In 1889, Ardrossan Ensign and its second eleven, Ardrossan Swifts, were the major Ardrossan teams. Ardrossan Seafield played its first reported match since 1881.

On Friday evening last (28 December 1888), a number of the members and friends of the Ardrossan Ensign Football Club met in Mrs Wylie's for the purpose of presenting Mr A Allan, captain of the club, with a handsome timepiece on the occasion of his marriage. Mr R Allison, who presided, referred to the many admirable qualities of Mr Allan on and off the football field. He had known him for many years and had always found him to be straightforward and honest. As a football player, he could be equalled by few and surpassed by none. He was always to be found in the centre of the fight, urging his men on to victory. Indeed, he might safely say he was the moving spirit of the Ensign Football Club and, although he was about to take unto him a 'better half', he hoped he would long continue to 'hunt the leather' on the grassy plain of Seafield Park. He concluded by asking Mr H McLean to make the presentation. In a few well-chosen remarks, Mr McLean like the chairman paid a high tribute to Mr Allan and hoped he would be long spared to hear the timepiece strike the hour. He would ask Mr Allan to accept the gift from the well wishers in the Ensign Football Club as a tangible token of their esteem and regard. Mr Allan, in his reply, said he found it very difficult to find what he had done to prompt such a handsome reward from the Ensign club. Many a hard battle he had fought in the past and he anticipated he would continue to fight them in the future. He had much pleasure in accepting the timepiece which would always remind him of the palmy days spent with the Ensign. Altogether, a pleasant evening was spent which was brought to a close with a vote of thanks to the chairman and the customary Auld Lang Syne. The timepiece is handsome and set in a black marble case. Beautifully gilded, it bears a plate with the inscription 'Presented to Mr Alexander Allan by the members and friends of Ardrossan Ensign Football Club on the occasion of his marriage, December 1888'.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 January 1889
Alexander Allan married Jessie Barclay in Saltcoats on 31 December 1888.

This was the issue of the game played on Seafield Park last Saturday (29 December 1888). Why then did the committee of the Ensign club not send the Swifts to Annbank to play their cup-tie? Had they done so, the Ensign might have been in the hunt for the Ayrshire pot longer than they were. Ensign's captain, A C Allan, like the rest of mankind, has now joined the matrimonial club which, I hope, he will faithfully perform all the usual duties incumbent on him as evincing the esteem in which he is held by the members of the club which he captains, together with a number of friends. I am glad to say they presented him with a very handsome timepiece bearing a suitable inscription. I have no doubt when he looks at it, he will ever reminded of the many forty-fives he has fought for the Ensign. I wish him and his better half the compliments of the season, hoping at the same time, they may both enjoy long life, health and prosperity.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 January 1889
The question 'Why then did the committee of the Ensign club not send the Swifts to Annbank to play their cup-tie?' implies that the Swifts were Ensign's second eleven. The fact that they defeated the first team by six goals to nil may be accounted for the gathering of members and friends at Alexander Allan's presentation on the previous evening.

The Glasgow Corunna met the Ensign Swifts on Seafield Park, Ardrossan on New Year's Day (1 January 1889) and after a pleasant game, it ended in a draw of two goals each. In the last minute of the first half, Corunna scored though the Swifts had the best of the play. In the second part, the Swifts scored their first point after five minutes work and at thirty minutes, Corunna put on their second. Two minutes later and the Swifts again equalised the game which finished as stated above.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 January 1889

This game was played on the ground of the former, Seafield Park (on 5 January 1889). The match, which was well contested, terminated in favour of the Ensign by four goals to one. The match lasted only one hour.
            Glasgow Herald, 7 January 1889


According to fixture, the Ardrossan Ensign play their return game at Saltcoats tomorrow Saturday (19 January 1889) with the Victoria but, from what I hear, it appears Ensign will not be represented by their regular team on this occasion. The meeting of these teams, as has invariably been the case, will no doubt draw forth many spectators to Brewery Park and I do trust that both teams, should they meet, will act well their part for there all the honour lies.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 January 1889

A most interesting and exciting game was played between these teams on Brewery Park, Saltcoats (probably on 19 January 1889) before a goodly gathering of onlookers. The day was fine but the ground was soft and greasy. Ensign, who had only some half-dozen of their usual first eleven present, the other players being substitutes having won the toss. Victoria kicked off and, after encroaching on Ensign territory, they were eventually beaten back to their own end of the field and had to play mainly on the defensive which they did very successfully. A number of corners subsequently fell to Ensign but out of these, came nothing, Green having shot the ball in each case very closely on the wrong side of his opponents' goal. But the pressure was too heavy and at twelve minutes, Ensign registered the first goal. Victoria was playing hard and at intervals, Fullarton on the right got away. On one occasion, the ball was passed over Ensign's goal-line while at another point, the Victorians piloted the ball close on their opponents' citadel but beyond this, their efforts to score were abortive. Ensign continued to press but they failed to score further, the home team having played a good defensive game. The first thirty-five minutes thus ended Ensign one goal, Victoria none. In the second moiety of the contest, the Ensign rather took the Victoria and their supporters by surprise when they notched their second goal two minutes from the kick-off. Matters had now assumed a rather bluish in the eyes of the Victoria but Saltcoats was not to be beaten and after playing with good determination on the aggressive, they were rewarded with their first goal at twelve minutes. Ensign, though now having to act principally on the defensive, eventually piloted the ball on several occasions to the home team's ground where Anderson and Hogarth at back checked their progress. Victoria, however, was not to be denied and at twenty-five minutes, they succeeded in equalising the game. The excitement now grew hotter and many, no doubt, began to think that the home team might yet pull off a victory but Ensign played up hard and a few minutes later they all but scored a third point, the ball being not much more than a yard from being through the Saltcoats goal, the custodier of which cleverly saved amidst a scrimmage. The next noticeable feature in the game was a display of 'boxing' by two of the wing players who happily only exchanged a single blow with each other. By this interruption, the spectators took possession of the field and the game was stopped. Both of these players having left the field, the game was resumed for the last three minutes but no more goals were scored for either side and match thus ended in a draw, two goals each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 25 January 1889
The last sentence contains the first reference to orderings-off.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 February 1889
The score was included in a list of results without reports. The game was probably played on 2 February 1889.

