Winton Rovers' financial position improved and they reached the semi-final of the League Cup in 1983.

Winton Rovers are on the road to recovery - but they still face a long uphill fight for survival.  At the end of last year, the club - one of the oldest in Ayrshire - looked on the verge of extinction with massive debts hanging over its head.  Now after months of hard work. the tide seems to have turned at last in favour of the Rovers.  A run of success on its field has pulled the Rovers up the Ayrshire Junior League second division and brought increased optimism to the band of dedicated club officials who have guided the club through the worst of their financial crisis.  In recent years, Winton Rovers - formed in 1900 - has been one of the more financially stable clubs in the north of the county with a thriving social club pumping money into its coffers.  When the social club was forced to close its doors, the club was left to stand on its own two feet.  Club treasurer Mr Sam Morrison said “For the first time we had to ask for the support of the people of Ardrossan.  We have organised raffles, held nearly new shops, secured donations from local businesses and arranged other fundraising events which have helped us pay our week-to-week expenses.  Yes, we still have a long fight ahead but we are confident that given time and understanding we can survive.”  That long fight includes paying off a 4500 overdraft they still owe to the bank - but the club does have its week-to-week running expenses under control.  Mr Morrison said “We have a great bunch of lads who play for the team.  During the worst times when we couldn't pay all their expenses, not one player asked for any money they were due.  They knew the position and were willing to wait until we could sort everything out.”  Mr Morrison also paid tribute to the hard work of the fourteen committee members and a few friends who have helped the club during the worst time in its history - but there is still a lot of work to be done and Mr Morrison made a plea for more volunteers to come forward to help with fundraising events.  The club's next big event will be a summer fete in Winton Park on Sunday 19 June.  It is hoped to arrange for a football personality to open the day's events.  Mr Morrison said: “If anyone can help in any way to convene a stall, bake or undertake any handicraft work for sale we would be delighted to hear from them."
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 April 1983

Perfect Start Clinches Rovers’ Victory

Needing a win to clinch section four of the League Cup, Winton got off to a good start against Dalry on Saturday (8 October 1983).  With only four minutes played, Joe Miller floated over a perfect cross and Calum Campbell shot the visitors into an early lead.  In the following minute, Clarke and Gault both had good chances for Dalry with Gault only being denied by the width of the Winton crossbar.  Stevie Lee almost made it 2-0 with twenty-two minutes played when he crashed in a shot from twenty-five yards which Cochrane just managed to touch on to the crossbar – but ten minutes later, Dalry levelled the score when former Winton players Davie McIlroy and Jim Clarke combined well before Clarke neatly lobbed the ball over Munro and into the net.
     The home side pressed hard for another and McMillan came close when Munro just managed to punch his powerful header over the top.
  The second half began at a brisk pace and both teams managed to create some good chances.  Within ten minutes, Rovers were back in front.  Again, Miller provided the cross but this time it was Ricky Gillespie who scored with a powerful header past Cochrane.  Miller almost made it 3-1 soon after when he intercepted a poor passback but Cochrane narrowed the angle and the striker blasted the ball high over the bar.  Dalry came close to equalising late in the game but Winton held out for a win which takes them into the semi-final for the first time.
The teams were
Dalry - Cochrane, McFarlane, Gault, Bain, MacMillan, Anderson, McIlroy, Hodge, Clarke. MacHarg and Smith with substitutes Telford and Conway.
Winton Rovers - Munro, Stirrat, Halliday, Lee, Jewell, Murray, Campbell, Ferguson, Miller, Clarke and Gillespie with substitutes Montgomery and Brownlee.
Saturday’s game resembled an encounter between past and present Winton Rovers' teams.  From the eleven players who started the game for Dalry, eight have played for Winton at some time in the past with goalkeeper Cochrane, McFarlane and MacMillan the only players not to have been at Winton Park.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 October 198

Ardrossan Winton Rovers, perhaps North Ayrshire’s most improved team this season, have every reason to be celebrating this week.  Saturday’s 2-1 win at Dalry gives Rovers a place in the semi-final of the League Cup for the first time and a bumper tie against holders and section three winners, Irvine Meadow.  As far back as 1972, Winton did qualify from their section which was then made up of only three teams - Rovers, Saltcoats and Ardeer.   At that time however, the League Cup sections produced eight quarter-finalists and the Ardrossan side drew holders Hurlford in their tie.  Rovers lost 5-2 in the first leg at Hurlford but gave the visitors a real fright in the return match at Winton Park.  They got off to a great start with a goal from Quinn after only three minutes and further counters from Cardno and Hood gave Winton a 3-1 lead at half-time, making the aggregate score 6-5.  Despite intense pressure in the second half though, Rovers could not break down the Hurlford defence and, in fact, the visitors scored a second goal to make the final aggregate score 7-5. The Rovers team that day was Dick; Baillie and Welsh; Sanderson, Smith and Dalling; Tracey, Hood, Quinn, Cardno and Dickson.
     Ardrossan’s decision to rebuild the side towards the end of last season has obviously paid off and while Kilbirnie and Beith, normally the two top challengers in the section, have tried many different line-ups this year, Winton's settled pattern has paid dividends.
  Only two or three players have been added to what is basically a young pool.  Joe Miller, released by Irvine Vics, has been a valuable addition and his striking partner Craig Donnelly has also been among the goals.  Frankie Clarke has also contributed to their success this season with his experience obviously a valuable asset.
     “We are probably still a bit short on the experienced side but what the players lack in that department they more than make up for with a tremendous amount of commitment and skill. They are a great bunch of lads at Winton Park and they are prepared to work hard to get some success" said team manager Willie Kean.
  Willie has also brought a new coach along to Ardrossan this season - Ian McQueen, the former Dairy, Irvine Vics and Beith trainer.  Looking forward to the semi-final against Meadow, Ian commented  “Obviously Meadow will start favourites for the match but in a one-off situation anything can happen.  Our players won't need to be psyched up for this one. They know that they will have to play well to beat Meadow."
     There was more good news for Winton this week. Their Scottish Cup first-round tie against Fraserburgh has been switched to Ardrossan.
  Winton's opponents have had trouble with the surrounding wall at their ground and the Scottish Junior Football Association has declared that the game can't go on there.
                 Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 October 1983