 October 1886), the second eleven football aspirants of the Kilmarnock journeyed to Ardrossan to try friendly conclusions with our local Ensign team on Seafield Park, North Crescent. The weather being fine, a goodly number of lovers of the leather turned out to witness the match which throughout was characterised by remarkably good play on both sides of an individual and collective kind interspersed with several clever runs. After effecting a start, play was principally confined to the strangers' territory and after ten minutes hard work, the home team were the first to draw blood which was supplemented by a second laurel after half an hour's play. This success of the home team had the effect of nerving the Killie team to work still more strenuously and which necessitated harder play on the part of the Ensign in order to save their fortress from the repeated onslaughts made by their opponents but despite these efforts, the strangers were not to be denied and ultimately they succeeded in passing the leather twice between the home team's uprights thus equalising matters before the first half was completed. After a resumption of play in the second part, both teams set to work vigorously and each citadel was in turn assailed. The home team, however, played to best advantage as they were successful in registering other three additional goals before the call of time while the strangers failed to score. The match, which was throughout a very fast one, thus ended in favour of the Ensign by five goals to two. Tomorrow, Saturday (9 October 1886), the Kilmarnock Roslyn plays the Ensign.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 October 1886
There was no report on the game with Kilmarnock Roslyn in the following week's Herald.

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 3 - STEVENSTON THISTLE 0
Saturday last (16 October 1886) witnessed one of the best matches played this season on Seafield Park, Ardrossan. The teams being local, great interest was taken in the match by a goodly turnout of onlookers and, as a consequence, the spirit of partisanship was very predominant. In the earlier part of the day, rain fell copiously while during the game a slight shower also fell thus rendering the ground somewhat heavy for the players. Ensign, winning the toss, the Thistle set the ball in motion and from the manner in which each side commenced operations, a hard fight was anticipated and in this respect the spectators were not disappointed as the tussle proved, from start to finish, a very exciting and remarkably fast one. In the first ten minutes, each citadel had hair-breadth escapes but beyond this exciting play, no decisive advantage was gained by either team. Each side in turn subsequently assumed the aggressive, the Thistle if anything having the best of the play. Ultimately, in the last fifteen minutes of the first part, the work became more equal but so well were the teams matched that for either to score seemed impossible and the first half finished with no goals. Kicking the ball off in the second part, the Ensign never stopped till they piloted the leather between the Thistle's uprights, a piece of play which, no doubt, took their opponents and many of the onlookers by surprise, so quickly was it performed. In this half, the strangers did not work so well while the home team showed their superiority, having no great difficulty in getting through the opposing ranks for at least the first fifteen minutes play, during which the Thistle had a hot time of it. A second goal being afterwards scored by Ensign, the play became more evenly contested but the Thistle, although now playing a shade better, failed to score their efforts being rendered futile, chiefly by the home backs. About fifteen minutes from the close of the game, the Ensign claimed a third goal which the Thistle disputed and play was subsequently stopped. After again restarting, the home team were not be denied and at ten minutes from the finish succeeded in registering goal number three. Nothing further being done, the match, which was characterised by horseplay, ended in favour of the Ensign by three goals and one disputed to nil.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 October 1886

STEVENSTON THISTLE SECOND ELEVEN 3 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 5
The second elevens of the above teams met at Stevenston (on 16 October 1886) and after a hard game resulted in a victory for the Ensign lads by five goals to three. The public, we are glad to note, are encouraging these games by their presence and the gate money on Saturday was fairly good. If all the spectators, however, did their part, the result would be even more satisfactory and we would suggest that those outside the railing, as well as those inside, pay the very moderate admission fee asked.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 October 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 3 - IRVINE ATHLETIC 0
A match between these teams took place on Seafield Park on Saturday last (23 October 1886) under excellent weather auspices and before a fair assemblage of spectators. The game on the whole lacked the spirit and interest evinced in the match of the previous Saturday by players and onlookers. Nevertheless, the home team again proved themselves the victors by three goals to nil, the Athletic having failed to score. During the first half, each citadel remained intact while, in the last fifteen minutes of time, the home team played to good advantage during which they registered their three goals. Disputes occurred on both sides as to the claiming of goals but the match terminated as above stated.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 October 1886