The most friendly game ever played between the Stevenston Thistle and Ardrossan Ensign took place on Wandhouse Field, the ground of the former (probably on 9 February 1889) and this result may be greatly attributed to the fact that there was an apparent absence of the 'football-brained' element on this occasion. Hitherto, the Ensign team have always proved the premier local club and this is the first instance on which the Thistle has succeeded in robbing them of that honour having defeated them by two goals to nothing but the Ensign of Saturday was not the Ensign of last year and certainly neither was the Thistle. Respecting the first-mentioned club, there is a perceptible falling away of its best members this season while the Thistle has increased its membership by enlisting several new players of good standing. On these grounds, the defeat of the Ensign was not the least surprising who have lately since had to fall back on their second eleven and other players to complete their team. As one of the players remarked "Every dog has its day.", so the Ensign team have had theirs. Stevenston now has the honour of being the best of the three local clubs. The ground on Saturday was too slippy for steady accurate kicking and consequently the play was, at intervals, both cool and unexciting. On the whole, the Thistle had the best of the game and managed to notch a goal each half. The Ensign, with one or two exceptions, scarcely ever looked dangerous. They no doubt ran the leather to their opponents' end of the field occasionally but the back divisions of the home team kept them well in check and prevented them from scoring.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 15 February 1889
Reference was made to 'the three local clubs', namely Ardrossan Ensign, Saltcoats Victoria and Stevenston Thistle implying that there was only one team in Ardrossan.

This game was played on the ground of the former, Wandhouse Field (on 9 February 1889). In the first half, the home team scored one goal from a corner after twenty minutes play and in the second part a second in about fifteen minutes from the start. The strangers failed to score and the match, which was very friendly, ended Thistle two goals, Ensign none.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 15 February 1889
There were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Stevenston Thistle versus Ardrossan Ensign match in the same Herald.

The Ensign Swifts held their own against the Hampden Mount Florida Eleven on Seafield Park (on 9 February 1889), the game having ended in a draw of four goals each.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 15 February 1889
The Hampden Mount Florida Eleven was probably Queen's Park.

This match was played at Ardrossan (on 16 February 1889). Kilbirnie won by two goals to one.
Glasgow Herald, 18 February 1889
A scratch team is one put together, perhaps from other clubs, for a one-off occasion. In this case, the name implies that Ensign had 'borrowed' players.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 February 1889
The score was included in a list of results without reports.

The match last Saturday (23 February 1889) on Seafield Park between the Ensign and Glasgow Parkside ended in a win for the home team. The strangers, however, were the first to draw blood but in a short time the Ensign retaliated and succeeded in equalising the game and, ere half-time was called, had added another two successful points to there score. During the second part, the Ensign put on a couple of more goals, while Parkside failed to count, the game this ending in favour of the ground team by five goals to one. Tomorrow, Saturday (2 March 1889), the Ensign play the Glasgow Gordon Athletics on Seafield Park and should the weather prove favourable, a good game is anticipated. I also learn that the Partick Thistle is to play the Ensign at Ardrossan on an early date.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 March 1889

The match between the Ardrossan Ensign and Gordon Athletics (on 2 March 1889) ended in an easy win for the former who were represented by several second eleven players. The Athletics managed to score first but Ensign was not long in following their example which success they continued throughout the remainder of the game. Ere the first part was finished, the home team had three goals to their credit while the second part was doubly successful for them, they having notched another six goals, the game thus ending in favour of the Ensign by nine goals to one. Greig and Kinnear contributed greatly to the success of the home team.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 March 1889
This was the best victory of any Ardrossan club.

The Ardrossan Ensign scored another victory last Saturday (9 March 1889) on their own soil (Seafield Park) over Kilmalcolm who were defeated by seven goals to two. On the first occasion when these teams met at Kilmalcolm, the Ensign also were successful by scoring three goals to their opponents' two. During the first part of the game, the home team had the advantage of the wind but, it being so strong, scoring was rendered a little difficult for a time and for fully twenty minutes the visitors, who frequently broke away on the left wing and charged the home fortress closely, kept their opponents from scoring who, however, confined the strangers chiefly to their own end of the field. Ultimately, the ice was broken after twenty-three minutes play when Ensign notched the first point which was followed by other two six minutes later. At thirty six minutes, Ensign put on their fourth goal, while in the last minute of the first forty-five, the fifth was registered. Ends being changed, Kilmalcolm had now the benefit of the weather element and immediately they played the aggressive part but Ensign gained an opening and after five minutes from the start, goal number six was claimed by the home team. Kilmalcolm were playing hard but, like their opponents in the first half, they were too eager to score when kicking with the wind which spoiled their efforts. Though pressing their adversaries, all attempts were nullified until the first quarter of an hour had elapsed when they scored their first goal. The home team afterwards retaliated, the front division showing up well, prominent amongst whom were Greig, Green and Craig and three minutes later, the Ensign scored their seventh and last goal. They continued to play hard and at intervals closed upon the Kilmalcolm citadel but the strangers changed the scene of operations and for some time confined the home team to their own territory which play culminated in a second goal for the visitors after thirty-seven minutes work. The remainder of the game was mainly in favour of Kilmalcolm until the last minute of time when the ball was run to the visitor's fortress but the whistle blew and the game ended Ensign seven, Kilmalcolm two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 15 March 1889

