In season 1969-70, Winton Rovers had a successful run in the Scottish Junior Cup and reached the semi-final which they lost to the eventual winners.


WINTON ROVERS 2 - PERTH CELTIC 1
Corrigan Goal sees Rovers Through
This was a very clean and sporting match with neither team able to gain the initiative until well on in the game.  However, if Rovers had taken even half the chances they set up, the score line would have shown a greater difference than just the one goal.
     There was a good crowd in the ground as Winton, who were fielding the same side as that which beat Beith in the previous round, kicked off.  lt soon became apparent as the game progressed that Celtic played slow. methodical football whereas the home side seemed in too much of a hurry.  Winton were first to show any signs of attack but their forwards, centre Sneddon especially, kept falling into an offside trap which the visitors worked very efficiently.  The opening goal came after fifteen minutes when, from a cross from the left, Sneddon beat Bonthrone with a fine header with the Celtic defence standing still.
     This goal seemed to inspire Celtic as they came back at Watson in the home goal.  Indeed, just before half time Duncan, after a good run down the right, beat Watson but Robertson scrambled the ball clear.  What a surprise there was five minutes after the interval when Celtic, with Coburn on as a substitute, scored a fine equaliser.  Campbell and Duncan combined well down the right and when the cross came over, Sinclair shot past the astonished Watson.
     As the game wore on Winton began to take command and Bonthrone’s charge saw some very near misses when first Conway and then Lee had fine tries.  Just as the home fans were getting a bit anxious, Winton scored the winning goal and what a simple effort it was.  Young flighted a free-kick into the goal area and Corrigan had the simplest of tasks to stroke it past Bonthrone.
     Winton almost scored a third but Bonthrone, who had a poor game, saved well from Sneddon.  West substituted for Gemmell shortly after but the score line remained unchanged.  Best for Winton were Watson, Robertson and Young with Conway and Lee the pick up front.  Munro was Celtic’s best man with good support from Duncan, Hall and Kirkpatrick.

The teams were:
Winton Rovers – Watson, Robertson and McGarrity; McEwan, Young and Welsh; Gemmell, Lee, Sneddon, Conway and Corrigan.
Perth Celtic - Bonthrone; Hall and Baxter; Hope, Munro and Kirkpatrick; Duncan, W Campbell, I Sinclair, Lewry and A Campbell.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 9 January 1970

BRECHIN VICTORIA 0 – WINTON ROVERS 1
A well-taken goal in the last quarter of the game (on 24 January 1970) saw Winton Rovers through to the fifth round of the Scottish Junior Cup - but this fourth-round tie at Nursery Park could have gone either way.  Both sides had sufficient chances to sew the result up in the first period but for most of the game the defences dominated.
     Undoubtedly, the best player afield was Rovers’ keeper Bobby Watson who despite receiving a chest injury and a beautiful ‘keeker’, performed heroics and kept the home forwards at bay.  Commented one Brechin fan “That keeper should get a medal.”  Watson wasn’t the only Rovers’ player in the wars.  Midway through the second half there was a clash of heads as Sim and Shedden rose to a ball in midfield.  The Ardrossan centre was carried off on a stretcher and later taken to hospital suffering from concussion.  With the substitution of West, a bit more bite was added to the Winton front rank and it was soon after that they got the all-important goal.
     As half-time approached, Lindsay nearly put Vics in the lead with a snap shot from the edge of the box.  His effort was only inches on the wrong side of the upright.  There was end-to-end stuff on the resumption and both keepers were soon in action.  Neither was troubled however.  Lee, on the visitors’ right, ran almost half the length of the field but was tackled as he was on the point of shooting and the ball was diverted for a corner.  Seconds later, Dave Ritchie in the home goal did well to turn a first time shot from Lee round the post.
     In the seventy-second minute, Winton got what proved to be the winning goal.  A defensive lapse allowed West to collect midway inside the Brechin half and slip a lovely pass through to Conway who drew the keeper before shooting into the empty net.  In the final ten minutes, Brechin went all out to save the game and Watson distinguished himself with fine saves from Lindsay and Nicol.  The Winton defence, however, held out till the final whistle.

