In 1888, Ensign was still the dominant Ardrossan team with first and second elevens. Ardrossan Waverley played its first reported game since 1885 and Ardrossan Zingari played its first reported game since 1887.


SALTCOATS VICTORIA 2 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 5
On Saturday last (7 January 1888), the Ardrossan Ensign and Saltcoats Victoria clubs played a return match at Saltcoats and at the close Ensign proved victorious by five goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 January 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 3 - SALTCOATS VICTORIA SECOND ELEVEN 1
The above clubs met at Ardrossan (probably on 7 January 1888) and the victory ended in favour of the home team by three goals to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 January 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 1 - KILMARNOCK RANGERS 3
This match, which was well-contested on both sides, took place on Saturday last (14 January 1888) on Seafield Park, Ardrossan before a fair of attendance of onlookers. The play for the most part was of a somewhat jostling kind, several of the players being more frequently brought to earth than was necessary. Among the cleverest points exhibited were the admirable runs effected by Craig for the home team and by Campbell for the strangers. By the first of these, Craig scored the first goal of the match for the Ensign after twenty minutes hard work while after five minutes later, Killie's Rangers equalised matters and the first part ended with one goal for each side. In the second moiety of the fight, the strangers had the best of it, being more fortunate in scoring than their opponents whose efforts on every occasion were completely foiled. Before time was announced, the Rangers had scored another two laurels and the match ended in their favour by three goals to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 January 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 7 - LARGS THISTLE 0
A friendly match was played between these clubs at Ardrossan on Saturday last (21 January 1888). The weather was most unpropitious, rain having fallen heavily and especially so during the last half of the game when the atmospheric elements fell with unabated force and which had the effect of thinning the field of spectators. The game, in the second part, was therefore rendered uninteresting while the play on the whole was very tame. The strangers, who kicked against the wind in the first half, made a poor show, the pressure of their opponents having confined them chiefly to their own territory and whose fortress the home team successfully charged on four occasions before the first half ended when the game stood Ensign four goals, Thistle nil. A change of ends now gave the strangers the full benefit of an increasing wind but all their attempts to score were in vain, their defence being very weak, the home team managed to add other three soft points to their score and the match thus ended in favour of the Ensign by seven goals to nil.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 January 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 1 - KILMALCOLM 0
The game of Saturday last (28 January 1888) was a most interesting and well-contested one, in fact one of the best played this season on Seafield Park, Ardrossan. Owing to a sever frost, the ground was a shade hard but otherwise the afternoon was all that could be wished while the turnout of onlookers was very interesting. The strangers won the toss and the home team commenced the attack against a brilliant sunshine. Runs and counter runs were the order of the game but nothing worthy of note occurred until the game was twenty minutes old when an exciting scrimmage took place at the mouth of the Kilmalcolm citadel but the strangers, playing with might and main, pluckily succeeded in keeping their goal intact. The home team still continued to play aggressively but for them to score seemed an utter impossibility though the chances to do were very numerous and not a little dissatisfaction was expressed at their wild an somewhat promiscuous shooting for goal. Despite these assaults, the strangers played a very effective defensive game while, at intervals, they also acted on offensive lines but their efforts to score on these occasions were altogether fruitless and the first forty-five minutes ended with no goals for either side. In the second half, play was somewhat similar to that of the first, the home team having again the best of the battle and after twenty minutes work, the first hardened goal was registered by Ensign while a few minutes later, the leather was passed a second time between the strangers' uprights but which was disallowed on the plea that the ball had previously crossed the goal-line. The remainder of the game was characterised by some exciting points on both sides, the strangers playing mainly on the defensive. No more goals being scored, the match, which was a pleasant one, terminated in favour of the Ensign by one goal to none. The strangers' forwards played a hard game throughout and they were, for the most part, weak while the same section of the home team worked with more dash which carried them through their opponents much better. This remark also applies to the Ensign's back divisions who, on the whole, played a good game but in one or two instances, there was a perceptible roughness which we should like to see amended in future. Respecting Kilmalcolm's stalwart back division, their play was excellent and but for them, the issue of the game would doubtless have been more successful for the home team. The respective goalkeepers did good service.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 February 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN FOOTBALL CLUB ASSEMBLY
Last Friday evening (3 February 1888), the annual assembly of this club and their friends was held in the Eglinton Hotel (shown right in the early 1960s). About fifty ladies and gentlemen were present. Excellent music was provided by Mr Leckie's quadrille band and dancing was spiritedly engaged in until an early hour next morning. The purveying of Mr Butcher gave every satisfaction. Mr William Craig, Yarborough Place, ably acted as master of ceremonies.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 February 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 0 - GLASGOW RAWCLIFFE 2
This match was played at Ardrossan on Saturday last (4 February 1888). The game was well-contested on both sides and the strangers, with good combination, defeated the home team by two goals to nil.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 February 1888
This defeat of the Ensign might be accounted for by the club assembly mentioned above which ran 'until an early hour' on the morning of the game!