An exciting game took place on Seafield Park (probably on 16 March 1889) between he Ardrossan Ensign and Irvine teams and contrary to expectations, the game finished a draw of two goals respectively. Both clubs were well represented as will be seen from the names given below. Ensign, no doubt, made a creditable shot against their steady rising opponents and well pleased I was to witness their performances. They had the best of the game all through and I am quite sure my Irvine friends did not bargain for that - no, nor neither did The Rambler. But was there nothing wrong with the Irvinites? Were they playing their best? Well, I must admit that I have seen them in better form than they were on Saturday. They meant to win but they only succeeded in scoring a couple of goals which were gained when playing with the wind at their backs. With their regular playing team on the field, I fully expected Irvine to have an easy win and I am certain I was not the only one who thought so but perhaps the return game on Cochrane Park will record a different result. The issue of the game, no doubt, speaks well for the Ensign and which success was in great measure due to the effective style in which they backed up their men in the fight. The front rank of the home team played an nice part in the game at intervals who were well led by the half-back trio while the back defence evinced several clever points especially the right-wing player. The teams were Ensign:- goal - Aitken; backs - Barbour and Raeburn; half-backs - Barbour, Allan and McNicol; forwards - Greig, Nicol, Kinnear, Millar and W Craig. Irvine:- goal - Baird; backs - Hume and Ramsay; half-backs - Stewart, Diamond and Rourke; forwards - Hunter, Watt, Carson, McLean and Campbell. Of the two teams, Ensign, as I have already said, had the best of the game and on the whole in the last half of which they chiefly confined their opponents and during which the services of the ground team's goalkeeper were never called into requisition. Irvine, in the first part, were totally urged on by their supporters of whom there were not a few to 'pile on the agony' but it was rather a sickening pill for them to swallow when the Ensign notched the first point against the wind after twenty minutes work. Irvine thereafter played with more apparent determination, the respective wings sending in shots which necessitated Aitken's services and though the visitors pressed yet the home team at intervals endangered their opponents' goal. Eventually, Irvine scored their first point after thirty minutes play and five minutes later, they gained their second which latter goal was scored very simply through several of the home players spoiling their goalkeeper in his attempts to protect his forwards' fortress. The remaining ten minutes passed off without anything definite occurring for either side and the result at half-time was Irvine two goals, Ensign one. Resuming the second part, the ground team had now the advantage of the wind and they were not long till they were making tracks for Irvine's fortress but the visitors, with clever Baird between the sticks, were all there and, although severely pressed, they succeeded for some time in their stragems to equalise the game, Hume doing best work in the back division. At intervals in this half, the respective wings relieved the pressure by breaking away but they never were dangerous. The home team's back divisions checked their progress, Raeburn having shown up well throughout the entire match while Gibson was not much behind him. After fifteen minutes play, by a long shot, the game was all but equalised, the ball having grazed the wrong side of the bar. Irvine still had the game and up till thirty minutes, they still held the first of these honours though their goal had occasionally several hairsbreadth escapes. However, Ardrossan were not to be denied and after thirty-eight minutes hot work, they managed to equalise the game. With fully five minutes to go, Ensign strove hard to gain the winning point but their efforts were futile and the game ended in a draw - two goals.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 March 1889
The Rambler was the football correspondent for the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald.

The Ardrossan Ensign met the Queen's Park Hampden Eleven on Seafield Park (probably on 23 March 1889) against whom the local team made a rather poor show. They, however, were the first to score but when half-time was announced, the game stood Hampden two goals, Ensign one. The second part was even more disastrous for the home team as on three other occasions did the visitors score, the game ending in favour of the Hampdenites by five to one. The Queen's men played a good game all round and had the best of the fight throughout so that there was no such thing as luck or fluke in the score. The forwards worked determinedly, their play being both of an individual and collective character whilst they got very good support from behind, Irons being most conspicuous. The home team on the other hand did not combine well in front while their back were very ineffective. McNicol at half-back and Aitken in goal, however, did best work. The teams were Hampden Eleven:- goal - Laurie; backs - McCallum and Irons; half-backs - Beattie, Harrower and Edwards; forwards - Thomson, Annan, Paterson, Hamilton and Alexander. Ensign:- goal - Aitken; backs - Raeburn and Gibson; half-backs - Barbour, Allan and McNicol; forwards - Greig, Nicol, Kinnear, Millar and W Craig. Both teams were photographed previous to the match.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 March 1889

This match was played on the ground of the former, Seafield Park (on 30 March 1889). The match, which was well contested, ended in favour of Rosylin by two goals to one.
            Glasgow Herald, 5 April 1889

Last Saturday (30 March 1889), the Ardrossan Ensign made a very tame exhibition of themselves against the Kilmarnock Roslyn, the finalists for the Kilmarnock badges. The visitors had the best of the game all through but for the clever work of Aitken in the home goal during the second half, the Killieites would certainly have scored on more occasions than they did. The first part of the match was the most evenly contested and ended with one goal for both sides. In the second half, the strangers, with the wind at their backs, notched the second goal in about fifteen minutes from the start after which they gave the home team lots of work to defend their fortress, Elliott and Orr in front with Rowat and Williams at back doing good work for the strangers. Playing for half an hour with but ten men, the Ensign, however, though acting mainly on the defensive, succeeded in preventing their opponents from scoring and the match ended Roslyn two goals, Ensign one. Tomorrow, Saturday (6 April 1889), the Ardrossan Ensign play their closing game for the season with Paisley Underwood.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 April 1889
Part of the following week's Herald was missing so a match report on Ardrossan Ensign v Paisley Underwood is not available.

