Winton Rovers had some disappointing results in 1973.
LARGS THISTLE 6 – ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 0
ON-FORM LARGS HIT THEIR HIGHEST SCORE OF THE SEASON
Winton Rovers were humiliated at Barrfields on Saturday (17 March 1973) and unceremoniously dismissed from the Ayrshire District Cup when thrashed by bottom-of-the-league club, Largs Thistle. To be fair, however, it should be said that they made a promising start and gave the impression of being a business-like combination but they never got the breaks. Both teams served up a keen and entertaining contest for half-an-hour with no scoring before strength and weakness became apparent. Thistle were masters in defence with full-backs Flint and McKay in top form and Mackay a reliable keeper. These three stalwarts provided a proverbial iron curtain.
On the other hand, Rovers were weak in defence and as pressure mounted, they found themselves confused and in disarray. Inside-left Savage set the ball rolling for Thistle when he tested keeper Dick then Kyle shot over the bar and Wright struck an upright. At the other end, Rovers forced the first corner then inside-left Quinn scorned a golden opportunity when he skied over the bar when a mere push would have served and left-winger Dickson shot into the arms of keeper Mackay. Thistle opened the score sheet in the twenty-eighth minute when Eddie Kyle applied the finishing touches to a ball teed-up for him by Peter Valerio. Winton switched to attack and Thistle’s goal was under siege for a time with centre-forward Lyons being a conspicuous leader in the concentrated raid. They were awarded a free kick during this period of pressure and Mackay brought off a marvellous save from a direct shot by left-winger Dickson.
Misfortune struck again when Thistle were awarded a rather soft penalty when Kyle was brought down by Dalling. Left-half McArthur took the spot-kick and scored in the thirty-eighth minute to establish a 2-0 interval lead. Success had inspired Thistle with confidence and the team spirit became self-apparent. They were reading the game and going for the ball while the troubled waters were not running smoothly for Rovers and they were unable to meet the challenge of the rampant forwards. Willie McLellan opened the second half account with a goal two minutes after the restart. Kyle added another after twenty-five minutes while Peter Valerio increased the lead five minutes later. In the meantime, Cardno and Dickson had sent in shots for Rovers but they were effectively dealt with, thus denying them a crumb of consolation.
Worse was to come. Kyle again struck the target to complete his hat-trick and finalise the rout in Thistle’s highest score of the season. Largs actually had the ball in the net another time during the second half but the goal was disallowed for offside. To the credit of Rovers, it can be said that they were gallant in adversity, taking their lack of success gracefully and without any display of ill-temper. Thistle played with marked enthusiasm and in addition to a rock-like rear division, they had a magnificent middle line with Baillie, Telfer and McArthur, the last names being singularly constructive while Kyle and McLellan were undaunted up front.
The teams were:
Largs Thistle – Mackay, Flint, McKay, Baillie, Telfer, McArthur, Wright, Kyle, McLellan, Savage and Valerio.
Winton Rovers - Dick, Hay, McColl, Sanderson, Hood, Dalling, Cardno, Lunan, Lyons, Quinn and Dickson.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 March 1973
KILBIRNIE LADESIDE 4 – ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 2
KILBIRNIE DOMINATE CUP-TIE PLAY-OFF
Kilbirnie Ladeside finally got the better of Winton at Valefield on Saturday (24 March 1973). After two drawn games in the Ayrshire Cup, the Valley side were never in any trouble against an under-par Winton. It took Kilbirnie only five minutes to show Winton they were in for no easy ride. Ladeside were awarded a penalty which Dave Clark coolly converted. Five minutes later, Winton were in deeper trouble as they began to feel the force of the Ladeside front line. Oliphant gathered the ball twenty yards out and sent an unsaveable shot past keeper Ian Dick.
After this goal, it was all one-way traffic towards the Winton goal but surprisingly Ladeside could find no way through and so at the interval, they went in with a comfortable lead. The manner in which this strong Valley side played in the first half made it look obvious that it would not take long in the second period to extend their lead. The third goal came seven minutes after the interval. The ball was played to young Bobby Davidson and the winger coolly beat a defender before placing the ball out of Dick’s reach. Kilbirnie continued to press and in the sixty-second minute, they got number four. It was Davidson who notched it with a stunning eighteen-yarder, hit on the drop.
Content with their four-goal lead, the home side began to relax and this heralded a Winton fightback. In the space of four minutes, Rovers were awarded two penalty kicks. Both were converted by right-half Ronnie Sanderson and came as undeserved consolation goals to a well-beaten side.
The teams were:
Kilbirnie Ladeside - Clark; Boyle, Oliphant, McLean, Smith, Davidson, Lynn, Mulherron, Clarke and Kerr. (Strangely, only ten Kilbirnie players are listed in the newspaper report).
Winton Rovers - Dick; Hay, Baillie, Sanderson, Hood, McColl, Rowan, Cardno, Dalling, Dickson and Quinn.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 March 1973
ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 2 – KILBIRNIE LADESIDE 4
NEWCOMER STARS FOR LADESIDE
Remembering their many fine encounters of last season, it was not surprising that a fair sized crowd turned out to see this game (on 18 August 1973).
Kilbirnie took a surprising lead in six minutes. Close season signing Dave Paterson pushed a free-kick to Kerr. The winger beat full back Hay and crossed to Bobby Davidson who side-footed the ball past Winton’s trialist goalkeeper.
The homesters much deserved equaliser came just after the half hour when veteran wing half Ronnie Sanderson fired home a great volley from just outside the eighteen yard line.
Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain as right on the interval, Bobby Davidson strode through the home defence to notch his second goal and his team’s third counter.
Although the scoreline showed a difference of two goals, the game was much closer and if Winton’s young trialist keeper had not made that mistake just before the interval, the home side could possibly have won the game.
The teams were:
Winton Rovers – Newman, Hay, McColl, Sanderson, Welsh, Paul Clarke, Quinn, Evans, Jim Clarke, Cardno and Lunan.
Kilbirnie Ladeside - Clark; Brock, Kennedy, Osbourne, McLean, Smith, Davidson, Paterson, Mulherron, Dave Clarke and Kerr.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 24 August 1973