Rovers won the North Ayrshire Cup again in 2008.

Winton won 4-3 on penalties.
Last season's beaten finalists crashed out at the hands of the North Ayrshire Cup holders who edged them out in a nerve-jangling shootout following a six- goal thriller in the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup second round (on 18 April 2008).  The first chance fell to the home side in six minutes as Muir sent a volley wide.  Five minutes later, however, it was Winton who opened the scoring.  David Wilson was allowed to run through the heart of the home defence and he sent a shot from the edge of the box low into the corner.
      Back bounced Dairy and on seventeen minutes, O’Malley did all the work on the right and his cross to the near post was headed home by Jim ‘Tiger’ McNally.
  Milliken was just inches away from getting on the end of a cross, then Murphy sent a cross over headed for McNally. but the keeper got his fingers to it to touch clear.  Right on half-time, Dairy were incensed when they looked to have a strong claim for a penalty when McNally was downed from the back.
      Thistle started the second half well and an O’Malley cross was headed wide by Jamieson.
  On fifty-five minutes, the hosts took the lead when Murphy battled hard to win the hall and drove in a hard cross to the far post for McNally to volley home.  The home side were on top and a Crawford break on the left needed a last-gasp tackle to clear the danger.  On sixty-one minutes, it was 2- 2 when a free kick from John Gallagher looked to have been covered by Donnahue but the keeper allowed the ball to squirm under his body and cross the line.
      Back bounced Dalry again and in sixty-four minutes, it was 3-2.
  Murphy again did the hard work and this time turned at the edge of the box to crack home the shot himself.  Winton applied pressure to a tiring Dairy side.  Just when it looked like Dalry would hold out, Winton drew level with four minutes to go.  Scott Adam was somehow allowed a free header inside the box and it was all-square at 3-3.  Into penalties, it was John Rae and Tony McCann who were the sinners. both sending their kicks high over the bar to send Winton into the next round.
The teams were
Dalry Thistle – Donnahue, O’Malley, Crawford, McMeeking. Jamieson, Tait, Rae, McCann, McNally, Murphy and Graham with substitutes Hutson, Prow and Hunter.
Winton Rovers – O’Neill, Wilson, Milliken, Brown, Easton, Muir, Monan, Frye, McAvoy, Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Shanks, Patton, Davidson, Paterson and McCann.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 April 2008

Stagecoach Ayrshire District League Promotion-chasing Girvan gained three valuable points but had to work really hard for it against a determined Rovers side (on 21 April 2008).  The visitors took the game to Winton early on, Michael Moffat crossing to Scotland Junior player Darren Mitchell and he held the ball up well before finding Kevin Biggart whose shot forced a decent save from Stevie O’Neill.  Another chance for the Seasiders came in fifteen minutes when a mistake by Paton allowed Moffat in on goal but under the challenge of Brown, his effort was tipped on to the bar by the Winton keeper.
      Girvan continued to be the stronger side and the opening goal came in eighteen minutes when youngster David McVittie ran at pace at the Winton defence before slotting the ball past O’Neill for a tremendous individual effort.
  Winton then restructured and Girvan’s dominance began to wane with the only effort of note a Kriss Mitchell shot on thirty-three minutes.  A corner for the Winton on thirty-five  minutes saw the ball knocked to Shanks who found Graham Muir who got space to hit a right-foot drive that looked goal-bound but former Rovers’ keeper Stuart Robertson skilfully tipped the ball past the post.
      Winton started the second half as they finished the first, pushing Girvan back and Colin Frye on fifty-one minutes was denied by Robertson.
  Girvan’s Scott McGilp sent a dangerous cross into Mitchell on fifty-four minutes and the striker controlled well before shooting over the bar.  Winton deservedly equalised on the hour when McAvoy got free on the right and sent a teasing cross for the keeper but John Gallagher nipped in first to head the ball over him into the net.  On sixty-five minutes, David Wilson got on the end of a good cross by Paton but the was denied again by Robertson.  Girvan went ahead on seventy-six minutes when Darren Mitchell got on the end of a cross from the right and nipped into the box before smashing a shot high past O’Neill.  Winton pressed but the visitors held out for three valuable points.
      The Winton team was O’Neill, Paton, McCann, Brown, Wilson, Shanks, Muir, Frye. McAvoy, Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Patterson, Milliken, Davidson and Monan.