     The teams were:
Brechin Victoria - David Ritchie; Candy and Webster; Hutchin, Michie and Sim; Corsar, Lindsay, Beedie, Denis Ritchie and Nicol.
Winton Rovers - Watson; Robertson and McGarrity; McEwan, Young and McCann; Lee, Gemmell, Shedden, Walsh and Conway.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 January 1970

WINTON ROVERS 0 - IRVINE MEADOW 0
No Goals - but Thrills - in Cup Clash

This was it! This was the game all followers of football in North Ayrshire wanted to see and indeed when Winton kicked off, there was one of the largest crowds ever seen at Winton Park. They were rewarded with a hard, clean, entertaining cup-tie.  Meadow got off to a great start, forcing three corners in quick succession but the danger was cleared after Watson had been fouled saving from the onrushing Bitten and Peebles.  Shortly after, Watson’s charge came under fire again and the home side was relieved to see Busbie, who was a constant threat to the home defence, hit the bar from a pass by Boyd.  Winton came back after this early let-off and, after good work by Lee, who had an outstanding game, Hay saved well from Corrigan.
    
There were a lot of mistakes from both teams as the players slipped and slithered on the frozen patches on the field but, as play progressed, the football became more open and exciting.  Both defences were in top form, dealing with anything which the opposing forwards could throw at them. Clunie and Young dominated the respective defences.  Meadow had a real chance of scoring when Bitten was right through but Robertson stepped in to save the day by pushing the ball behind for a corner.  From Busbie’s flag-kick, Clunie outjumped Welsh and Young and his header was a scorer all the way but Watson leapt magnificently across his goal to clutch the ball at the far post.
    
Winton’s best effort of the first half was a shot by Hill after the whole of the Winton front rank had taken part in an inter-passing movement but still that decisive first goal eluded both teams.  After another fine break down the right wing by Busbie, Watson once again excelled himself with a spectacular one-handed save, this time from a Bitten header after Peebles had helped his winger make the opening.  Just before half-time, Lee had bad luck with a snap shot after a good run then he was back chasing and helping his defence deal with a fine break by McEvoy and Malone by turning the winger’s shot past for another corner.  Half-time arrived with neither side having penetrated the defensive barriers which confronted it.

                                                  Watson saves from Bitten.
    
After the interval, Meadow should have gone ahead when left-winger Malone was right through but he shot weakly into Watson’s arms.  Just after this, tempers got a bit frayed when Corrigan and keeper Hay clashed when a loose ball but peace was soon restored. This was the only time the referee spoke to anybody in what was otherwise a clean and sporting game. Indeed, the only time a trainer came on was when McGarrity injured himself in clearing from Peebles.  At one point in this half, with both sides varying their tactics, Bitten just missed after a long throw-in from Boyd and it was noticed that there were ten Winton players in their own penalty area with only Conway staying upfield.
    
Centre-forward Peebles did have the ball in the net but he was clearly offside as was Conway when he ran after a pass from Gemmell.  At this point, Meadow used their substitute when Naismith came on for Malone and he and McArthur combined well on the left but a hand-ball against the substitute spoiled a good chance.  The best chance of the match fell to Winton’s Gemmell when he took a long pass from Welsh, ran on a few yards into the visitor’s half, but with the Meadow defenders breathing down his neck, he did no better than shoot from well out straight at Hay.
    
As the game went into the last quarter, play became a bit scrappy but the feeling that the elusive and decisive first goal might come was still there.  Bitten almost scored after a Boyd free kick and then Murray came close.  With time running out, centre-forward Conway, who had been well policed by Clunie, eluded the big centre-half and his tremendous shot just scraped the wrong side of the bar.  The final whistle went with no scoring but the fans who saw this match will, without doubt, be at Meadow Park for the replay.
    
Another point on which many of the spectators remarked was the first-class handling by the referee, Mr G Mills of Uddingston.  The twenty-two players deserve credit for their display with special mention of Meadow’s Boyd, Clunie, McCrorie and McEvoy with Busbie and Bitten the pick of the forwards.  Best for Winton were Watson, Young and Robertson with Gemmell, Lee and Hill who never stopped trying up front.

