Winton Rovers won the Dennis Donnelly Memorial Shield in 2014.

WINTON ROVERS 4 – SALTCOATS VICTORIA 3
Winton Cash in with thrilling win

Star striker Ian Cashmore bagged a dazzling double and fellow debutant Sean Hainey was also on target as Winton saw off the Seasiders in a pulsating derby clash.  Rovers had their Cashmore and Hainey in the starting eleven but were without the injured Jared Willet for this important local derby.  Winton were looking to keep in touch with the top of the league while Vics were aiming to get back to winning ways.
     The early part of this game was played in heavy rain but both sides went for it from the kick-off and on six minutes Michael Wardrope made a good save from a Paul Monan shot from the edge of the box.
  A few minutes later, a powerful header from Billy Gilmour, from a corner, flashed wide of the Vics goal.  The opening exchanges were fairly even but it was Rovers who took the lead on fifteen minutes when Hainey, out on the Winton right, beat the offside trap and ran on into the box before rounding Catterson and slotting the ball home for his debut goal.  The lead only lasted five minutes when Vics won a corner and although Mark Murray kept Ally Patrick’s header out, the ball came to David Gregory who forced the ball home at the near post to make it 1-1.
     The play was end-to-end stuff without any real chances until the thirty-second minute when a cross into the box fell to Patrick almost on the penalty spot and, despite Callum Walsh’s efforts, Patrick was able to fire in a low shot past Wardrope to put Vics ahead for the first time.
  Ian Cashmore then had a great chance to equalise when a clearance from the defence came to him twenty-five yards out and, spotting Catterson off his line,  he tried to chip him but the keeper pulled off a great save to parry the ball then gathered it.  Saltcoats increased their lead on thirty-eight minutes in an almost identical move to their second goal which saw the ball land at the feet of former Winton man Matthew Santos who fired home from about ten yards to give Saltcoats a two-goal cushion.  Winton kept pressing to get back into the game and a couple of minutes before the interval, got their reward when the ball was played to Ian Cashmore who squared the ball to Lee McCrea in the box and he fired a low shot past Catterson to make the half-time score 3-2 to Vics.
     Rovers came back out in a determined mood and while Saltcoats had edged the first half, Winton were the better team in the second.
  Seven minutes in, Ben Carson went on a run at the defence before shooting wide.  Five minutes later, Carson had another chance to get the equaliser after Joe Young laid the ball back to him following some good play down the left by Cashmore but his shot from the edge of the box went well over the bar.  On the hour, Joe Young went on a mazy run into the Vics box before turning and shooting wide.  Saltcoats were still in the game and a minute later, a weak header out of the Winton defence fell to Mark Ferris but he shot wide of Wardrope’s goal on the hour.  A couple of minutes later, Cashmore brought out a good save from Catterson as Winton piled on the pressure.
     On seventy-five minutes, Matthew Santos went on a run down the right wing before cutting in to the box and shooting but the ball went well wide of the goal.
  A minute later, Greig Mitchell replaced Young who had been on the end of some tough tackling throughout the game.  Almost immediately, Rovers got back on level terms when Sean Hainey did well to win the ball out on the right wing after a tussle before he hit an accurate cross into the box to Cashmore whose first time shot from fifteen yards went low into the corner of the net for his first goal for the club on eighty minutes.  A couple of minutes, later Greig Mitchell picked up a throw in out on the right side of the box before turning and shooting.  The ball took a slight deflection and was just missed by Cashmore coming in at the back post.  Incredibly, with five minutes left Winton clinched it when Lee McCrea after some good play down the left swung a cross into the box where Cashmore was on hand to blast it into the net from fifteen yards on eighty-five minutes.  While Winton looked to hold on to their lead, they still created chances and Greig Mitchell was booked for kicking the ball away in frustration at a tight offside decision before only a great save from Catterson denied Cashmore a debut hat-trick.
The teams were:
Winton Rovers - Wardrope; Hay, Murray, Biggart, Walsh, Gilmour, Hainey, Carson, Cashmore, Young and McCrea with substitutes Kennedy, Mitchell, Bonner, Walker and Wilson.
Saltcoats Victoria - Catterson; Forde, Easdon, Gregory, Patrick, Hercus, Monan, Santos, Smith, Davidson and Ferris with substitutes Lundy, trialist and Knight.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 January 2014


STRIKER SALUTES TEAM AFTER COMEBACK
Hotshot Ardrossan Winton Rovers striker Ian Cashmore saluted his team after blasting back from 3-1 behind to topple derby rivals Saltcoats Victoria in a classic derby.  The new signing from Kilwinning Rangers bagged a glorious double as his side boosted their promotion challenge with a vital 4-3 win in the District League match.  They now look forward to a New Year derby away to leaders Ardeer Thistle on Saturday.  Cashmore told Sportscene “The guys showed great spirit coming back from behind and it was nice to get a couple of goals although I could have had a hat-trick.  I feel we deserved to win in the end although Saltcoats are a good side.  We can’t afford to drop many more points.  It’s a big game for us at Ardeer and we really must aim to win the match as we can’t afford to drop many more points.  The guys are up for it and hopefully we can do it.”
           