                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald
, 23 April 2008

Tom Ferrie reporting from Winton Park
Winton won this end-of-season game comfortable enough agaonst a much-Improved Darvel side who only really threatened late in the match (on 26 April 2008).  The opening exchanges did not see much football being played as both sides tested each other.  It took six minutes before a decent move saw Shanks knock a good ball over the Daniel back four but Muir's eflort was deflected ior a comer.  Shanks got on the end of the comer but Davis saved his shot.  Another effort tor the Rovers on twelve minutes saw John Gallagher's shot fly over the bar and a minute after this, he picked the ball up on the hallway line and ran right through the Darvel defence but the only thing missing from this great piece of skill was the finish as the ball was skewed wide ot the post.
      The Rovers kept pressing and on sixteen minutes a good move on the left saw Scott Adam flick lhe ball over the head of Dallas who promptly took the legs from him inside the box for an easy penalty decision for the referee.
  Graham Muir stepped up and promptly dispatched the ball past Davis to give the hosts the lead.  Dallas, despite conceding the penalty, almost made up for this when he shot just wide of the target on thirty-one minutes.  David Wilson passed up a good chance for the Rovers to extend their lead when a corner on the right was flighted in but his effort lacked the power to really trouble the keeper.  Wilson again proved to be a useful striker and on forty-one minutes, he appeared on the inside-left channel to fire in a low strike that Davis saved well at his near post.
      Darvel were not out of the game and George Kelly saw a header just before half-time well saved at the near post by Winton’s Colin Robertson.
  Dallas had a good chance to equalise early in the second half when his pace saw him go past Brown but his shot was wide of the far post.  In sixty-one minutes, Darvel again went close when Kelly saw a shot towards the back post tipped round the post by Robertson.  Darvel were trying everything to get back on level terms and a long throw-in by Paul saw the ball eventually go out for a bye-kick causing the home defence some trouble on the way.
      Winton went further ahead on seventy-one minutes when a Mark McCann cross went behind the Darvel defence but John Gallagher was quick-minded enough to nip in and stab the hail past the Darvel keeper.
  Ryan Drummond pulled off a decent effort on goal after this but Robertson saved well.  On seventy-nine minutes, Winton went 3-0 up and it was down to a pass from Graeme Patterson flicked on to Gary Davidson who controlled the ball and then showed good composure to stroke the ball past the Darvel keeper for his first goal for Winton.
      Darvel kept working hard and were desperate to gain a consolation goal.
  Dallas almost set up Kelly with a couple of minutes to go and in injury time a long ball over the top saw Colin Robertson, on top of his game, deny a point-blank effort from Dallas.

The teams were
Winton Rovers – Robertson, Wilson, McCann, Brown, Easton, Shanks, Muir, Frye, McAvoy, Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Patterson, Millikan, Davidson and Monan.
Darvel – Davis, Martin, Lindsay, McLaughlan, Paul, Dallas, McCulloch, Sloss, Drummond, R Kelly and Divers with substitutes Higgins, Drummond, J McDonald, Pollock and Hamilton.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 April 2008