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - QUEEN'S PARK HAMPDEN ELEVEN 2
These teams played at Seafield Park on Saturday last (25 February 1888) before a fair turnout of spectators. We may mention this is the third time this season that the Hampden representatives have met the local club for football honours, the first occasion being at Hampden Park on 16 August last when they defeated Ensign by seven goals to one while on 22 October, they again conquered them, but on their own soil, by four goals to one but on this, the third occasion, the home team succeeded in making the game a drawn one of two goals. Whether the home team is improving or not, we are not disposed to say at present but, without question, they played a remarkably good game on Saturday last which somewhat surprised their opponents. Ensign was the first to score but not until thirty-five minutes play had been engaged in, so well did both sides defend their respective citadels. At forty-five minutes, no further scoring had been effected and the first half ended with one goal for the home club. After a change of ends, it was thought the Hampdenites would soon equalise matters but at fifteen minutes Ensign notched goal number two. The strangers were now looking serious at the prospect of being defeated and an alteration of several fields was apparent on their side after which they played with great determination for the next ten minutes when they registered their first laurel and the game now stood Ensign two goals, Hampden one. At thirty minutes, the home team passed the leather a third time between the Glasgow side's posts but which they disputed on the plea of offside and subsequently, it was disallowed. This decision caused a little dissatisfaction among the onlookers, some of whom were loud in their expressions. With but fifteen minutes to play, both teams wrought hard but beyond some exciting sieges at each end, nothing definite occurred until about one minute from the finish when the Hampden team equalised matters and the game thus ended in a draw, two goals each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 2 March 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - GLASGOW UNIVERSITY 0
This game was played on Seafield Park (probably on 10 March 1888) and resulted in favour of the Ensign by two goals to nothing which were scored in the last half of the game. The home team had the best of the play throughout but for the clever work of Ritchie of Monkcastle who kept the strangers' goal, the defeat of the University would doubtless have been larger.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 March 1888

SALTCOATS VICTORIA SECOND ELEVEN 4 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 0
Saltcoats Victoria met Ardrossan Ensign at Saltcoats on Saturday afternoon (24 March 1888). The Saltcoats team won by four goals to none.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 March 1888

SALTCOATS IVANHOE 1 - ARDROSSAN WAVERLEY 1
This game was played on the ground of the former, Caledonian Park, on Wednesday evening (16 May 1888) and resulted in a draw, one goal each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 May 1888
This was Waverley's first reported game since 1885.

SALTCOATS VICTORIA 7 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 0
This match was played off on the Brewery Field, Saltcoats, the Victoria being victorious by seven goals to none.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 June 1888

SALTCOATS VICTORIA 0 - ARDROSSAN ZINGARI 2
This match was played on the Brewery Field, Saltcoats, on Wednesday evening (4 July 1888) when the Zingari were victorious by two goals to nil. The Zingari team was made up of players from the Stevenston Thistle and Ardrossan Ensign clubs.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 6 July 1888
This is the first reported match played in the month of July. Games have been played in every month of the year.

