In 2014, the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald published a short history of Winton Rovers.
WINTON PARK IN WORLD WAR II ROLE FOR ROYAL NAVY
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald,
Ardrossan Winton Rovers are widely known across the junior football spectrum and most of the local community could point you in the direction of Winton Park. But some locals may not know what the park has been used for in the past - or the troubles that the team encountered throughout the years. Starting back when World War II was being fought, we look at the trials, tribulations, success and challenges faced by Ardrossan's junior football team. During the Second World War, Winton Park was used as a Royal Navy training and recreation base for HMS Fortitude which was based in Ardrossan.
The 1950s was a time for regeneration and modernisation as the wooden sleepers were removed and replaced with concrete ones in the terracing. In 1955, a new stand and dressing room were built and were amongst the best in the junior game with the team on the pitch also showing their worth.
A new social club was built in Ardrossan's Bute Place in 1975 but this lasted only seven years and closed in 1982. Also during the 1980s, local man Willie Kean took over as manager. Willie had previously been the boss at the Metallic side and along with Ian McQueen they brought a new ethos to the side, bringing in both local and experienced players including Frankie Clark and Derek Frye.
In 1991, the ﬂoodlights were used for the ﬁrst time and in 1992 major structural changes were implemented, with the old committee set-up changed. Ardrossan Winton Rovers Limited was introduced with the help of local businesses and supporters. An initial share capital of £20000 was raised and things were going from strength to strength. Andy Roxburgh and Craig Brown organised one of the ﬁrst SFA play-ball schemes played at Winton Park and Partick Thistle, under the management of Jim Fleeting, played a number of reserve games in the Ardrossan ground.
At this time there was a real threat to the traditions of Ardrossan Winton Rovers and there was talk about the park moving to Dalry Road or to the park near to Central Avenue.
Fast forwarding to this season, top management side of Chris Strain, John McCall, George Watt and kitman Jimmy McNeil have big ambitions. They have won just about every trophy in the junior game, with the exception of the Scottish Cup. The club are now conﬁdent that they can progress through the leagues and will be announcing the support of new major sponsors on Saturday 4 October. Assistant chairman, Pat Breen, said “With the support and assistance of sponsors we can eventually see Winton playing at the highest level of junior football and have a team that the town and community can be proud of.”
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald,
ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 5 – GIRVAN 1
Winton Work For Victory
Winton ultimately overwhelmed the basement side (on 31 December 2014) but took a long time to break them down. Although Rovers expected a harder game than Lugar who hammered a depleted Girvan side who had just eight available players 14-0 the previous week, they made heavy weather of it especially in the first half. They were up against a team with a mixture of youngsters and some experienced players who made a real game of it. The hosts had Gareth Turner signed on loan from Troon for the rest of the season on the bench.
Rovers almost took the lead inside a minute when Robertson made a good save from a Conor Browning volley. Chris Strain’s hosts were forced to make a change in ten minutes when Craig Breen was injured keeping the ball, to be replaced by Darren Miller. A couple of minutes later, Michael Wardrope comfortably saved a snapshot from Kyle Russell as Girvan created their first real chance. Robertson then saved well from Ian Cashmore after he got on the end of a Ryan Caddis cross at the back post. Winton broke the deadlock in twenty-three minutes when a Lee McCrea corner kick was cleared only as far as Matty Bennett thirty yards out and he hit an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner. They doubled the lead in thirty-nine minutes when David McVittie handled a Browning cross in from the right and was booked. Caddis stepped up and beat Robertson with a chipped spot-kick.
Although it had been all Winton for forty minutes, Girvan had been making a game of it and a minute from half-time, pulled a goal back. A cross from the right was missed by the defence and fell to their trialist who was unmarked and turned to shoot home from fifteen yards. Just after the break, Cashmore then had another two attempts before Caddis hit the top of the bar with a header in fifty-seven minutes. Michael Wardrope then denied Girvan’s best outfield player, Connor Gracie, with a flying save. Robertson then made a good save in sixty-three minutes from a Ben Carson free-kick. The keeper also blocked the follow-up before a third shot went well wide.
Rovers finally got the third goal in sixty-six minutes when, after some good play down the right Browning played the ball into Willet who fired home from fifteen yards. Turner then replace Caddis just before Rovers made it 4-1. Some great play down the right between Turner and Browning saw the ball come to the latter and he hammered the ball home form twenty-five yards. With ten minutes left, a good move involving Turner and Calvin Smith ended with Robertson making another good save from Willet. In eighty-three minutes, former Girvan man McCrea did well to control a cross ball from the right on the edge of the box before finding Willet who fired home for his second.
The Winton team was Wardrope, Breen, Bennett, Carson, Cochrane, Browning, Caddis, Johnston, Cashmore, Willet, and McCrea with substitutes Miller, Turner, Smith, Webb and Hainey.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald,7 January 2015