Tom Ferrie reporting from Winton Park
Rovers dented Hurlford’s promotion charge as the visitors’ ten game run of victories came to a halt at Winton Park (on 30 April 2008).  The visitors started off brightly attacking the Winton goal from the off.  It took ten minutes for Hurlford to really threaten and Paul Campbell’s cross came to McKie who hit a good shot that came off Easton’s head and out for a comer.  Campbell got free on the left on twenty-five minutes for Ford but shot wide.
      Winton’s first half chance came on the half hour mark when McAvoy set up Adam who shot through a ruck of players safely into the arms Smith.
  The home side’s increasing confidence saw them take the lead very early in the second half when a corner on the left was floated in, Easton rose to head the ball back and it came off the post only for Colin Frye to bundle over the line.  Winton were pushed back and a corner on the left on fifty-one minutes saw Lawless rise but he headed high over the bar.  Hurlford continued to apply the pressure and were awarded some free kicks outside the Winton box but they were generally hit too high or wide of the target to really trouble O’Neill.
      Murphy got a good shot on target on sixty-two minutes but the finish wasn’t there as it went straight to O’Neill.
  Winton were on the break and on sixty-five minutes, they had a chance to make it two when McAvoy rolled the ball to Patterson who hit an early shot that just curled over the bar.  On seventy-two minutes, a ball in from McKie was laid off by Derek Rae for Michael Hart to shoot but his effort was blocked by some resolute Winton defending.
      Winton’s Gary Davidson was unlucky to see a good run in from the left see him fire in a low shot that Smith got down well to save at the near post.
  Graham Muir intercepted a dangerous low ball with five minutes left when the Hurlford, strikers were ready to pounce but steered the ball to safety.  The visitors’ frustration was summed up in injury time when Murphy lashed out at Colin Frye and was sent off for his trouble.
The Winton team was O’Neill, Wilson, McCann, Brown, Easton, Gallagher, Patterson, Frye, McAvoy, Adam and Muir with substitutes Milliken, Shanks, Monan, Davidson and Robertson.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 7 May 2008

Winton chalked up their most impressive result for many a year against Kello Rovers at Winton Park which was epitomised by the home side playing some magical football (on 10 May 2008) in the Stagecoach Ayrshire District League.  The opening period on a glorious day for football saw both sides test each other but neither keeper was troubled.  Kello took the lead on eleven minutes when Wilson failed to clear and Graham Wark fired in a tremendous shot that Robertson parried but the loose ball came off the bar and the ever-alert Andrew Rae tucked it home.
      Winton levelled three minutes later when Colin Frye knocked a ball behind the right full-back for McAvoy to chase and his cutback was met by Graham Muir.  The turning point probably came in thirty-eight minutes when Andrew Rae saw a twenty-yard effort cannon off the bar and the hosts cleared.  Gallagher got to the bye-line and McAvoy met his cut-back and cleverly allowed the ball to run underneath him before back-heeling past Grozier to give Rovers the lead.
      Rovers continued pressing into the second half and a Billy Easton effort from a corner was cleared by a Winton player but the pressure continued on the visitors’ defence.  The hosts extended their lead on sixty-one minutes when a nice ball down the left saw McEvoy beat Grozier who came out for the block and cut back to Scott Adam to rifle high into the net.  Derek Frye’s men went 4-1 up on sixty-eight minutes when McAvoy took the ball off the Kello defence and found Adam who threaded a ball to Gallagher to chip a delightful ball past Grozier.  A minute later, McAvoy teed up Davidson to tap in.
      Two minutes later, Graham Patterson hit a low shot in at the near post.  Frye then forced another decent save from Grozier.  Davidson got another chance on seventy-four minutes when he controlled a cross, which let him run in on goal but his shot across the keeper came off the far post and despite the efforts of McAvoy, Kello cleared the danger.  Winton went 7-1 ahead on eighty minutes when Davidson broke free on the left and crossed for McAvoy to net.  McAvoy completed his hat-trick when a Gallagher through ball saw his initial effort blocked by Grozier but he coolly knocked the rebound past the keeper.
The Winton team was. Robertson, Wilson, Milliken, Brown, Easton, Muir, Patterson, Frye, McAvoy, Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Monan, Paton, Davidson and Shanks.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 May 2008