    
The teams were:
Winton Rovers - Watson; Robertson and McGarrity; McEwen, Young and Welsh; Gemmell, Lee, Conway, Hill and Corrigan.
Irvine Meadow - Hay; McCrorie and McEvoy; Boyd, Clunie and McArthur; Busbie, Murray, Peebles, Bitten and Malone.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 February 1970

BIG GAME AT WINTON PARK
Watched by a crowd of six thousand, Winton Rovers and Irvine Meadow were locked in a goalless draw in the fifth round of the Scottish Junior Cup at Winton Park last Saturday (14 February 1970).
  The game didn’t quite live up to the expectations of the large crowd and the lack of goals definitely detracted from the glamour of the tie.  Meadow always had a tight grip on the middle of the field and Boyd, often up with his attack, had a good game.  Despite the Irvine team’s method and team work, the Ardrossan rearguard proved a tough nut to crack and they gave nothing away.  The honours go to Rovers’ centre-half, Young, who was magnificent in the air and confident on the ground.  He had Jim Peebles in his pocket for the whole ninety minutes except when the Irvine spearhead flashed what looked like a scoring header towards Watson late in the game but the home keeper was in brilliant form and tipped the ball over the bar.  Gate money of just under 5000 was taken at the game – probably a club record at Winton Park.  This will help Rovers’ finances considerable next season.  Willie Thornton, assistant manager of Rangers, watched Rovers’ keeper Bobby Watson play a great game for his side against Meadow.  Also, at the game was a Bristol City scout who was interested in Winton’s Ian Welsh, a very promising youngster.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 February 1970
 

AYRSHIRE PLAYERS CAPPED
Two of Ayrshire’s most promising junior players were chosen by the Scottish Junior selectors on Tuesday night (17 February 1970) to represent their country in the junior international against Northern Ireland at Coleraine on Saturday 7 March.  In the team, which is composed of eleven new caps, are goalkeeper Bobby Watson of Winton Rovers and inside-right Jim Inglis of Kilbirnie Ladeside.  Watson played a brilliant game for his club against Irvine Meadow in the Scottish Junior Cup last Saturday and Inglis has been the driving power in the Ladeside attack all season. Both players are fancied by Rangers.  Joe McEvoy, Irvine Meadow’s strong left-back, is one of the reserves.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 February 1970

IRVINE MEADOW 0 - WINTON ROVERS 1
Meadow shocked by Winton's early winner
A controversial goal in the second minute of the match, scored before either side had time to settle, paved the way for Meadow’s exit from the cup.  Winton’s right winger, Gemmell, sent a high cross into the home goal and, as Hay attempted to save, he was bundled off the ball by Hill and, despite a desperate goal-line clearance by Boyd, the referee ruled that the ball had crossed the line.  This surprise goal by the visitors, who were very much the underdogs, set the scene for a thrilling action-packed match as Meadow went all out for the equaliser.
     In fact, the remainder of the match was practically one-way traffic as the cup favourites pressed down on Rovers’ goal. A reflection of the home side’s pressure is that during the ninety minutes, they won nineteen corners against only one corner for Rovers.
  The three-week suspension given to regular centre-half Jim Clunie meant that the home defence had to be rearranged. Boyd moved to pivot and Naismith, who was substitute in the first encounter between the teams, filled in at left-half.
     Minutes after Rovers’ opener, Peebles missed a chance to equalise when he shot weakly at Watson when he should have done better.
  As Meadow threw everything at the visitors’ goal, an equaliser looked certain but the home forwards were weak in front of goal and the only reward for almost non-stop pressure was a series of fruitless corners.  The best effort so far from the home side came midway through the half. A powerful free kick by Boyd was hastily cleared for a corner and Bitten’s darting header from the flag kick went inches wide with Watson beaten.  Only the woodwork saved Winton when Peebles beat Watson just to see his shot rebound harmlessly off the crossbar.
     Winton were content to defend dourly and relied on quick breaks to out the home defence under pressure. In one of these attacks, just before the interval, only a daring save by Hay at the feet of Hill prevented a score.
  Meadow should have equalised later when Bitten failed to score after Watson dropped a hard drive from Peebles.
     Immediately after the interval, Meadow swept back into the offensive. Welsh saved his side when he headed a net-bound Bitten effort over the crossbar for a corner.
  Meadow’s best second half effort came when Murray sent a defence-splitting pass through to Malone. The little winger steadied himself and then let fly a tremendous drive which looked a certain score but Watson threw himself across goal to make a brilliant save.  Murray raced past three defenders and crossed low to Naismith in front of goal but the wing-half took too long to steady himself and the danger was cleared.
     Meadow began to show signs of desperation in the last quarter as the minutes ticked away and play from both sides became untidy and scrappy.
  In the dying minutes, only brilliant goalkeeping by Watson saved Rovers as first Peebles then Bitten broke through the visitors’ iron curtain defence.  Three minutes from time, Ferguson replaced the injured Peebles and any signs of a last-minute face-saver for Meadow vanished.
     The Irvine side have only themselves to blame for this defeat. They had ninety-nine percent of the play and were on top for lengthy periods but they failed to convert their obvious superiority into goals.
  The persistent use of the high ball into the Rovers’ goalmouth was a bad tactic because Young and Watson are most impressive when dealing with high balls. Jim Clunie was clearly missed in corner and free-kick set pieces because Meadow had no one who could challenge for a ball in the air.
     Winton should be congratulated, however, on a well-planned match. Young was a very effective stopper and Watson, who played confidently throughout, had three remarkable saves.
 The outstandingly player in the Ardrossan side was Joe Hill who caused many anxious moments in the home defence. He worked throughout the mart he, fetching and carrying from defence to attack and was often on hand to clear dangerous Meadow attacks.  Best for Meadow were McEvoy, McCrorie and Naismith who worked hard throughout the ninety minutes and tried valiantly to instil some urgency into their forwards.