The annual general meeting of the members of the Ardrossan Ensign Football Club will be held in the Commercial Hotel, Mrs Wylie's, on Wednesday evening (31 July 1889) for the purpose of electing office bearers for the forthcoming season.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 26 July 1889

The Ardrossan Ensign Club held their annual general meeting last Wednesday evening (26 June 1889) at which office-bearers were elected for the coming season. The members of this club, I may state have all along had difficulties to surmount but it is very gratifying to state that they have never yet, like their predecessors, the Seafield, become bankrupt. Amongst these drawbacks to success as a playing team and a club, I might mention the loss of field and the exorbitant charges for the use of same and which have, for years past, been borne by the members without a remedy. It is quite apparent fields are becoming beautifully less in this locality and the stern fact is becoming more perceptible that if our young men intend to play football, they must necessarily betake themselves closer than ever to the woods while, no later than last week, I heard a rumour that the members of this club purposed going this season in the direction indicated. However, I cannot vouch for the truth of this statement which I, for one at least, hope is not the case. There is a saying 'Out of the sight, out of mind' and should the members change their field, I hope they will never experience the truth of these words but trust that the Ensign, wherever it goes, will in the future as in the past, prove sufficient to muster together large gatherings of the lovers of the leather.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 June 1889
Reference was made to the fact that Ardrossan Seafield went bankrupt, probably in 1881, after their last reported game, an 8-1 away defeat to Stewarton Cunninghame in the Ayrshire Cup on 5 November.

On Saturday last (3 August 1889), the Ardrossan Ensign went to Beith for the purpose of opening the new field of the local 'jags' for the coming season. The Ensign was poorly represented, their team being made up with players belonging to Beith and other places. The game ended in favour of the home team by three goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 9 August 1889

With regard to the Ardrossan Ensign, a change of name, I learn, has just been agreed upon by the members which will in future be known as the Ardrossan Football Club. Recently, a general meeting of the members was held at which the following office bearers were appointed: Honorary President - Dr MacDonald, President - Mr James A Crawford, Vice President - Mr Thomas Rixon, Captain - Mr D Kinnear, Honorary Secretary - Mr John Hogarth, Match Secretary and Treasurer - Mr John Comrie. The field is expected to be ready this week for practice and intending members should now come forward. The opening match for the ensuing season takes place at Seafield Park on Saturday 24 August when the local 'jags' will have their guests the Clyde Strollers.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 August 1889

Another of the members of the Ardrossan Football Club - take note, Ardrossan Football Club not Ardrossan Ensign as heretofore - has left his native town for a foreign land. I refer to Mr Hugh McLean, son of our respected townsman, Mr John McLean, builder. For many years, Mr McLean has been connected with the above club and at all times took an active interest in its welfare as well as having taken part in many games. By this connection, the members of the club and friends deemed this a most fitting opportunity to present him with a tangible token of their esteem previous to his departure for South Africa and accordingly they met last Friday evening (17 August 1889) in Mrs Wylie's Commercial Hotel and presented him with a purse of sovereigns and a handsome badge bearing a suitable inscription. Mr James Carson presided and Mr Thomas Guthrie made the presentation. Mr McLean feelingly replied and, with song and sentiment, a happy evening was spent. Speaking about the Ardrossan Football Club reminds me that the members open their field for the season tomorrow Saturday (24 August 1889) when the Clyde Strollers will try conclusions with the first eleven, which, with one or two exceptions will be much the same as last year. The following are the fixtures which have already been made for the ensuing campaign: 24 August - Clyde Strollers, 31 August - Northern, 7 September - Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteer Reserves, Lochwinnoch Whitefield, Bearsden, Irvine, Beith, Newmilns, Neilston, Stevenston Thistle and Saltcoats Victoria.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 August 1889

The football season was inaugurated at (Seafield Park) Ardrossan last Saturday (24 August 1889) when the local team played their opening game with the Clyde Strollers. The teams were Ardrossan: goal - Bain; backs - Raeburn and Gibson; half-backs - Nicol, Allan and Graham; forwards - Greig, Sinclair, Kinnear, Breckenridge and Williamson. Strollers: goal - McBryde; backs - Jamieson and Leslie; half-backs - Russell, Paul and Drummond; forwards - McGiven, Brookes, Hill, Neaves and Gardner. Kinnear kicked off for Ardrossan and the Strollers, with a strong wind at their back, quickly besieged the home fortress. Ardrossan, however, played a good defence and although mainly confined to their own ground in the first half, they succeeded in keeping their goal intact. The Strollers were too erratic when shooting although several of their attacks came close enough which were well saved by the home custodian. The visitors wrought hard to score but half-time was announced with no goals. A change of ends now gave Ardrossan the full benefit of the breeze and, like their opponents in the first half, they were soon at the leeward goal. Time wore on and, with no goals for either side, the teams were pretty well matched. In this part of the game, the Strollers made a better show than the home team when playing against the wind as on different occasions Bain had to save his charge. Ardrossan, however, had still the best of the half but they too were erratic in their shooting and the game ended in a draw - no goals.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 August 1889