      Tom Ferrie reporting from Winton Park
Rampant Rovers made it twenty goals in four games with this ultimately emphatic score-line but they were made to work very hard by the Vics to earn the points (on 12 May 2008).  Vics used the strong wind to their advantage, scoring after eight minutes when Greg Kean’s corner on the left found Ian Gillon and he set up Tam McLelland who had acres of space to fire a low shot past Stevie O’Neill.
      Winton’s first chance came in twenty minutes when Patterson latched on to a cut-back but fired over the bar.
  McAvoy was denied when a through ball from Patterson saw him get held up and his shot was blocked.  Winton’s best chance to equalise came on twenty-eight minutes when David Wilson hit a tremendous effort towards the top left-hand corner but David Markey pulled off an equally tremendous stop.  Muir put a nice ball behind the Vics defence on thirty-six minutes and McAvoy’s stinging shot was parried by Markey.  Muir almost got in himself on forty minutes but Markey saved before foiling Milliken.
      Bryan Taggart forced a decent save from O’Neill at the start of the second half but eight minutes in, Winton equalised when, from a throw-in on the right the ball was hooked to the back post and Graeme Patterson hit a volley high into the net.
  Winton went 2–1 up four minutes later when a high bouncing ball saw McAvoy get in on the Vics’ keeper who blocked his first effort but was powerless to stop the striker bag his eighteenth goal of the season from the rebound.  The visitors regrouped and looked a bit stronger in midfield but Winton still had more possession and Gallagher was unlucky on seventy-six minutes.
      Winton scored two late goals to seal the points.
  Paul Monan picked up the ball on the right and burst past Affleck before calmly driving an unstoppable low shot past Markey. In injury time, Gallagher scored at the third attempt.  His first effort was blocked before Patterson collected the loose ball and gave Gallagher his second chance which cannoned off the bar but he had the presence of mind to tuck the ball away.
The teams were
Winton - O’Neill, Wilson, Milliken, Brown, Easton, Muir, Patterson, Shanks, McAvoy, Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Paton, Monan, Davidson and Robertson.
Saltcoats - Markey, Latta, Affleck, McKay, McLelland, Kean, Collins, Donnelly, McClung, Gilroy and Taggart with substitutes Hamilton, Timmonds and Wilson.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 May 2008

Free-scoring Winton finished their league season another healthy win but a much changed and improved Kello made the Ardrossan side work for their victory (on 17 May 2008).  Derek Frye’s men finish their campaign in fifth place which sees them improve again and their supporters have been treated to twenty-four goals in the last five games.
      Kello were up for this one and got a shot in on target within the first thirty seconds as the hosts sought to avenge last week’s drubbing by Winton.  Winton retaliated and a good move saw Muir get free but his effort was blocked. Kello again came hack and Baird fouled Rae on four minutes but his nice early shot was into Stevie O’Neill’s arms.  The early Kello pressure passed and Winton took a grip on the game.  After twelve minutes, a knockback from John Gallagher allowed Scott McAvoy to get a good shot which took a slight deflection and went over.  Scott Adam got through on sixteen minutes but his effort went wide under pressure from Hyslop.
      Winton were on top with plenty of possession in and around the box but it took thirty-one minutes for the visitors to go ahead and it was a product of a good driving run by Wilson from full-back and his hall was eventually sent wide left to Patterson who swept in a terrific curling shot into the postage stamp corner of the net.  Winton tried to extend their lead but Kello snatched an equaliser on forty-two minutes after Graham Wark crossed to Allan Morris who hit an unstoppable shot past O’Neill into the far comer.  Kello took a great deal of heart from this late first half equaliser and came out more determined but Winton spurned a chance after forty-nine minutes when a high looping ball saw McAvoy in space and his control was excellent.  He shot low and hard but Leavy saved brilliantly.
      Kello had much more possession in the second half but Winton still had the better chances typified when a free kick by Davidson in at the back post on sixty-three minutes when Milliken ghosted in but saw his  header was saved and from this Kello’s Baird on the break ran in but saw his shot well saved by O’Neill.  Kello then forced three corners in rapid succession with scorer Morris looking for a second but his deflected shot went wide.  Kello’s best chance came in seventy-four minutes when a Milne shot was flicked on by Wark and the ball came off the far post before O’Neill gathered it.
Leavy started pulling off some good saves from the Winton strikers and on seventy-five minutes, McAvoy saw his low drive parried after good work from Milliken and Muir.  Davidson got free on the left a couple of minutes later and this time tried to curl a shot into the far corner but Leavy again dived low to his left and turned the ball past the post.  Winton’s pressure eventually told on eighty minutes when a throw-in on the left was flicked on by Gallagher and the ball was allowed to roll to Adam who scored from twelve yards.
      With five minutes remaining, Winton sealed their victory when from a throw-in on the half-way line Gallagher went on a run from deep and got through the Kello defence before slipping the ball past Leavy.  Derek Cook came on for a cameo appearance after an injury to McAvoy but the final move saw Scott Adam get free from the Kello defence and after he shrugged off his man, he ran on to score his second of the game and Winton’s fourth.
The teams were
Winton Rovers – Robertson, Wilson, Milliken, Brown, Easton, Muir, Patterson, Frye. McAvoy. Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Monan, Paton, Davidson and Shanks.
Kello Rovers - Leavy, Bell, Thomson, Kerr, Hyslop, Anderson, Baird. Lawrie, Rae. Wark and Morris with substitutes Lennox, McGinn, Milne and Crozier.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 21 May 2008