IRVINE THISTLE 2 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 4
These teams met at Irvine on Saturday (30 October 1886) and after a well-fought game, the Ensign proved victorious by four goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 November 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 2 - IRVINE THISTLE SECOND ELEVEN 6
The second elevens of these clubs met at Seafield Park, Ardrossan on Saturday last (30 October 1886) to play a friendly game. As far as play was concerned, the match proved a very poor one on the whole. The strangers, however, showed best form and at the close won by six goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 November 1886

IRVINE RANGERS 5 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND XI 0 on 6 November 1886
            Glasgow Herald, 8 November 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 0 - GLASGOW CEARA 1
A friendly match took place on Saturday last (6 November 1886) at Seafield Park, North Crescent. The day was favourable if we except a slight wind that prevailed which caused the ball to be frequently out of play while the representatives of Saint Mungo cannot be exonerated from contributing to that end during their play in the second part. The home team, which was not fully represented, commenced operations against a brilliant sunshine but nothing definite occurred until the last five minutes of the first half when the strangers, who enjoyed the best of the play, passed the leather between the home team's uprights. The goal was at first disputed but was subsequently granted. On a change of ends, the home team now showed best and it was thought that they would soon equalise matters. This, however, was not the case and although they gave the strangers an uncomfortable busy quarter of an hour at the close, yet the home team's efforts to score were rendered abortive and the match ended in favour of the strangers by one goal to nil. We notice that the Newmilns team which defeated the Ensign in their first tie for the Ayrshire Association's Cup, play them again on Saturday (13 November 1886) on friendly terms. Great interest is therefore taken in this match which is expected to prove a hard one. We hope the weather may be favourable for the occasion and the turnout of spectators large.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 12 November 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - NEWMILNS 1
Seafield Park, North Crescent, Ardrossan was the scene of a very interesting and exciting match between the above teams on Saturday last (13 November 1886) which was mainly due to the fact that the latter worsted the former in their first tie for the Ayrshire trophy this season. The afternoon was fair but a strong westerly breeze blowing across the field militated against the play very considerably and caused the ball to be frequently in touch as well as confined mostly to one end of the field. The attendance of spectators was not so large as might have been expected. The home team won the toss and the strangers kicked off against the wind. The leather was quickly returned to Newmilns' ground where, with one or two exceptions, it was confined for the first half. The strangers, fully alive to the attacks now likely to be made on their citadel, wrought with might and main and were successful in baffling the frequent raids made by their opponents until ten minutes play had elapsed when goal number one was registered by the Ensign. Shot followed shot while corner kicks and throw-ins were very abundant but despite these, the strangers continued playing pluckily. The pressure, however, was too great and ultimately the ball passed a second time between their uprights which, after a slight argument was disallowed, while at twenty minutes a third goal was scored. Up to the close of the first half, during which the home goalkeeper never received a kick, the Ensign continued the siege on their opponents' citadel but they failed to add to their score. A change of ends now gave the Newmilns team the advantage of the wind and soon they were round the home fortress but perhaps they were rather confident of success which, in a great measure, spoiled them. The home team frustrated their attacks until about ten minutes work when they scored their first and only goal. Although thus heavily burdened, the Ensign began to show the best play and eventually relieved the pressure on their goal by frequently piloting the leather against wind and play, jeopardising their opponents' citadel and causing the goalkeeper to use hands and feet freely which was regarded as the best work in the day's pay. The strangers, however, at intervals made renewed attacks but they failed in their efforts to effect any further score. The match, which was of an hour's duration, thus ended in favour of the Ensign by two goals to one. The home team players were: goal - J Ure; backs - Breckenridge and Ballantine; half-backs - Allan and Barbour; forwards - Greig, Stewart, Millar, McLean, Alexander and Boyd.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 19 November 1886

IRVINE ACADEMICALS 7 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND XI 3 on 20 November 1886
            Glasgow Herald, 22 November 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 5 - GLASGOW CEARA SECOND ELEVEN 1
The second elevens of these clubs met on Saturday last (4 December 1886) on the ground of the Ensign and at the close the home youths were victorious by five goals to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 December 1886

DALRY 4 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 0
We understand the Ensign, playing with eight or nine men, suffered defeat at the hands of Dalry on Saturday (4 December 1886) to the tune of four goals to nil.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 December 1886

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 3- AYR VULCAN 2 on 11 December 1886
            Glasgow Herald, 13 December 1886