In 2010, Winton delivered some strong performances.

Pre-season boost as Winton topple rivals
Winton gained a pre-season boost with a fine win over their Central League rivals (on 30 July 2010).  The opening half-hour saw little in the way of action. with Scott Adam twice coming close for Winton, while Mark Murray forced a save from Matthew Carr in the Vale goal.  At the other end, Willie Rankine pulled off a comfortable stop from Alan Brown’s shot.  The game was proving a useful work-out but had the look of a no-score draw.  That was until twenty-four minutes from time when new signing Scott Houston’s superb cross found the head of John Gallagher who headed home at the near post - and two minutes later, Adam wrapped up the win heading home the rebound after Carr had saved his initial shot.  Vale came close late on when a James Crowhurst free-kick crashed off the Winton post but the home side responded and started to play some really good stuff.  A one-two saw Gallagher link with Houston and his low cross was cleared by the despairing efforts of Vale defender Kenny Wilson with Adam ready to pounce - and as the game progressed, Gallagher came close again when Hamilton's cross picked him out but he knocked the ball over.  With a few missing players, this proved an excellent workout for the home team as the Ardagh Glass Cup ties loom large.
The teams were:
Winton Rovers – Rankine, Breen, Houston, McMillan, Jones, Muir, Kennedy, Gallagher, Adam and Murray with substitutes R Stewart, Frye and Nolan.  Only ten, instead of eleven players were named in the starting line-up.
Vale of Leven – Carr, Wilson, Lacy. Cavana, Buchanan, Brown, Filshie, Barry, Crowhurst, Galloway and Pawsey with substitutes McDevitt, McNaught, Russell, Cosh and McBarron.
The Ardrossan Winton Rovers weekly lottery numbers were 1, 9, 16 and 19.  The bonus number was 2.  There were no winners so this week’s jackpot is now 1800.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 August 2010

‘Dismal’ Winton turn tables to come back

So, after one Sunday newspaper headline labelled Winton as ‘Dismal Dross’ against the league champions Beith at the weekend, Winton turned the tables on the Buffs and put themselves back into contention in Section 1.  Mind you, this proved to be a strange game for the neutral observers as Buffs dominated for long periods of the first half, yet went into the interval 3-0 down.  The opening period saw the Buffs with plenty of possession but no real clear-cut openings for them.  Scott Adam was sent clear after twenty minutes but was denied by a great interception.  The game then began to liven up and another poor pass-back saw Ben Lewis nip in and Willie Rankine pulled off a tremendous block to deny the Buffs’ man.  After half an hour, Winton went one up and after some head tennis in the box, Stewart stabbed at the ball before it broke to Graham Muir at the back post and he hit a low drive past Stewart.  Buffs responded strongly after this setback and put the home defence under pressure with some corners in on goal.  A chance for Gavin Brown saw him volley over after latching on to a loose backwards header.  John Gallagher pulled off some sublime skill in forty-one minutes showing great close control to beat a couple of Buffs’ defenders and slide the ball into the far corner of Stewart’s net for a 2-0 lead.  A minute after this, a Graham Muir corner was curled in on top of Stewart and under pressure, the ball fell kindly to Scott Adam who gleefully volleyed the ball home for a 3-0 lead.  On forty-eight minutes, it was four when a Gallagher cross was headed home by Paul Stewart at the back post – a well-taken but simple goal for the Rovers.  On the hour mark, Stewart volleyed home a Gallagher cross to make it 5-0.  Buffs pushed for a consolation goal but found Rankine a tough nut to crack as he denied them on a couple of occasions.  The Buffs did get a goal when a deep inswinging corner from the right was knocked in by Gavin Brown.  Rovers got Saturday’s defeat well and truly out of their system after this performance with the whole team playing well but special mention must go to Mark Murray who slotted in at left-back and produced a man-of-the-match performance.
The teams were:
Winton Rovers - Rankine, Breen, Murray, Rae, Jones, Muir, Adam, Gilmour, Stewart, Hamilton and Gallagher.  The substitutes were R Stewart, Frye, McMillan, Nolan and Kennedy.
Kilwinning Rangers – Stewart, McGregor, Grant, Fulton, Holden, Mitchell, Lewis, Maxwell, Hart, Brown and Sloan.
  The substitutes were Monan, Ferris, Fulton, Westcott and Robertson.
                 Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 August 2010