                      One of the many Meadow attacks cleared by the Winton defence
    
The teams were:
Irvine Meadow - Hay; McCrorie and McEvoy; McArthur, Boyd and Naismith; Busby, Murray, Peebles, Bitten and Malone.
Winton Rovers - Watson; Robertson and McGaritty; McEwan, Young and Welsh; Gemmell, Lee, Conway, Hill and Corrigan.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 February 1970

WINTON IN QUARTER-FINALS
Winton Rovers are through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Junior Cup after knocking Meadow off their pedestal of superiority last Saturday.
  Joe Hill was on the spot to prod the ball over the line to put Rovers into a controversial two-minute lead but all claims that he had impeded the goalkeeper were ignored by the referee.  This proved to be the only goal of the match and try as they did, Meadow could not break down a solid Winton defence which proved every bit as competent as when the two teams first met.
    
As usual, Watson and Young were outstanding in the Rovers’ rearguard and they took whatever mighty Meadow could throw at them and still came back fighting.
  Celtic boss Jock Stein offered Watson signing terms on Sunday but the nineteen-year-old keeper delayed a decision and on Monday night, Rangers manager Willie Waddell had a talk with Bobby and the Winton youngster visited Ibrox on Wednesday along with two Winton committee members.

    
Winton march into the quarter-finals full of confidence and now that they have eliminated the Cup favourites, they must surely be a force to reckon with but the fact remains - Rovers are expert in defence but if they come up against a team equally good at the back, the emphasis will be on attack and the Rovers’ forward power is suspect.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 February 1970

WINTON KEEPER SIGNS FOR RANGERS
Bobby Watson, Winton’s talented keeper, signed for Rangers last week after two meetings with Willie Waddell.  The ‘Gers narrowly beat Celtic and other senior clubs for the signature of Watson who is definitely the brightest prospect to come out of Winton Park for many seasons.  Winton Rovers have signed teenage right winger Bobby Innes of Ardeer Recreation juveniles.  Rovers have had an eye on Innes for some time and may play him in their important Scottish Cup quarter-final game.