Holders Meadow progressed to the semi-final of the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup (on 24 May 2008) to set up a derby clash with Kilwinning Rangers.  Winton never made it easy for their more illustrious opponents but they did have the consolation of scoring possibly the most spectacular goal ever seen at Winton Park.  Rovers had an excellent chance on four minutes to take the lead when Scott Adam latched on to a loose ball in the box but Wardrope got a leg to it and turned it past the post for a corner.  Meadow’s Emelio Jaconelli got on to the end of a diagonal ball six minutes later but hooked the ball past the far post.
      Paul Brown was guilty of a short pass-back and Gavin Friels latched on to the ball only for Stevie O’Neill to come rushing out to block his effort.
  O’Neill was called into action on twenty-three minutes, pulling off a low diving save to deny the Meadow.  Despite Winton’s resolute defending, Meadow took the lead on thirty minutes in the simplest of fashion when Charlie Adam put in a corner on the left and David Hamilton leapt to head the ball home in off the post.  Meadow then tried to kill the game but, although they had plenty of possession, the final pass wasn’t there.  Paul Hilland saw a snapshot from wide left fly just over the bar shortly before the interval but Winton almost got the equaliser when Gallagher set Adam free down the right channel and the cut cut-back saw Scott McAvoy in space but he fired just wide of the far post.
      Winton opened the second half brightly and an early chance saw a low ball go flying across the Meadow six-yard box and, on fifty-five minutes, Scott Adam warmed Wardrope’s gloves with a stinging shot.
  Meadow retaliated after this scare and Essler got free at the back post but his downward header was saved by O’Neill.  Milliken for Winton got past McLaughlin on fifty-eight minutes to try and test the Meadow keeper but his shop went over then Essler saw a free kick from the edge of the box clip the bar and go over but O’Neill looked to have it covered. Meadow did extend their lead on sixty-three minutes when a ball from deep was misjudged by the Rovers defence, allowing Friels all the time in the world to side-foot the ball past the helpless O’Neill.

      Winton’s task of salvaging anything from this tie was effectively lost with twenty minutes to go when Colin Frye received his marching orders for dissent.
  Joe Gold made it 3-0 with eight minutes to go when a poor clearance allowed Gold to tuck the ball past the Winton keeper.  Winton save the best till last and scored what was probably the most spectacular goal seen at the park when direct from the restart following Meadow’s third goal, John Gallagher hit the ball straight from the centre spot into the right-hand corner of the net for a fifty-six yard screamer.