Glasgow Northern Strollers were the guests of the Ardrossan club at Seafield Park (on 31 August 1889). The strangers' name, Northern, as was erroniously advertised had been the topic of conversation all week in football circles and grave doubts were expressed as to how the home team would acquit themselves in their unexercised state against such players. The Strollers were on the field before the Ardrossan team was ready, the captain being a-wanting while two others had to be coaxed to take places. After great delay, Northern started the ball and for fifteen minutes, the play was very tame. The Strollers then notched the first goal. Returning to the charge, they kept up a hot siege but McIlroy, of Kilwinning, who was between the posts for Ardrossan repelled all assaults. Ardrossan made a good run to Strollers' territory and received a corner. It was well placed but was easily cleared away and Mitchell had a good chance for Strollers but he shot high. The play of Ardrossan up to this stage was wild and erratic compared with the Strollers' good passing game. Mac, one of the Strollers' backs, was pretty straightforward when he asked the Ardrossan captain if he was going to stop it, that was, his jumping. Kinnear treated him with silent contempt which evoked the caution that he would soon stop him. On changing ends, Ardrossan improved their play a little and after a hot and hard piece of work, they succeeded in equalising matters about ten minutes from the call of time, Williamson sending in a splendid shot which Kinnear rushed through. The game now became fast and the Strollers pressed hard. Ultimately, a scrimmage resulted in the lowering of Ardrossan colours a second time. Greig had afterwards a good chance to score but he failed and the match thus ended in favour of the Strollers by two goals to one. The strangers all played well. Ardrossan goalkeeper did yeoman service for his team while Nicol and Williamson also showed good form.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 6 September 1889

These teams met at Seafield Park, Ardrossan on Saturday (6 September 1889) before a small turnout of spectators. The home team, winning the toss, played with the sun at their back and a strong east wind blowing across the field favoured none of the teams. The start was of the most spirited in nature. The reserves speedily bore down on the home goal and kept the ball on their opponents' territory for a short time but the attack, however, was fruitless. The home team next had a look-in and placed the Reserves' goal in danger after which some give-and-take play was indulged following which Nicol (half back) notched goal number one for Ardrossan. The scene of operations was afterwards changed and the strangers all at once rattled off and were successful in equalising the game. About five minutes from half-time, the home team wakened up and, out of a scrimmage, succeeded in scoring number two and when half-time was announced the scores stood two goals each. Both teams in this half gave no exhibition of passing or combination. On restarting, the strangers pressed hard again while Ardrossan seemed to slacken their efforts. The pressure, however, was relieved by a run down the right wing which ended in nothing. After fifteen minutes had advanced, the game was more evenly contested and from a shot by Breckenridge from the right wing, number three was scored. The play on both sides at times was slow and erratic. Kicking out was indulged in very frequently by each team. The game ended in favour of Ardrossan by three goals to two. For the home team, Nicol and McIlroy (goalkeeper) showed good defensive play.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 September 1889

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 September 1889
The score was included in a list of results without reports. The game was probably played on 14 September 1889.

Ardrossan plays the Queen's Park Hampden XI tomorrow, Saturday (21 September 1889) at Seafield Park. On the last occasion when these teams met at Ardrossan, the visitors defeated the local club by five goals to one. Ardrossan must now square that account.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 September 1889

Ardrossan was in fine form last Saturday (21 September 1889) and played the best game of the season against the Hampden XI. The result of the game, however, was two to one in favour of the Hampdenites but it would have been nearer the mark had it been decided a draw seeing that one of the goals claimed by the visitors was scored 'accidentally, of course' for them by one of the home lads. Ardrossan is not selfish - no. They like to share the honours with their friends even though it should be to their own loss. The spectators were well pleased with the performance of the new left wing back and centre forward. Things are looking better with the local jags and first-class accommodation is now offered football teams at Seafield Park.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 September 1889
The 'first-class accommodation offered football teams' may be a reference to the 'fifteen feet by nine feet erection' mentioned in the report of 4 October 1889. It may have been a dressing room.

Ardrossan sustained their second defeat this season on their own ground (Seafield Park) on Saturday last (21 September 1889). The visitors were the Hampden Eleven of the Queen's Park who were strongly represented. Ardrossan had also a good eleven who played a fine game all round, in fact, the best this season. This was in some measure due to the new players who took part in the game who were very conspicuous for clever work. The Hampdenites score was two goals, one of which was registered for them by their opponents while Ardrossan, both with and against the wind, had the best of the play all through but only succeeded in notching one point. The game thus ending in favour of Hampden by two to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 September 1889
There were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Ardrossan versus Queen's Park match in the same Herald.

