Winton Rovers were not at their best in 1971.

Until last Saturday (27 February 1971), Winton had failed to won a league match since 31 October.  Their last victory was against Dalry Thistle so when they travelled to Merksworth Park for the return fixture, they were confident of ending their dismal run.  Rovers did manage to get full points but bottom-of-the table Dalry made them fight all the way and were unlucky not to get a draw.  On this showing, the Ardrossan side cannot be hopeful of winning many of their remaining league games.  Rovers pressed from the kick-off and Buchanan saved well from Sneddon then Kerr shot closely past while at the other end, Walker beat three players but McLean saved his shot.  Innes missed badly but in the next minute, the same player had Buchanan at full stretch to save.  Newman was brought down just outside the box and Telfer tried a pass-back to Buchanan but the ball nipped in to beat Buchanan for Rovers’ first goal.  Timmons should have equalised minutes later but his shot struck the post when it seemed easier to score.  A good move by Innes and Kerr left Sneddon with a chance but McDonald got a foot in to clear.  McLean had a great save from Timmons and then the winger centred for McCoy to bring out another good save from McLean.  Just before the interval, Dalry were rewarded for their pressure when Arthur equalised.  After the restart, there were twenty minutes of end-to-end play before Sneddon took advantage of a mix-up in the Thistle defence to score.  Hill came on for Thistle in place of Newman.  McLean had a couple of first-class saves before he had to admit defeat from a penalty by Walker after Timmons had been brought down.  Rovers brought on substitute Manson and with practically his first kick, he flashed the ball past Buchanan to put Rovers in the lead again.  Two minutes later, Kyle knocked the fight out of Dalry with another goal.
The teams were:
Dalry Thistle - Buchanan, Barr and Muggins; McDonald, Telfer and Hamilton; Timmons, Walker, Arthur, Newman and McCoy.
Winton Rovers - McLean; Robertson and McGarrity; Downs, Anderson and Christie; Innes, Kerr, Sneddon, Kyle and Newman.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 March 1971

A second half hat-trick by Dalry striker Boylan dumped a Winton side who had all the pressure in the first forty-five minutes but who only scored once (on 21 August 1971).  Winton should have had this game won in the first half when they had all the play but only got one goal for their efforts.  Dalry came back strongly in the second half and grabbed their chances to give them a good victory.  Rovers were first on the attack and Sanders headed just wide.  After two minutes, a mix-up in the Dalry defence let Scullion in to open the scoring.  Winton kept up the attack and a free-kick by Sanders went over then Kerr put weakly past.  In the first run upfield, Dalry forced a corner which was cleared, following which Armstrong saved well from Barr.  After a good run by Scullion, his shot was well held by McWilliams.  A corner on Dalry’s left saw Currie heading in but Scullion was there to kick off the line.  At the other end, Winton forced two corners in succession which were easily cleared.  A bad kick-out by McWilliams rebounded from McGarrity to Sanders but the latter shot past the post.  Just on half-time, McWilliams had to move quickly to fist clear a Robertson free-kick.  Dalry started the second half with a bang and after Winton got a fruitless corner, Boylan scored the equaliser.  Timmons was Dalry’s danger man and after a good run down the right-wing, he sent over a hard cross which Armstrong did well to cut out.  Further Dalry pressure saw T Hamilton shoot them into the lead with a fierce angular shot from the left.  Following another good run by Timmons, he passed to Boylan who shot feebly past.  After twenty minutes, Barr put over a perfect cross for Boylan to get Dalry’s third goal.  Winton were unlucky when Scullion hit the bar and from the rebound, he struck wood again.  Timmons outstripped the Winton defence but his shot came off the post with Armstrong beaten.  Timmons made ground on the right and put over a cross for Boylan to score his third goal and Dalry’s fourth.  Just on time, Winton’s second came when Telfer put past his own keeper.  In a hard-fought league cup tie, it was the side who took full advantage of the scoring chances that took both points.  Dalry stepped up their play after the interval with 45 minutes of power-packed football that made Winton pay the penalty for those first-half missed chances.  Thistle’s last two matches have shown that the side have the ability to do well this season.  If they can maintain the standard set on Saturday, they must be a force to be reckoned with.  Winton disappointed.  They lacked the bite up front necessary to grab any chances near goal and in the end were well beaten.