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN v QUEEN'S PARK HAMPDEN ELEVEN
Tomorrow, Saturday (22 September 1888), the Hampden Eleven of the Queen's Park will try conclusions with the Ardrossan Ensign on Seafield Park. Who will win, Johnnie?
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 21 September 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 4 - QUEEN'S PARK HAMPDEN ELEVEN 2
This match was played at Ardrossan and resulted in favour of home team by four goals to two.
            Glasgow Herald, 24 September 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN v QUEEN'S PARK HAMPDEN ELEVEN
'Offside' says that McNeil, one of the backs of the Ardrossan Ensign team, was the best man on the field in the match last Saturday (22 September 1888) with the Hampden Eleven of the Queen's Park. His play was splendid and with him and Allan, the latter having been playing in front of late, as backs, that division of the team would, the writer thinks, be in trustworthy hands and he hopes to see them both occupy these respective positions yet Bannatyne, no doubt, plays a fair game but 'Offside' believes he would do quite as well with Barbour and Nicol at half-back.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 September 1888
Although there was a report on this game, the score was not given. The Glasgow Herald report above gives a the score as 4-2 for Ensign.

ANNBANK v ARDROSSAN ENSIGN
The Ardrossan Ensign goes all the way to Annbank (on 20 October 1888) to play off their first round with that prominent club for the Ayrshire trophy. We trust that they may be able to muster their best eleven on this occasion for they will require it. We believe they will not fare so sumptuously as their brethren over the way, the knights of the thistle but let us hope, however, they will not be disgraced and that the unexpected may, as it sometimes does, occur. Nil desperandum.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 October 1888
Nil desperandum is Latin for Do not despair.

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 4 - PARTICK THISTLE STROLLERS 2
This match was played at Seafield Park, Ardrossan before a small attendance of spectators. The Strollers, having won the toss, Ensign kicked off with a brilliant sun and an unsteady breeze. With the wind in their favour, the strangers were the first to score after five minute's play and although enjoying the best of the remaining part of the first half, they failed to score further. The home team wrought fairly well against wind and play but beyond several ineffectual close shots at their opponents' citadel, they also failed to register a single point and the first half ended Strollers one goal, Ensign nil. After changing ends, the home team, in three minutes equalised matters. They now felt the benefit of the weather element and in turn had the best share of the play. The strangers were, nevertheless, playing hard and, after finding a way of escape, they notched goal number two after ten minutes work. Five minutes later, the home team again equalised the game while at twenty minutes, they scored their third laurel and at thirty minutes, their fourth. The remainder of the game was much in favour of the Ensign but they failed to increase their score. No more goals being scored for either side, the match thus ended in favour of the Ensign by four goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 19 October 1888

ANNBANK 7 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2
The battle between Annbank and Ardrossan Ensign in the first round of the Ayrshire Cup (on 20 October 1888) is now fought and won and won too, as we expected, though the score, great as it is, is not what was supposed to be by many of the Ensign's followers - seven goals to two. This result, we understand, is not a representation of the play from which we infer that Annbank had not the game all their own way. Annbank, no doubt, found that they had more to fight against than they had bargained for and it was well for them that they refrained their excellent Fitzsimmons from going to the Dunbartonshire match or the issue might have been more favourable for the losers. All things considered, the result is not so bad for Ensign who, though exhibiting signs of timidity in the front rank, played a fine game all round. Speaking on this match, the Scottish Empire says the Ensign created a favourable impression in the mining village. There village critics say they are the smartest team that they have played against this season and, with practice, they might early take a leading place in the county. Now, lads, here's an encouragement - let your Ensign be hoisted!
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 26 October 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - GLASGOW BATTLEFIELD SECOND ELEVEN 1
These teams met on Seafield Park, Ardrossan (probably on 27 October 1888) before a small attendance of spectators. The day was unfavourable, a strong wind having prevailed throughout the entire match which, but for this, might have proved more interesting. In the first half, after twenty minutes play, the Ensign, playing with the wind, notched the first goal and at forty minutes, a second was scored. This success of the home team apparently nettled the strangers who were working well against wind and play and after a resumption of the game from midfield, the Battlefield forwards ran the leather cleverly over their right wing and finally shot the ball direct for the home citadel, which shot the home goalkeeper ably checked, but the ball was as quickly returned and this time Aitken failed to do his duty. The first half having ended two to one, the second moiety of the struggle was entered upon. The strangers now had the advantage of the breeze and, for some time, they gave the Ensign hot work but the home team proved equal to every occasion and at intervals they jeopardised the Battlefield's citadel. No goals, however, were scored by either side in this half and the match thus ended in favour of the Ensign by two goals to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 2 November 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 7 - KILMARNOCK SOUTH-WESTERN 2
This game was played on Seafield Park (probably on 3 November 1888). The strangers won the toss and the home team commenced the struggle against wind and play. In the first part, the Killie representatives scored twice while the home team notched but one point. After a change of ends, the Ensign was not long till they equalised matters and afterwards had the game much their own way. When time was announced, the home team proved the victors by seven goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 9 November 1888