                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 May 2008

      Tom Ferrie reporting from Winton Park

Winton progressed into the semi-finals in their efforts to defend the North Ayrshire Cup with a good performance against Dalry Thistle (on 31 May 2008).  Tiger McNally showed his class after ten minutes when he turned the Rovers defence to get a shot on target.  Winton had a tremendous effort and missed on nine minutes when Adam sent McAvoy clear on the left and his cross saw Muir put the ball past the far post to deny the Rovers the lead.
      After sixteen minutes, McNally turned and shot into the arms of O’Neill.
  Winton were defending deep at this stage and Hutson saw an effort from distance drift over the bar.  John Gallagher produced some amazing skill to beat his marker and get free on goal but Rankine gathered his chip well.  McAvoy also had a couple of chances before half-time as the home side pushed to secure the tie.
      The opening goal came after forty-eight minutes when Jamie Paton went on the burst and put a nice ball into the path of John Gallagher who back-heeled the ball past Rankine.
  Winton then went 2-0 up after Paton set up Adam who ran to the bye-line before passing to Graeme Paterson who knocked the ball in at the back post.  Winton tried to extend their lead but Adam missed a decent chance and Cogan shot over when in good position.
      The Rovers continued to press and Milliken controlled the ball on his chest from a cross on the right and he fired a decent effort on goal but it was just wide of the target.
  Winton made it 3-0 after Scott Adam got free to execute a low drive past the Dalry defence after being put through by Alan Shanks.  Winton’s keeper made a bit of a Horlicks of a ball to allow Cogan to nip the ball off him to nip the ball off him and make it 3-1 but in injury time, Paul Brown rose to head home a corner from Gary Davidson to make it 4-1 for Winton.

The teams were
Ardrossan Winton Rovers – O’Neill, Paton, Milliken, Brown, Easton, Muir, Patterson, Frye, McAvoy, Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Monan, Davidson, Shanks and Wilson
Dalry Thistle – Rankine, Rodgers, Crawford, Murray, Loudon, Tait, Hutson, Auld, Bell and O’Mally with substitutes Cogan, Allison, Jamieson, O’Neill and Lamb.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 June 2008

      Tom Ferrie reporting from Campbell Park
Rovers marched into their second consecutive North Ayrshire Cup final with a comfortable win over their near-neighbours (on 2 June 2008) and now meet hosts Irvine Victoria in Monday night’s hotly anticipated showdown with a 7.30pm kick-off.  Saltcoats started brightly enough but it was Winton who took the lead after eight minutes when Gallagher collected a pass and, although there were claims for handball, he held the ball well before threading it to Milliken and he got to the bye-line before crossing to McAvoy who turned his marker before scoring in the corner.
      After eleven minutes it was 2-0 courtesy of a penalty which was awarded when Thompson fouled Scott Adam in the box.
  Graeme Patterson put the ball low to Markey’s left but the young keeper almost kept him out.  Winton sat back a bit after this and allowed Saltcoats on to them but the Winton keeper wasn’t kept that busy and visiting player Patterson passed up a good chance after forty minutes but Markey saved with his legs.
      A controversial incident just before half-time left the Seasiders feeling a touch aggrieved when Latta’s strike from distance was fumbled and some thought the ball may have crossed the line but the referee didn’t give it and Winton went in at the interval still 2-0 up.
  The game was pretty flat and although there were a few yellow cards shown Paul Timmons turned and hit a low shot into O’Neill’s arms on seventy minutes.
      Winton got their second penalty in seventy-two minutes when McAvoy was sent clear on the left and as he cut back in Gillon took the legs from him.
  Colin Frye took the penalty, scoring in decisive fashion with a well-taken effort.  Wilson saw a spectacular effort from distance come off the bar as Winton tried to seal the game but the fourth came when Milliken was sent free on the left before setting up McAvoy who went round the keeper to score.  O’Neill pulled off a decent save from Lee Duncan in the dying minutes as Saltcoats tried to get a consolation but the final chance saw Paul Monan get free on the right but Markey blocked his effort to deny the Winton man.

The teams were
Saltcoats Victoria – Markey, Donnelly, Affleck, Latta, Duncan, Taggart, Kerr, Gillon. Collins, McLelland, D Thompson with substitutes Hamilton, McClung, Agnew, Timmons and J Thompson.
Ardrossan Winton Rovers - O’Neill, Wilson, Milliken, Brown. Easton, Muir, Patterson, Frye, McAvoy, Adam Gallagher with substitutes Monan, Davidson, Shanks and Paton.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 June 2008

Winton won 6-5 on penalties.