The teams were:
Dalry Thistle - McWilliams; Hodge and Gibson; Muggins, Telfer and T Hamilton; Timmons, Barr, Boylan, Currie and G Hamilton.
Winton Rovers - Armstrong; Robertson and Young; McGuire, Anderson and McColl; Kerr, Sanders, Sneddon, Scullion and McGarrity.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 August 1971


Big Bill Millar crushed Winton when he scored four goals within thirty-two minutes of the first half (of this game on 28 August 1971).
  The former Rangers centre hustled and bustled the Rovers’ rearguard without mercy.  He was well supported by McLaughlin, McGill and Wilson.  What made the situation more futile for Winton was their inability to finish off promising moves and when they did score, it was a penalty goal.  It took one minute for Millar to strike.  McLaughlin sent a pass towards him and the centre put the ball past Armstrong into the net.  Two minutes later, Newman on the right set up a chance and Millar first-timed the ball to the net with the keeper out of position.  This was a knock-out blow to Rovers who tried hard to retaliate.  Their keeper, Armstrong, was still thinking about the sharpness of Millar when in 10 minutes, the trialist left-winger sent over a low cross.  Millar lunged at the ball and directed It away from the keeper for his hat- trick.  A minute later, the same trialist beat Armstrong with a shot but it narrowly missed the target and then McGill had a strong shot saved at the post.  The home side settled down and began to move with fluency and purpose.  Their attempts at scoring were poor and Kerr from five yards shot past the post with only the keeper to beat.  Rovers’ defence was very unsteady when Beith's big two, McGill and Millar, got the ball and McGill gave Winton a fright in thirty minutes when he cracked the ball against the bar.  Alexander and Young lost possession in midfield to Wilson and e sent a high cross towards goal.  Armstrong with one eye on Millar fumbled the ball and the centre pounced to score his and Beith's fourth goal.  Minutes later Millar almost got another when he headed a Wilson free-kick and the keeper saved on the line.  Further misfortune befell Rovers before half-time when one of their best players, John McColl, was badly injured and was carried off.  Robertson substituted.  Beith's fifth goal came five minutes after the interval when McLaughlin collected the ball in the box and sent a great shot to a corner of the net.  Robertson succeeded in adding strength to Winton’s defence after this and they gained more of the play with Cooke and McGarrity doing a lot of running up front.  McVittie upended Cooke in the box and from the subsequent penalty, Scullion scored, despite a great dive by McGinnigle who touched the ball but could not stop it.  For a long period in this half, the standard of play fell, with a good deal of midfield struggling between the sides.  Winton put in a brave finish but again poor finishing prevented them scoring more goals, although Scullion and McGarrity came close with headers.  As far as Beith were concerned, they had done enough in the first forty-five minutes and were content to remain comfortably ahead.  They looked good when in full flight with their big forwards very impressive and both trialists played confidently.  In midfield, McLaughlin and Wilson were commanding and McGhee and Hainey had the defence sewn up.  Rovers were weak at the back although Alexander and Robertson played solidly in the second half, Cooke was full of running but when McColl went, he had no support with Kerr and Sneddon having quiet games.

The teams were:
Winton Rovers - Armstrong; Rowan and Young; Alexander, McGuire and Scullion; Cooke, Kerr, Sneddon, McColl and McGarritty.
Beith - McGinnigle; McVittie and Shields; Wilson, McGhee and Hainey; Newman, McGill, Millar, McLaughlin and Newman.
                 Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 September 1971