QUEEN'S PARK SECOND ELEVEN v ARDROSSAN ENSIGN
Tomorrow, Saturday (17 November 1888), the Ardrossan Ensign travel to Glasgow for the purpose of having a friendly game on Hampden with the Hampden Second Eleven of the Queen's Park. I understand the Ensign team will be: goal - Aitken: backs - Reid and Reyburn; half-backs - Nicol, Kinnear and Barbour; forwards - Allan, Greig, Millar, McLean and Craig.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 November 1888

QUEEN'S PARK SECOND ELEVEN v ARDROSSAN ENSIGN
Ardrossan Ensign face the Hampden Eleven on the famous Hampden Park tomorrow afternoon (17 November 1888) and a hard tussle is expected. It will be seen from our advertisement columns that Ensign's Second Eleven play Saltcoats Victoria Second Eleven at Ardrossan.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 November 1888
There were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Queen's Park versus Ardrossan Ensign match in the same Herald.

SALTCOATS VICTORIA SECOND ELEVEN 0 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 0
Last Saturday (17 November 1888), at Ardrossan, a second eleven match was played between the Saltcoats Victoria and the Ardrossan Ensign and so well were they matched that neither team had the ability to score a single goal and the game ended in a draw. The afternoon was, of course, most unfavourable and consequently the game was a very tame affair but I hope the young aspirants will yet learn how to manipulate the ball more successfully.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 November 1888

QUEEN'S PARK HAMPDEN ELEVEN 4 - ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 0
As I stated last week, the Ardrossan Ensign travelled to Glasgow to play a return match with the Hampden Eleven of the Queen's Park. This season, the Ensign played their opponents at Ardrossan and on that occasion they defeated the Hampdenites by four goals to two but on Saturday, the ground team proved victorious by four goals to none. Nothing but changes and surprises nowadays and many are these which have taken place of late. However, by this defeat - only the second this year - I hope the Ensign team will have learned another lesson. I may mention that they have played eight matches this season and out of these they have won six and lost two while they have scored twenty-five goals and the opposing teams, twenty. Not so bad, all things considered but lads, your Ensign is drooping - pull it up again!
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 November 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN v STEVENSTON THISTLE
The Stevenston Thistle, I hear, intend to face their hitherto successful opponents, the Ensign, on Seafield Park tomorrow (1 December 1888). The game, I believe, will be a most entertaining one and, as Stevenston is considered to be better than when Ensign last fought them, the local team will therefore have to play hard to maintain their colours. I trust the attendance will be favourable and that the best feeling will pervade the game.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 November 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN v STEVENSTON THISTLE
The match (on 1 December 1888) between the Stevenston Thistle and Ensign drew forth a large concourse of spectators to Seafield Park, Ardrossan, many of whom hailed from that thriving little town. The weather, however, was tempestuous, a strong wind accompanied by drenching rain prevailing throughout the entire game, the duration of which was only fifty minutes, the last twenty of the second half having to be played in semi-darkness. With such unfavourable weather auspices, the merits of the respective teams were not seen to the same extent as they would have been had the afternoon been more propitious but looking at the play on the whole and past performances as well, both teams are well-matched. As I said last week, that the Ensign would have to play hard to maintain their colours, I am now safe in saying that my preconceived remark will be corroborated by the members of the team. In fact, as far as play was concerned, they were in a manner beaten and, had the game lasted the usual time, the possibility was that they might have to record the first defeat this season on their own ground. Experience always teaches and I trust those who have the selecting of the team will, in future, see the propriety in putting forth the best team on the field on every other occasion, if possible. While the play of the team was not up to the mark, it is nevertheless true that Millar and Craig wrought fairly well while Greig, who works well for his team at all times, did not work so smoothly with Alexander as his partner on the opposite wing but the forwards on the whole were somewhat injudicious in their passing, thereby allowing the opposing backs frequently to get on the ball rather easily who returned it with long kicks to their territory and which work had the effect of confining them very often to their own end of the field while, to make matters worse, the back divisions did not show to great advantage though Kinnear, Barbour and Allan did best there. Of course, the weather militated against the play considerably and I therefore partially excuse them. The Thistle, on the other hand, had decidedly the best of the game and played with greater determination than their opponents which helped them considerably but for Houston's display of poaching, who is one of the best in the front rank, the game would perhaps have ended in favour of the Thistle, he it was said, having scored a goal two minutes from the kick-off but which was ultimately disallowed on the pleas of offside. The other players in the front rank rendered good service while Donnachie who is a shade tricky and Garret played best at back. I may here mention that the Thistle had a stronger game at the beginning of the season than they had last Saturday but when compared with last year's eleven, the present team is as good as its predecessor.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 7 December 1888
Although there was a report on this game, the score was not given.

