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.


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 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 (shown left). The final nail in Winton 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