Stewart McConnell at Winton Park
Goalkeeper Stevie O’Neill was saint-turned-sinner for Winton as he missed a penalty before saving two in a nerve-jangling shootout at chilly Winton Park on Monday night (9 June 2008) to edge out battling Vics and help his side retain the North Ayrshire Cup.  Later, he admitted the key to victory was knowing exactly where former teammate Gary Madden would place his spot-kick.  O’Neill, who also kept out Gareth Timoney’s effort, said afterwards “I was a teammate of Gary at Arthurlie and I know how he placed his penalties so I was surprised he hadn’t changed.  It was great to hold on to the Cup and I would have preferred if the big guns had been in the competition but you can only beat what is in front of you.”  Goalscorer Scott Adam added “We didn’t play nearly as well as we could but Stevie O’Neill helped win it for us.  Hopefully, we can use this success as a springboard for promotion next season.”
      Winton took the lead with virtually the first move of the game in three minutes as Scott Adam outjumped the visiting defence to powerfully head home Colin Frye’s cross from eight yards.
  Barely a minute later, they had a chance to double their advantage but Frye headed just over the bar from six yards.  Determined Vics hit back and in nine minutes, Gary McGrath shot narrowly past a post from fourteen yards before, a minute later, Gareth Timoney sent a ten-yard effort narrowly wide of target.  The holders had another opportunity in eighteen minutes but Stephen McAvoy sent a shot from eight yards just wide.  Visiting keeper Scott Gilmour then confidently clutched Frye’s cross-cum-shot in twenty-five minutes.
      Winton were awarded a penalty kick two minutes later as Scott Adam was adjudged to have been tripped by a visiting defender.
  Scott Gilmour, however, dived to save Graeme Patterson’s spot-kick.  Vics then came close in thirty-three minutes as a Darryl Boyd twenty-yard effort was deflected wide.  Three minutes later, Vics were awarded a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal and Blair Gilmour outjumped the home defence to brilliantly head home Boyd’s set piece.  Four minutes from half-time, Boyd’s inswinging cross from twenty-five yards was handled well by O’Neill.
      Eight minutes after the break, Kier Millikan made a darting run, but had a shot blocked by a defender.
  Two minutes later, however, Vics had a golden chance to seize the lead but Ewan Robertson's initial shot was blocked and the same player knocked the rebound wide from close range.  As Vics enjoyed a good spell, Boyd sliced wide from eighteen yards two minutes later.  A twenty-yard rocket from McGrath was skilfully tipped over the bar by the alert O'Neill in fifty-nine minutes before a minute later, goalscorer Gilmour's header was scrambled wide.  Scott Hayes then blasted over the bar from ten yards with only O'Neill to beat six minutes later.
      Keeper Gilmour then dived to save at the feet of McAvoy in sixty-nine minutes and Adam had a shot from ten yards confidently saved by the Vics number one is play moved from end to end.
  Five minutes from time, home substitute Gary Davidson sent a free kick from the edge of the box over the bar as we headed into the shootout.  Each side converted their first four kicks with McAvoy, Frye, Adam and Davidson netting for Winton and Boyd, McGrath, Robertson and B Gilmour converting for Vics.  O'Neill opted to take a penalty for Winton but Gilmour was equal to his effort.  He responded immediately by saving Gary Martin's effort to square it and Jamie Paton netted for Winton with Barry Taylor scoring for Vics.  Paul Monan made it 6-5 for Winton before O'Neill denied Timoney and joyous scenes erupted among home players and fans with Vics left to reflect on what might have been.

      The teams were
Winton Rovers - O'Neill, Wilson, Milliken, Brown, Easton, Muir, Patterson, Frye, McAvoy Adam and Gallagher with substitutes Paton, Monan, Shanks and Davidson.
Irvine Victoria - S Gilmour, Hayes, Taylor, Boyd, Smith, B Gilmour, McIntosh, Timoney, McGrath and Robertson with substitutes Little, White, Madden and Love.
      Only ten men were listed in the newspaper in Vics' starting line-up.
                Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 11 June 2008