Ardrossan had a win on Saturday (28 September 1889) over Beith but some of the spectators were wide of the mark when they said that the locals would score seven goals with the wind. Beith, though defeated, showed up better than them but Ardrossan was not fully represented and that, of course, accounts for the small success of two to one. J Miller, late of Ardrossan, but now of the Glasgow Northern, did service for his old love against Beith. The fifteen feet by nine feet erection on
Seafield Park has now been completed and reflects credit on Jamie, the club's young architect and his men. The 'greatest match of the season' in local circles takes place tomorrow (5 October 1889) at Wandhouse between Stevenston Thistle and Ardrossan. The Thistle has never been defeated this season yet and it will be a 'sair business' should Ardrossan break the record.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 October 1889
The fifteen feet by nine feet erection may have been a dressing room.
Our local aspirants, Ardrossan, will have to show up a great better than they did at Wandhouse last Saturday (5 October 1889) or most assuredly Kilmarnock Athletic will give them a sound thrashing. Their appearance before the Thistle attracted a large gathering of spectators but their play came far short of what their supporters anticipated - in fact, with some few exceptions, the play was ex parte. Stevenston was represented to a man but owing to Lauchlan having received a serious kick on the face about ten minutes from the start, they had to play against Ardrossan who were represented by two new back players while several alterations in fields were also apparent in the visitors' team. The game was started by Steel kicking off for the Thistle and for some time matters went pretty equal. Ardrossan was playing hard but it soon became apparent that their team was weak on the whole and quite unable to cope with their rivals. Playing with ten men, the Thistle pressed Ardrossan and McIlroy was frequently called upon to save his charge. Goals might have been scored earlier by the home team than was done had several of their players been steadier but they had themselves to blame for their non-success. Ardrossan, though sorely pressed, managed to keep their goal intact and through breaking away occasionally, they with two exceptions, never looked dangerous, the home back division which was a tower of strength in itself frustrating all attempts. After twenty-five minutes work, the Thistle notched the first point which was followed by a second seven minutes later and the first part finished two to zero in favour of the Thistle. In the second half, the Thistle showed their superiority and at intervals completely walked through Ardrossan who suffered heavily in this half. Inside one minute from the kick-off, the Thistle scored a third goal and at ten minutes, number four was registered while one minute later, the game stood at five to zero. After a little give-and-take work on both sides, the Thistle notched their sixth point after twenty-five minutes play. Ardrossan seemed hopelessly beaten but they rallied again and at thirty minutes they closed upon the home custodian when they scored their first and only goal. One minute later, the Thistle added their seventh and last laurel and the game ended in favour of the home team by seven goals to one. Ardrossan received their heaviest drubbing this season on Wandhouse and it is hoped they will profit by it. They were, in a manner, silenced. Their team was vastly inferior to that of their opponents who at intervals had matters much their own way with ten men. The Thistle team played a good game all round after their 'feast of fat things' the previous evening. The wounded Lauchlan, it is hoped, will appear in the team tomorrow (12 October 1889) against Arthurlie at Barrhead. After the captain's marriage, the Thistle team turned all out and despite the want of rest and too much 'corn and wine', they successfully upheld their unbroken record. In fact, it seemed to many that they could score when they willed and easily made rings round Ardrossan who were far behind their opponents in every respect. But Ardrossan hadn't their cup eleven, it is said. Let us hope then that the cup players will all turn out on the Ayrshire occasion for Killie's Athletics mean to pull through. J Miller, once a prominent forward in the Ardrossan club and latterly of the Glasgow Northern, is going abroad to fulfil a three years engagement and not on football, you may be sure. Ardrossan must now sing the song of the footballer's farewell. They expected he would have assisted them in their first round at least for the Ayrshire Cup.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 11 October 1889

's second string means to compete this season for Ayrshire's Second Eleven Cup and, as is already known, they have been balloted against the Ayr Parkhouse in the first round. With the view of getting into form for the occasion, they made their first public appearance last Saturday (5 October 1889) on Seafield Park when they had as their guests, the second Pollockshields Athletic whom they defeated by five goals to two. The following are a few of the Swifts' fixtures. 19 October - Corunna (Glasgow); 2 November - Ayr Parkhouse Second XI, Ayrshire Cup; 2 December - Mossfield XI (Battlefield); 7 December - Second Irvine at Irvine; 21 December - Hurlford Strollers; 28 December - Atlas (Springburn); 4 January - Second Irvine; 18 January - Victoria XI (Queen's Park). With one exception, 7 December, all these games are played at Ardrossan.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 11 October 1889
Although this game is described as Swifts' 'first public appearance', the team played reported matches on 29 December 1888 and 1 January 1889.

Success has not been so close an attendant with Ardrossan as it has been with their Stevenston brethern. This season, Ardrossan has already played eight games at which they have only succeeded in scoring thirteen goals while the opposing teams have eighteen, thus making them five goals down. On Saturday (12 October 1889), they were visited by their Kilmalcolm friends who were strongly represented while Ardrossan played with several second eleven aspirants. After the kick-off, the visitors did the pressing work for fully five minutes but they lacked combination and the home team's backs easily repulsed the attacks made. At seven minutes, Ardrossan sent in a shot which caused the Kilmalcolm custodian to save his charge but the ball was cleverly met by Kinnear who breasted through the first goal for the ground team. For the next five minutes, Kilmalcolm was still inclined to act on offensive lines but their play was abortive. Ultimately, the home team's right wing got away again and by a nice long shot, Allan registered the second point for Ardrossan after fifteen minutes work. Although the visitors had, if anything, the best of the remainer of this part of the game they, beyond causing McIlroy to punt out, could not score and the first half ended with the score two to one in favour of Ardrossan. In the second part, Ardrossan pressed most but their efforts to increase their score were baffled by the Kilmalcolm back division until the game was twenty minutes old when they scored goal number three. This reverse nettled the strangers who after the resumption of the game closed upon the home goal and one minute later they sent in a shot which McIlroy repelled against one of the uprights causing it to rebound back again and thus a first goal was scored for Kilmalcolm. After a little give-and-take work, chiefly on the strangers' territory, Kilmalcolm got past the home team's back division and running the leather close upon McIlroy who had no support, the second goal was notched by the visitors ten minutes from the call of time. The remainder of the match passed off without further scoring, Ardrossan winning by three to two. The match ended in the same number of goals being scored on both sides as last season. Both teams have therefore not improved their scoring qualities. At one point in the above game, several of our 'fashionable young gents' seemed rather indignant at the solicitation made by Kilmalcolm's umpire to stand clear of the touchline. After a few words, the ire of the stranger's functionary was roused and he really looked like one who might go for some of our so-called fine young me. In answer to a 'bounce' which came from some of the 'indignants', another Kilmalcolm friend said "they were not on the field who could do it". This expression had a silencing effect on at least some of the 'gentlemen'. Spectators ought always to be characterised by gentleness of speech at such games as a little spark might result in an unpleasant conflagration. Nicol, one of Ardrossan's plucky half-backs, is suffering from a sore leg received at Stevenston the other week. It is feared he may not be able to assist his team in their Ayrshire struggle. He was absent on Saturday. The Ardrossan Swifts play Glasgow Corunna tomorrow (19 October 1889) according to fixture.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 October 1889

This game was played at Ardrossan (on 19 October 1889). The Swifts won by two goals to one.
Glasgow Herald, 21 October 1889

The Ardrossan Swifts played their second game - and second win - last week (on 19 October 1889). Will they manage their third win next field day against Ayr Parkhouse?
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 25 October 1889
Although it was reported that Swifts won this game, the score was not given. The Glasgow Herald report above gives a the score as 2-1 for Swifts.