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - STEVENSTON THISTLE 2
This match was played (on 1 December 1888) on the ground of the former under rather boisterous weather auspices and before a large attendance of enthusiastic onlookers. Ensign kicked off and after two minutes play, Thistle scored a goal which was disallowed on the pleas of offside. At fifteen minutes, Ensign put on the first successful goal while, five minutes later, the Thistle equalised the game and the first half of thirty minutes ended one goal each. Ends having been changed, the strangers registered their second goal after ten minutes and five minutes later, the home team equalised the game. This part of the match, which was played in semi-darkness, only lasted twenty minutes and, no more goals being scored, the game ended in a draw, two goals each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 7 December 1888
There were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Ardrossan Ensign versus Stevenston Thistle match in the same Herald.

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 6 - BEARSDEN 1
This match was played (probably on 8 December 1888) on Seafield Park, Ardrossan. Ensign kicked off and for the first twenty-five minutes, play was very even, each team working hard but without success. Nicol, of the home team, unfortunately headed the ball through his own goal, registering the first and only point for Bearsden. Immediately afterwards, Ensign equalised matters. On changing ends, Ensign scored after five minutes play, Alexander, doing the needful. Play was confined to Bearsden territory and A Craig and Kinnear had good chances to score but failed. Three minutes elapsed when Millar scored the third goal for the home team. Bearsden's right wing, which was doing most service for their team, then contributed a run and a corner off Reyburn came to nothing. This was Bearsden's only look-in this half. W Craig has soon a good chance for Ensign but he shot wide. A corner then fell to Ardrossan which was well-placed and after an exciting scrimmage, the ball was sent to midfield only to be returned again by the home backs when a corner again fell to Ardrossan which was well kicked by W Craig but a foul relieved the pressure on the strangers' citadel. At Bearsden's posts, their custodian sent up a rocket shot over which a dispute arose, but a corner was only allowed. This, though well-placed, was cleared away but a minute later, Ardrossan returned the ball and amidst a scrimmage, goal number four was registered. A Craig and Barbour had favourable chances but they failed to increase the score. Bearsden were completely overwhelmed and kept on the defensive. Within five minutes from time, Ensign added two more goals thus winning by six goals to one. Millar and W Craig played an excellent game while Greig also worked hard. The match lasted one hour. The Ensign still maintain the honour of never having being defeated this season on their own soil on which they have played seven games scoring twenty-eight goals, an average of exactly four goals in each match. They completely muzzled the bears and sent them home unto their den with but one goal against six for the home team.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 December 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - SALTCOATS VICTORIA 0
This game was played on Seafield Park, Ardrossan (on 15 December 1888) before a large attendance of spectators. In the first half, Ensign scored goal number one after five minutes work and with two exceptions, had the remainder of the first part all their own way but failed to score further, the strangers playing a good defensive game. A change of ends gave the Victoria the benefit of the breeze and they now treated the home team to something like hard labour. Both teams were playing vigorously, the strangers being determined while the excitement of the spectators reached a high pitch. Ensign, though confined chiefly to their own end of the field, played their opponents successfully and after seven minutes work, they by a combined run, registered their second goal against the wind. Victoria still wrought with might and main to score, encouraged by the spectators, but Ensign proved equal to all the raids made on their fortress. The match, however, which lasted but fifty-five minutes, was brought to a somewhat abrupt termination five minutes before the call of time when the spectators took possession of the field. Happily, nothing serious occurred and the game ended in favour of the Ensign by two goals to none.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 21 December 1888