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 January 2014

ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 3 – RUTHERGLEN GLENCAIRN 1
Rovers Leave Best To The Very End

by Neil Carnegie
Winton ended their season as they has started it with a win against a Glencairn side needing three points to have any hope of overtaking Kilbirnie for automatic promotion.  This was probably Rovers’ best performance of a disappointing season and continued the improvement in results and performance in recent games.  The crowd was boosted by Kilbirnie and Largs fans turning up as the result would have an effect on both of their teams’ promotion hopes.  Although the Glens pressed from the kick-off, it was Winton who took an early lead on three minutes when Lea McCrea beat Willie Galloway down the left before squaring the ball into the area where Dean Muir failed to clear it and Stephen Reid took the ball off him before shooting past Bell in the Glens goal.
     Five minutes later, the dangerous Bren Agnew had the first of a number of chances for him to score but Kenny Pollock raced from his goal to save at Agnew’s feet and the ball was cleared.
  On fifteen minutes, Mark McCarry wasted a free-kick, hitting it from twenty-five yards well over the bar.  A few minutes later, he had a weak header over the bar after he got on the end of a Keiran Downs cross.  Donaghy then had a shot deflected into Kenny Pollock’s arms after he had been played in by Agnew on eighteen minutes.  Glens had the ball in the net on twenty minutes but it was ruled out for offside.  Winton then came back into it when Nikki Smith did well to win the ball then keep possession of it down the right before crossing to David Cunningham and his well hit angled shot was put round the post by Bell for a corner.
     Winton had a good spell of pressure on the Glens defence but could not increase their lead.
  On thirty-two minutes, Agnew drove the back across the face of the goal which was missed by both sets of players before Pollock denied him twice in quick succession, firstly getting down well to save a close-range shot  then, once the ball had been crossed back in, he got down and saved Agnew’s downward header.  Four minutes later, following a good punch from Pollock, McGuire tried to chip him but he managed to get back and catch it without much trouble.  With half-time fast approaching, Glens seemed to have been given a lifeline when Stuart Wilson was adjudged to have fouled Agnew as he went for the ball and the referee pointed to the spot.  Scott Houston was booked for his protests.  However, McCarry’s spot-kick was no better than his free-kick earlier in the game and went miles over the bar and out of the ground.  From the restart, McCarry squared the ball to Agnew whose shot was well saved by Pollock.  As in the first half, Rovers scored three minutes in.  Scott Adam did well to ride several challenges and force his way into the box and played the ball to Reid who, after drawing out the keeper from his goal, cut the ball back into the middle where it was dummied by Adam and broke to Bob Hay who fired home from ten yards.
     The Glens then more or less laid siege to the Winton goal and Downs went close after holding off several challenges before shooting wide.
  Agnew had the ball in the net on the fifty-eighth minute but, as in the first half, it was chalked off for offside.  Glens then went three at the back and three up front as they continued to try and salvage something from the game.  Winton brought on Sean Kennedy for Reid on sixty-five minutes and less than five minutes later, trialist Gary Bickerton replaced Scott Houston who had gone down injured and took a while to get off the pitch.  Glens put the Winton defence under a lot of pressure but they defended well and the Glens could not find a way through before Rovers ensured that their season would end on a high note with a third goal with fifteen minutes remaining when a free-kick was rolled out to Bickerton who swung in a cross which Kennedy, froma difficult position, heded the ball down over Bell’s outstretched arms and into the net from ten yard to put Rovers three-nil in front.
     The Glens luck in the match was out once again when Agnew fired a Ballatyne cross off the bar and behind on seventy-seven minutes before McAlpine saw a goal-bound volley headed clear by a defender.
  A minute later, Bell had to stretch to catch what was a strong clearance out of defence on the left by Nikki Smith which looked as if it might go over the keeper’s head as he was well out of his goal.  With a minute to go, Winton’s hopes of ending the season with a shut-out ended when a defender headed out a dangerous cross only as far as Agnew whose first-time volley from the edge of the box went in off the right-hand post to make the final score three-one.  The Winton team was Pollock, Smith, Houston, Gilmour, Wilson, Shanks (trialist), Cunningham, Hay, Reid, Adam and  McCrea.  The substitutes were Kennedy, Gallagher, Milligan and Markie.
           