At Ardrossan, the meeting of Kilmarnock Athletic and Ardrossan clubs in the first round of the Ayrshire Senior Cup drew together a good turnout of spectators at Seafield Park (on 26 October 1889). Both teams were strongly represented and the game proved a hard and fast one. The Athletics kicked off and in a few minutes a corner was conceded them but this advantage however availed them not as Ardrossan got the ball away and Allan who is both light and active sent in a beauty which was grandly saved by the Athletics custodian after which the ball went past. Both sides went at it with might and main and up to fifteen minutes play was very well divided but nothing satisfactory as yet occurred. Playing against the wind, the Athletics were holding their own, the back divisions showing up well and before twenty minutes had elapsed, their efforts were crowned with success by scoring the first goal. This settled Ardrossan and getting started again, Kinnear who was playing a hard game, effected a fast run and one minute later he equalised. The following ten minutes saw some exciting work on the part of both teams and several good chances were lost on each side, generally through some rashness or looseness among the forwards. About forty minutes, the Athletics made tracks for the home goal and eventually they managed to notch their second point. This goal, however, was reckoned by many as having been gained through offside work but the decision of the referee being otherwise, the point was accordingly claimed. The first part thus finished two to one in favour of the Athletics. With a change of ends, it was thought that Killie would quickly increase their score but this estimate was not realised as Ardrossan played up grandly and showed by their play afterwards that they were not to be lightly reckoned with. Their back divisions were good and proved a strong barrier against the raids of their opponents but their weakest point was in front. It is true Williamson, Kinnear and Allan did the running but they were not supported in their work as they should have been when attacking. This remark is also applicable to the Athletics who might have scored on one or two occasions had the play been more combined. Like their opponents, their back divisions were the best though the respective wings showed clever tactics, particularly the left. During this half, the teams played pluckily and again and again, the excellent defences including the respective goalkeepers, were taxed to their utmost but beyond this neither could add to their score and the game ended in a win for the Athletics by two to one. There was rough work on both sides and the referee endeavoured to keep the game within its proper limit but for all that one of Ardrossan's players had to retire in the first part while the same player was unfortunately winded in the second moiety of the contest.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 November 1889

Killie's Athletics had a hard chew at Ardrossan (on 26 October 1889) by only scoring by two to one. Some admit the game should have been a drawn one but the 'centre functionary' took a different view of matters. If the Athletics do not improve in their play, they too will soon be 'shorn of their glory' and, like their senior brethren, will have to wait a more charitable opportunity. But Ardrossan was well represented - in fact, never were better so this season - and they most certainly made the Athletics play to win. McIlroy was absent between the sticks but Aitken showed that he still some of last season's play to work upon and he did some clever things too. One report said McIlroy was unwell while another has it he was doing work for Dalry First A R V against Ayr Parkhouse. Tomorrow (2 November 1889), Ardrossan will be the guests of Cochrane Park, Irvine. In order to make a good stand, the Seafield representatives should be last Saturday's team seeing that Irvine is supposed to be rising again.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 November 1889
There were two accounts, apparently by different reporters, on the Ardrossan versus Kilmarnock Athletic match in the same Herald.

At Seafield Park (on 2 November 1889), the Ayr Parkhouse met the Ardrossan Swifts in the first round for the Ayrshire Second Eleven Trophy. Playing with a strong wind in their favour, the Swifts notched a couple of goals inside five minutes. After fifteen minutes, Parkhouse played up better against the wind, their left wing and back division doing good work and for the remainder of the first half, they held their ground against their opponents scoring one point before the whistle blew. Changing ends, the Swifts played up gamely against the wind, making several close attacks. Eventually, Parkhouse equalised the game which success now gave them more heart for their work. Both sides afterwards played hard to gain the winning point which was secured by the Parkhouse several minutes after scoring their second goal. The Swifts strove hard to equalise but luck was against them and they were defeated by three to two. The match was well-contested both teams being very well matched.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 November 1889
This was Ardrossan Swifts first competitive match.

Ardrossan were unable to fulfil their engagement with Irvine on Saturday (2 November 1889). The cause of this was the fact that they could only muster a few of their team together. Had their second string not been engaged playing off their Junior cup-tie, they might have been able to have reached Cochrane Park with an eleven but under the circumstances, they apparently could not do so. This was most unfortunate for Irvine who, of course, were much disappointed and who had their arrangements completed. Last season, Ardrossan also cheated their Irvine friends in this dirty fashion and no-one can blame Irvine should they pay Ardrossan back with their own coin when opportunity arrives. They are worthy of it.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 November 1889

Ardrossan played a nice game against their Lochwinnoch friends and scored an easy win too (on 16 November 1889). Hampden XI tomorrow lads!
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 November 1889

Playing on Hampden Park, Glasgow (on 23 November 1889), the home team, losing the toss, kicked off and began to press. The forward division, in coming away in fine form, got close on their opponents' goal, a Swifts' shot being sent in which Ardrossan's custodian could not save. Keeping up the pressure, Hampden again got down and after some play in front of goal, a second was registered. Notwithstanding these reverses, Ardrossan kept on playing pluckily but were unable to score. On resuming the second half, the home team started on a run for the Ardrossan goal where a scrimmage ensued, the backs finally clearing their lines in nice style. Not to be done, Hampden again returned and crowding around the Ardrossan goal secured a third point out of a scrimmage. Before the game finished, Ardrossan succeeded in finding an opening and the match ended in favour of Hampden by three to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 November 1889

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 6 December 1889
The score was included in a list of results without reports. The game was probably played on 30 November 1889
This was the first reported match for Ardrossan Seafield since 5 November 1881.