           
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 6 March 1970

WINTON PREPARE
Winton Rovers stepped up their training this week in preparation for their quarter-final Scottish Junior Cup battle against Saint Roch’s tomorrow.  Rovers had difficulty arranging transport for the team because of the bus strike and they had to leave the arranging of buses for the supporters up to individual organisations.  One of the committee members told our reporter “Saint Roch’s are a good cup fighting team as we are well aware but they have only won a few games in the league and I think you go by the form book, we must be favourites for the match.  We managed to score two goals in our league match last Saturday and this gives us hope that, at last, our forward line is beginning to click.  We will play the game as it comes to us and are quite confident”.  The Rovers’ team will probably be the same as in previous rounds and right back Bobby Robertson, who is recovering from a leg knock, should be fit for the game.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 March 1970

SAINT ROCH’S 0 – WINTON ROVERS 0
Strong Defence Earns Rovers A Replay
Winton Rovers’ ‘iron curtain’ policy of blanket defence defied the efforts of the Central League side and allowed Rovers another chance to further their Scottish ambitions.  Throughout this Scottish Junior Cup sixth round tie, international keeper Bobby Watson and centre-half Davie Young defied the home attack who tried everything within their means to break down Rovers’ impregnable barrier.  The Ardrossan side took time to settle on the ash pitch and their uneasiness almost cost them a goal early in the first half.  After only a few minutes play as Saint Roch’s surged down on the Winton goal, Callaghan harassed Robertson into conceding a corner when he could have passed back to his keeper.  McQuade centred the flag kick low to Boyle whose first-time effort was deflected wide of goal with Watson stranded at the far post.
    
Rovers were content to play a deep defensive role, relying on quick breaks from defence to snatch a goal.
  Twice in as many minutes, Hill and Conway made chances which were spoiled by offside decisions.  Callaghan was at fault twice midway through the half when he made a hash of two goal-scoring chances.  He headed a well-placed McQuade cross over the bar from only four yards and then, minutes later, raced through the Rovers’ defence only to thunder the ball over when it seemed easier to score.  Action at both goalmouths near the end of the first half produced let-offs for both sides.  McKenzie looked certain to score when a daring dive at his feet by Watson stopped the wing-half then Sneddon saw a powerful drive go inches over the crossbar with the keeper beaten.
    
Winton got a fright seconds after the interval when McQuade hit a rocket shot from twenty yards which came crashing back off a post with Watson out of position.
  This was a real escape for Rovers and they tightened their defence after this and never really looked like losing a goal.  With a little more power up front, Rovers might have pulled off a win.  On one occasion, Hill had a good solo run through the Saint’s defence and should have scored but his parting shot lacked power and Wallace saved easily. 
Winton can now look forward to the replay at Winton Park with some confidence and if their forward line knits together, they could finish good winners.

    
The teams were:

Saint Roch’s – Wallace; Muldoon and Cameron; Boyle, Gallagher and McKenzie; Sullivan, Hay, McCue, Callaghan and McQuade.
Winton Rovers - Watson; Robertson and McGaritty; McEwan, Young and Welsh; Gemmell, Lee, Sneddon, Hill and Conway.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 March 1970

ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 1 - SAINT ROCH'S 0
Ardrossan Winton Rovers well deserved the ovation they got from hundreds of their fans after defeating Saint Roch's in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Winton Park. Rovers got off to a good start and after ten minutes, Sneddon scored the only goal of the match. He collected a Joe Hill cross and quickly shot for goal and the ball hit a visiting defender on its way to the back of the net.
     The Glasgow side fought back but they showed no cohesion and disappointed their supporters. Rovers might have increased their lead for a minute before the interval, the Saints backs twice cleared off the line with the keeper beaten. After the break, Saints brought their tall right-half Brian Boyle into the forward line and with twenty minutes to go, substituted Croly for right-winger Dominic Sullivan who is booked for Celtic. These changes were of no avail as they could not break down a resolute defence.
     International keeper, Bobby Watson, was his usual reliable self. He had a rough time in goal melees and had to receive attention from the trainer on four occasions. Centre-half Dave Young was another outstanding Rover and in a much improved forward line, George Sneddon, scorer of the golden goal, was the top man. In an off-form Saint Roch's team, their stars were Jim Muldoon, wanted by Falkirk and Saint Mirren, centre-half George Gallagher and provisionally signed Partick Thistle left-winger Dennis McQuade.
     The attendance was almost 4000 - quite good considering the counter attraction of Rangers at nearby Kilmarnock and the Grand National on television. Rovers now meet Blantyre Vics in the semi-final at Ibrox next Monday (13 April 1970).
            Evening Times, 6 April 1970


ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 1 - SAINT ROCH'S 0
Teamwork Takes Winton To Ibrox
Winton go marching on!  With a great display of teamwork, the home side threw everything they had at Saint Roch’s and were better winners than their only goal would seem to imply.  This was a good, clean and very often exciting game with both teams reserving their best for the closing quarter when each had chances to score.  The teams were similar to those that played at Garngad a fortnight earlier.  Winton switched their left-wing pair positionally and the visitors were unchanged.
     Saint Roch’s had the wind in their favour but it was Winton who took an early grip on the game and came close to scoring in the opening minutes but Gallagher turned Sneddon’s effort for a corner.  From Gemmell’s corner, Wallace saved well from Conway but Saint Roch’s luck did not hold out for long.
  After good work in midfield by Lee and Welsh, the inside-forward’s pass to Hill was spot on and when the winger’s cross came over, Sneddon sent the home supporters wild when, at the second attempt, he shot high into the net off Gallagher. 
This was a well-engineered and thoroughly deserved goal which was worthy of winning a ticket to the semi-final at Ibrox.  If this finished the scoring, it certainly did not finish the excitement.  Indeed, Saint Roch’s almost equalised when McQuade, who is provisionally signed by Partick Thistle, was right through on his own but Watson brought off a first-class save.
    
The only really bad spot in the whole game was when the referee, who had an excellent game, booked Hill for a retaliatory foul on Hay, a decision which the home side thought unfair.  The strong running of Lee, Hill and Conway was a noticeable aspect of the first half and from one of these moves, Cameron cleared on the line from Sneddon with Wallace nowhere.
     Saint Roch’s seemed to come into the game a bit more just before half-time and the Winton defence, with Young dominant, withstood some strong pressure.  This was the visitors’ best spell in the match and they almost scored but McCue and then Callaghan withstood efforts cleared by the competent Winton defence.  The first half closed with Watson saving at the post after Young’s clearance had rebounded from Callaghan.

    
The second half started with a bang as twice within a few minutes, Conway was pulled up for offside when he was right through and then McGarrity was hurt clearing off the line from McCue after the inside man had beaten Watson to a Sullivan cross.  Just after this, the referee reprimanded right-half Boyle for fouling Watson twice in successive attacks.  One talking point in the second half was a penalty claim from Saint Roch’s but the referee refused to listen.  As time wore on, it became more evident that Saint Roch’s were not really getting anywhere with their tactics so they decided to take off Sullivan and sent on Croly but even he could not help to break Saint Roch’s duck.
    
Winton also used their substitute when McCann came on for Gemmell and went to right-half with McEwan moving forward to replace Lee who went to the wing.  This almost brought a second goal when Lee beat four men but Wallace touched his shot past for a corner.  From this flag-kick, keeper Wallace was bundled over the goal-line but the referee gave a foul against the Winton forwards involved.
     With Winton now in command and time running out for Saint Roch’s, Boyle and Callaghan tried hard for the equaliser but their efforts were in vain.
  Winton’s reply came from Conway who went through on his own but shot weakly at Wallace.  In the dying minutes, Sneddon was just off target.  The game came to an end with teamwork having won the day over individualism and when the final whistle sounded, hundreds of fans invaded the field to acclaim their heroes.  If Winton play like this when they meet Blantyre Victoria at Ibrox on Monday (13 April 1970), they should be able to qualify for the final.  Best for a rather slow and cumbersome Saint Roch’s eleven were Boyle, Gallagher, Hay, Callaghan and McCue.  For the home side, praise goes for their teamwork with special mention of Young, Robertson and McGarrity in defence and Sneddon an excellent leader with assistance from Lee and Hill.
     The teams were:
Winton Rovers - Watson; Robertson and McGaritty; McEwan, Young and Welsh; Gemmell, Lee, Sneddon, Conway and Hill.
Saint Roch’s – Wallace; Muldoon and Cameron; Boyle, Gallagher and McKenzie; Sullivan, Hay, Callaghan, McCue and McQuade.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 April 1970

WINTON ROVERS REACH SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL

From top left to bottom right, the men are Bobby Robertson, Jim McGarrity, Bobby Watson, Davie Young, Jim McEwan, Ian Welsh, Tom McCann; Andy Gemmell, John Lee, George Sneddon, Peter Conway and Joe Hill.