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN 2 - SALTCOATS VICTORIA 0
No game played this season on Seafield Park excited more interest or drew forth more spectators than that played last Saturday (15 December 1888) between the Ardrossan Ensign and the Saltcoats Victoria. On the whole, it was the worst game played and by it neither team has gained much honour. As has hitherto been the case with our local teams, there was an apparent enmity evinced towards each other and several players on both sides were at intervals careless whether they inflicted personal injuries or not. Such dastardly work is anything but commendable and I think, for the sake of life and limb, that it would be much better if our local teams would keep apart from each other if they cannot play the game as it ought to be played. The spirit of enmity is not confined to the teams alone for on such occasions, this disgusting characteristic is always shown by many spectators. Their excitement on Saturday reached a huge magnitude and for the roughness of the game, I lay the charge at the feet of the outside element whose behaviour was quite uncalled for. For the honour of the game, I would here state that outsiders have no right to interfere with the team's playing, be they what they may and far less have they the right to call in question the decisions of either the umpires or referee. Of course, onlookers are quite at liberty to applaud anything good shown in the play of the teams but what I would say is that those who are guilty of inciting the contending players should henceforth refrain from doing so as, by this interference, Saturday's game was made notorious and was justly regarded by many of a more docile temperament as being the worst played at Ardrossan. I therefore trust that the hot-headed element at these games will, in future, pay more attention to themselves and leave the game entirely in the hands of those who are engaged in it and by doing so, their quiet demeanour will, in some measure, tend to make the game of football honourable. Players and spectators alike should "cease to do evil and learn to do well". Ensign, no doubt, now know that the representatives of the Victoria are "foemen worthy of their steel" and not so easily beaten as hitherto. They have improved and a hard game they did play. Indeed, so well did they play in the first half, that the home team, playing with the wind, only managed to notch one point. Ensign might have scored one or two more but they wrought to each other better but they were too excited and consequently the play was of a very promiscuous character. They, however, confined their opponents chiefly to their own citadel who at intervals found a way of escape but with two exceptions, they never looked dangerous. Victoria, after a change of ends, had the advantage of the breeze in the second part and without question they played mainly the aggressive part, giving the giving the home team some hot work to defend their goal which remained intact. Ensign's only chance to score was to play the ball low which they successfully did after a combined run. Victoria still played gamely and had several close shaves but beyond this, their play was rendered futile. Like the home team, they too were excited when playing with the wind in their favour.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 21 December 1888
There were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Ardrossan Ensign versus Saltcoats Victoria match in the same Herald.

ARDROSSAN ENSIGN SECOND ELEVEN 4 - DALRY FIRST A R V 0
This game was played at Seafield Park, Ardrossan (probably on 22 December 1888). The strangers kicked off and inside one minute, Ensign scored the first goal. The play afterwards was of a pretty give-and-take description being fairly divided but no further goals were scored by either side during the first part. Ends changed, Ensign scored goal number two in about five minutes and before the game was finished, another two. The match, which lasted but forty minutes, thus ended Ensign four goals, A R V none.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 December 1888