Winton Soar Into The Quarter Finals
Section One of the Ardagh Cup has always been a hard section for Winton Rovers to qualify from but for the first time in eighteen years, they have managed such a feat.  Curiously enough, it was eighteen years since Ardrossan hosted the final under the lights at Winton Park where the Talbot beat Meadow on penalties.  The opening period did not see a huge amount of action but on sixteen minutes, a corner on the right was cleared to Largs’ Alan Muir and he hit a volley that Willie Rankine held.  On twenty minutes, it was the Rovers who looked lively and Scott Adam and Graham Muir combined to set up Craig Breen who forced a good save from Stephen Connick.  On twenty-five minutes, a couple of chances fell the way of Winton.  First of all, Mark Murray got down the left and his cross came to Paul Stewart whose shot cannoned off Hamilton and then off the post and that was followed a minute later by a ball to the onrushing Graeme Hamilton who went one on one with Stephen Connick and chipped the ball over him but just past the far post as well.  The game was flowing and shortly after this, Kevin Struthers headed past from a good cross on the right.  On forty minutes, Rovers went 1-0 up and it came about when Gallagher went down the left and crossed to Breen who then in turn set up Stewart with a volley and the striker slotted the ball home.  Stewart almost doubled the lead when a clipped shot also clipped the bar.  Alas, the lead was not to last when the Rovers conceded possession in midfield the ball was chipped over the back four and Graham Black rounded Willie Rankine to score.  Largs were a bit more like themselves in the second half and pinned the Rovers back but their first effort came on the hour when following a corner.  Alan Gilbride saw his curling effort come off the bar and out for a bye-kick.  Alan Muir, on sixty-three minutes, forced a save from Rankine when his curling effort was put past the post by the Rovers’ keeper.  Graham Black saw a turn form distance well held by Rankine.  On seventy-five minutes, the Rovers got the decisive goal when a corner on the right was curled in by Mark Murray and Hamilton rose to head powerfully down and into the net.  Winton held on comfortably enough after this and with results going their way, qualification was achieved for the first time in eighteen years and great credit to them for doing so.

Craig Breen of Winton battles for possession.
The teams were:
Winton Rovers - Rankine, Breen, Murray, Rae, Jones, Muir, Adam, Gilmour, Stewart, Hamilton and Gallagher.
  The substitutes were R Stewart, Frye, McMillan and Nolan.
Largs Thistle – Connick, Davidson, Jamieson, Walton, Gilbride, Deas, Barnes, Muir, Black, Struthers and Phillips.
  The substitutes were McClure, C Black, McCann, Dow, Coyle, Power and Greenwood.
                 Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 August 2010

Cock-a-hoop Ardrossan Winton Rovers boss Derek Frye lavished praise on his team as they stormed into the Ardagh Glass League Cup quarter-finals for the first time in nearly two decades but then admitted promotion to the super League was the top priority.  Last Wednesday’s incredible 5-1 triumph against Kilwinning Rangers followed by Saturday’s memorable 2-1 triumph against Largs Thistle saw them seal a last eight berth in the season-opening competition for the first time since 1992 and they will now play Irvine Meadow or Irvine Victoria away next Wednesday night – but before that is the big league kick-off as Frye’s troops host Three Towns rivals Ardeer Thistle in their opening Stagecoach Ayrshire District League match on Saturday.  Frye, who again this week rubbished speculation linking him with the Glenafton Athletic job is encouraged with the form shown by his team and hinted they could go even further in the cup.  “It is quite an achievement reaching the Ardagh Glass quarter-finals and again shows how far we have progressed although, as I have said before, our top priority this year is getting promotion to the Super League.  I expect it’s more than likely we will face Irvine Meadow.  On paper, you would think they are the favourites with the money and resources at their disposal but we beat them earlier this year in the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup and since, when have games been decided on paper?  We look forward to the game and if it’s Irvine Vics we are playing, they have also done well, making their first quarter-final for a long time so that would be a test.  Everyone is looking forwards to the first league match but we are taking nothing for granted.  This is a derby match and Ardeer will be very much up for it.  Our aim is to take three points.”  Quizzed about the rumours on Glenafton Athletic who are looking increasing likely to appoint interim bosses John Stewart and Willie Howie, Frye said “I would like to put that rumour to bed.  I am not interested in the Glenafton job and have not spoken to anyone at the club.  I have a job to do here at Winton although you never know what can happen down the line.  It’s a funny old game.  Rovers have no injury problems for wither game.  Winton head to their final Ardagh Glass League Cup sectional match tonight.
                 Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 August 2010