Winton Rovers
continued on their remarkable Scottish Junior Cup run on Saturday (4 April 1970) when they defeated Saint Roch's by the only goal of the match.
 This golden goal, scored by centre-forward George Sneddon means that the Ardrossan side now meet Central League cracks, Blantyre Victoria at lbrox on Monday (13 April).  This win by Rovers smashed a 36-year-old hoodoo for the club because Winton now go through to their first Scottish Junior Cup semi-final since 1934.  On that occasion, they were beaten 2-1 by Benburb at Firhill but this season could well be Rovers’ year to win the national trophy for the first time in their long history.
     Their defence is rated as the b
est of the teams remaining in the competition.  Keeper Bobby Watson has been outstanding in all the cup ties and only he stood between Rovers and defeat in their games against lrvine Meadow and the trip to Garngad.  The  young keeper's talent has been recognised by senior clubs and Rangers beat several other sides to sign him.  Another defensive stalwart has been centre half, Davie  Young who had a spell with Saint Mirren and on current form it looks like he will be playing senior football again.
     On their way to the semi-final, Rovers have created a record by scoring only seven goals but their water-tight defence has only conceded two goals. Top cup scorer is George Sneddon who has three goals to his credit while Davie Corrigan is close behind with two cup scores.
 The other goal scorers are Peter Conway who got the all-important goal at Brechin and Joe Hill whose score put favourites, lrvine Meadow, out of the Cup.
     Rovers
are confident of a good result on Monday and with no injury problems seem certain to select the same eleven which knocked out Saint Roch's.
 The club trained on Tuesday and Thursday and will have a light training session at Winton Park on Saturday afternoon.  On Monday, the players will again go through a light training routine at the indoor training complex at lbrox.  A satisfying aspect of Saturday's game for Rovers committee must have been the form of the forward line.  They continually had the Saint Roch's defence in difficulty with fast penetrating moves and a similar display on Monday should see them through to the final.  Rovers’ semi-final rivals, Blantyre Vics, had a good result last week when they defeated the Scottish Cup holders, Cambuslang 2-0.  At present, Vics are in the bottom half of the Central Regional League Division A.  In twelve league matches, they scored nineteen goals and conceded the same number.  These results show that Vics’ defence can be beaten and a flash of form by Rovers’ forwards could swing the match in the Ardrossan side's favour.
     By reaching the semi-final, Rovers have won a 25 award from the cigarette firm which sponsored the trophy this year.
 The money is to be spent on football equipment.  The winners of the trophy will receive an additional trophy from the cigarette firm and an award of 100 for football equipment.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 April 1970

ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 0 - BLANTYRE VICTORIA 2
It's over. Winton Rovers' hopes of cup glory came to an abrupt end when their luck finally ran out in the Scottish Junior Cup semi-final on Monday (13 April 1970) but Rovers can have no cause for complaint over this defeat. They never looked at home on the wide open spaces of Ibrox and were lucky not to be more than one goal behind at the interval. The Ardrossan side's much vaunted defence which has carried the team through many tough cup-ties this season, had an unhappy evening. David Young, normally the stalwart of the defence, looked uneasy against the hard-running Lawson and captain McGarritty was constantly putting his own defence under pressure with half-hit clearances
     The goals which ended Winton's fairy tale cup story were the results of defensive mistakes. The first, in twenty-three minutes, came after Winton had been under strong pressure from Blantyre. Young went across to the left wing to cut out a cross ball and as Lawson challenged, the centre-half mis-timed his clearance and Lawson ran on to hit the ball past Watson.
     The final nail in Winton's coffin came five minutes from time. Watson, who had had a fine game, made his only mistake of the match when he failed to hold a Brodie cross and Lynn ran in to head home. Blantyre had all the early play and three times in the opening minutes, Young had hurriedly to clear his lines as Vics went all out for an early goal.
     The Central League side should have opened the scoring after only five minutes play. Young missed a tackle in front of goal to let Lawson through but the centre shot wide with only Watson to beat. Robertson stressed how shaky the Ardrossan defence was when he conceded a corner when he could have passed back to Watson. Winton's first try at goal came after fifteen minutes. Hill dispossessed Brodie midway in the Blantyre half but his parting shot went high and wide. Shortly after this, but the Rovers' trainer came on to attend to Watson after the keeper was injured saving a dangerous pass back from Young.
A minute after Blantyre took the lead, Winton almost got the equaliser. A McGarrity free-kick was headed into goal by Gemmell and as Moore hastily cleared off the line, there were claims for a goal by Rovers but referee Hugh Alexander of Kilmarnock decided that the ball had not crossed the line and gave a corner. Lawson shot wide of goal after gathering a half-hit clearances by Young then Watson threw himself across goal to touch a powerful drive from Brodie away for a corner.
     Sneddon came close soon after with a good header from an Innes cross then Hill broke clear of the Vics' defence but he skyed the ball over the bar. Rovers' full-back, Robertson, came to his side's rescue when he cleared a Lynn drive off the line with Watson out of position. Rovers' best attacking move of the first half came when Gemmell sent Hill through and the winger's shot grazed the wrong side of the post with the keeper beaten. Just on the interval, Hill missed a great chance to put Winton back in the game, when with only Watson to beat, he crashed the ball into the keeper's arms.
     The first twenty minutes after the interval saw Rovers trying to revive the cup magic of previous rounds. They began to play with more determination and the Blantyre defence looked uneasy. Innes beat Moore and cut the ball low across goal to Sneddon whose first-time drive was touched round the post by the keeper then the centre rose above the Vics' defence to head just over the bar. Shortly after, Thomson had his name taken for a foul on Conway. From the free-kick, Conway sent a back header to Hill in front of goal but the winger failed to get the ball under control and Pickering cleared. Hill forced a corner on the left and from the flag kick, Conway drove inches over then Sneddon had a strong header touched over the bar by the Vics' keeper.
     Blantyre came back at Rovers and Watson saved a Lawson drive on the goal line with Gallagher following up strongly, then Watson, lying on the ground, parried a shot from Lynn. Shortly after, Watson was injured diving at feet of Lynn and Robertson cleared the ball off the line as it broke clear from a ruck of players. Winton replaced the injured Lee with veteran defender Tom McCann. Young was forced to pull down Lawson twenty yards from goal after the centre had broken clear of the Rovers' defence then Vics' claim for a penalty was turned down after Lynn fell in the penalty area.
     Five minutes from time, Blantyre put the issue beyond doubt and Winton were out of the cup. Best for Rovers were keeper Bobby Watson who, despite losing that late goal, was at times all that stood between Vics and a cricket score. Sneddon won every ball in the air and might have tested the Blantyre defence if he had been given more support and Robertson was the only defender who remained cool during the periods of Vics' pressure. Vics' stars were Lawson who was a constant problem to the Rovers' defence with his strong shooting, Pickering an effective sweeper and Lynn a fast moving and relentless winger.
Winton Rovers - Watson; Robertson and McGarrity; Lee, Young and Welsh; Innes, Gemmell, Sneddon, Conway and Hill.
Blantyre Victoria - Watson; Thomson and Moore; Brodie, Douglas and Cunningham; McGrain, Gallagher, Lawson, Pickering and Lynn.



The top photograph above shows before-the-match good wishes to Winton captain Jim McGarrity from Player's (the match sponsor) personality Linda Young. The middle photo shows Winton keeper Bobby Watson saving after a Blantyre attack. The bottom photo shows a Rovers' attack on the Blantyre goal.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 April 1970
McGrain of Blantyre Victoria was Danny McGrain (1953-2004), a cousin of his namesake Danny of Celtic, who joined Clyde Football Club shortly after Blantyre won the Scottish Junior Cup against Penicuik on 19 May 1970. He became captain of Clyde and retired in 1975.

JOURNEY'S END


            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 April 1970

ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS GOALKEEPER IS SCOTTISH PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bobby Watson (shown below), Winton's outstanding keeper, who has provisionally signed for Rangers, received an honour on Tuesday night (14 April 1970) which will be a big consolation for the Scottish Cup medal which eluded him - he has been appointed by Scotland's junior bosses as their Player of the Year. This is a title which nineteen-year old Bobby richly deserves. The decision to honour him with the award emphasises the standard of his performances this season. He has played a big part in his team's success. Bobby will be presented with his award by Scottish Junior Football association president, Willie Blaney, at a pre-cup final launch on 16 May.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 April 1970