Whether the early darkness now setting in will tend to diminish the number of games played throughout the county or not, this unavoidable interruption was the cause of no game taking place at Ardrossan last week (on 30 November 1889) and in consequence of which Ardrossan was in some measure the losers as the match which should have been played would, in all probability, have proved a profitable one for them - perhaps a record gate might have resulted. The Stevenston Thistle was the team fixed for Seafield Park that day but owing to the late hour at which Ardrossan purposed kicking-off, the members of the Thistle declined to fulfil their engagement on the ground that 3:30 was too late. They at the same time regretted that their Ardrossan friends could not start the game earlier and had they been able to do so the Thistle would have been only too glad to have played off their return fixture with their once superior rivals. All this may sound very pleasing to the ear but I nevertheless think that the Thistle might have obliged Ardrossan by playing at least a couple of thirties owing that they themselves managed to meet Dalry the same afternoon on Wandhouse. It is also true that, owing to early darkness, clubs must either start their games earlier or abandon those altogether during dark December and many regretted that Ardrossan was quite unable to do so last Saturday.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 6 December 1889

Referring to the note which appeared in these columns last week relating to the non-fulfilment of Stevenston Thistle's fixture with Ardrossan (on 30 November 1889), a letter has been received from Stevenston which justifies the committee of the Thistle in acting as they did. To start a game at 3:45 at this time of year, they considered would be absurd and therefore hold they are not to blame. The letter also states that the game between Thistle and Dalry that day started at half past three and only a couple of twenty-fives could be played each way. To have started a game at Ardrossan at the hour stated would then have resembled the Thistle's visit to Ardrossan last season when, at the close of the game, the light was so bad that the players could hardly be seen on the field. The Thistle, however, has given Ardrossan a new date further on when it is hoped Ardrossan's exchequer will be none the worse of the fixture being put off.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 December 1889

The Kilmarnock South-Western, playing without three of their usual team, consider their last performance at Ardrossan as the best this season. It is not often a junior team beats a senior one. The result was two to one which equals the Kilmarnock Athletics' recent cup tie with Ardrossan. But Ardrossan was only represented by a first and second eleven team. The team which faced the Kilmarnock Athletic on the occasion referred to was vastly different from what stood before the South-Western on Saturday (7 December 1889).
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 December 1889

The interest taken in the fixture between Saltcoats Victoria and Ardrossan was evinced by the fair attendance of onlookers which assembled on the new field of the former on Saturday (14 December 1889). The ground was extremely soft and consequently footing was rendered unsafe. As usual, partisanship ran high and when anything poor or foul was displayed, the more enthusiastic part of the onlookers greeted such in their own peculiar way. On the first occasion last season when these teams met together, Ardrossan worsted their opponents by two to nil and when the return game was played at Saltcoats, Victoria held their own with their rivals and finished a drawn game of two goals each. Since then, Victoria has not been idle in striving to improve their play and during the present season have had several hard cup battles. Being in the best of fettle, it was believed that the young 'uns would secure a win last Saturday but this pre-conceived notion of some of Victoria's followers was not accomplished. It is but right to state, however, that Ardrossan has been on the downgrade for some time back but is mainly due to the loss of players and the drafting in of several of their second string and on this account Victoria was as likely to win as their opponents. The Victoria won the toss and Ardrossan kicked off uphill. At the start, they were the first to invade. Victoria then took the ball to the other end where an unfortunate accident befell one of the home players who had to be removed from the field and some time elapsed before he again entered the enclosure. Playing with ten men, Victoria pressed for a time after which Ardrossan again cleared their lines but Victoria's backs who were kicking well speedily returned the ball and up to fifteen minutes, Ardrossan had hard work to defend their citadel from the attacks of their opponents who experienced hard lines in not scoring. Ardrossan, however, managed to keep their goal intact and getting away again, Kinnear tried a long shot which had effect and thus the first goal was scored for Ardrossan. Play afterwards became more even, each side striving hard to count, but nothing definite occurred until thirty minutes when Ardrossan notched their second point and the first half finished with the visitors in the ascendant by two to nil. After changing ends, Ardrossan had the best of matters for about fifteen minutes but they failed to increase their total. Victoria, who rallied at intervals, now got the ball to the other end and by clever work they scored their first goal. Encouraged at this success they went at with a will and the ball now travelled the field but beyond close attacks nothing further in the scoring line occurred and a hard game ended in a win for Ardrossan by two to one. Of science, there was little. Of dribbling, there were also small quantities and even passing was not very prominent though each team evinced great earnestness and perseverance in their work. The ground was against good play and falls were frequent. Several of Stevenston Thistle's team came to Saltcoats to witness their Ardrossan rivals doing battle with Victoria. They saw a hard game - yes, but it was mainly of hard kicking, tripping and 'mud-larking'.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 December 1889

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 December 1889
The score was included in a list of results without reports. The game was probably played on 21 December 1889.