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 May 2014

WINTON ROVERS 2 – PORT GLASGOW 1
Winton went into this first friendly of the new season (on 19 July 2014) with a lot of anticipation and with most of their new signings on show.  Greig Mitchell who was on loan with the club for a short time last season partnered Ryan Caddis up front in a team with three at the back.
     Rovers started brightly and Greig Mitchell had a shot saved by the keeper
  in the first minute.  Almost immediately, Lee McCrea played a corner short to Sean Hainey and his cross to the back post was headed wide by Mitchell.  Winton did however take a deserved lead on six minutes when John Johnston played a good ball into the box and Greig Mitchell ran onto the ball and hit a shot past the keeper and in off the far post from fifteen yards for 1-0.  On ten minutes, Ryan Caddis went on a good run down the right before playing the ball out to Jared Willet but his cross was cut out and cleared.
     At this time, Rovers were in control and playing some nice football and on 1nineteen minutes Ryan Caddis made a good run down the right and played in Sean Hainey whose cross was met by Greig Mitchell but the keeper saved his header comfortably.
  On twenty-seven minutes, a great cross field pass from Jared Willet was brought down well by Ryan Caddis on the edge of the box and although he worked his way towards goal he carried it too far and the keeper was able to save the ball.  The keeper then made two good saves in quick succession from Ryan Caddis before the Port had their first real chance of the game bringing out a good save from Kenny Pollock on thirty-three minutes.  Two minutes later, Winton doubled their lead when Greig Mitchell rose to meet a Lee McCrea corner on the right to head home strongly for 2-0 from about ten yards.
     On thirty-eight minutes, it was almost three when the ball broke to John Johnston just outside the box and his first time shot hit the post and was cleared.
  The Port created another chance which saw a low cross flash across the face of Kenny Pollock’s goal but one of their forwards was unable to connect at the far post. Lee McCrea then had a long range shot saved by the keeper just before Port Glasgow pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion on forty-four minutes.  Their number nine went on a run down the right wing, got past George Bonner and crossed into the box.  The ball wasn’t properly cleared and the Port number ten scored with an overhead kick from about ten yards.
     Although Port Glasgow came more into the game in the second half, Rovers should have put the game out of their reach on fifty-three minutes.
  Ryan Caddis played the ball into John Johnston in the box and he was brought down by a clumsy challenge from the keeper.  Greig Mitchell, on a hat trick, stepped up to take the kick but the keeper guessed the right way and saved with his feet.  The loose ball broke to Sean Hainey about twenty yards out and his well hit shot was well saved by the keeper.
     Greig Mitchell then picked up a loose ball on sixty-three minutes just outside the box and with the keeper out of position his lobbed shot went just past the far post.
  A couple of minutes later John Johnston hit a twenty-five yard shot just wide of the goal following a good pass into him from Ryan Caddis.  Graeme Hamilton then replaced Greig Mitchell on seventy minutes and started winning a good few headers.
      Port Glasgow were not out of the game and created chances but the Rovers defence stood up well to the pressure.  Winton went close to getting a third when a Lee McCrea corner out on the right came back to him inside the box and he volleyed the ball goal wards and was unlucky to see his shot hit the post then the keeper and go out for a corner.  From this corner Graeme Hamilton had a good header saved by the keeper.
     Ian Cashmore then replaced Jared Willet on seventy-three minutes a couple of minutes before a Robbie Cochrane free kick to the edge of the box was headed back by Ian Cashmore to Ryan Caddis but his shot went just wide of the goal.
 This was the last real action of the match with Callum Walsh replacing Ryan Caddis for the last five minutes.
     This was a good result and a good performance from the whole squad.
  It could have been a more comfortable win but the sharpness missing in front of goal will come with more games.  Up next is a trip to Cumnock on Wednesday then the Dennis Donnelly match against Benburb at Winton Park next Saturday.
     The Winton team was Kenny Pollock, Bob Hay, George Bonner, Ben Carson, Robbie Cochrane, John Johnston, Sean Hainey, Lee McCrea, Greig Mitchell, Ryan Caddis and Jared Willet with substitutes Callum Walsh, Ian Cashmore, Graeme Hamilton and Michael Wardrope.
            Winton Rovers Website, 19 July 2014

CUMNOCK JUNIORS 0 – WINTON ROVERS 1
The visiting fans turned out at sunny Cumnock (on 23 July 2014) to see how the new-look Winton would fare against stronger opposition in the form of Super League Premier Division Cumnock.  With Kenny Pollock, Robbie Cochrane and Jared Willet unavailable from Saturday’s line-up, in came Michael Wardrope, Callum Walsh, Billy Gilmour and Conor Browning to the starting eleven.
     
The first ten minutes or so of the game were fairly evenly balanced with neither side creating any real chances.
  Then on the ten minute mark, Michael Wardrope came out to the right hand side of his box to chase down a ball which the Cumnock number eleven got to and chipped the ball towards the goal and it took a good header from captain George Bonner from under the bar and then another good header out of the box from Sean Hainey to stop the home side from going in front.  A couple of minutes later, Hainey, Callum Walsh and Graeme Hamilton combined well down the left but Walsh’s weak cross cum shot went wide.
     
Rovers were playing well and matching their opponents but it was Cumnock who were putting on the pressure and on twenty-five minutes, they forced a series of corners.  After the last one, there was a goalmouth scramble and it took a good save by Michael Wardrope on the line with his feet to stop what looked a good chance to score for the Cumnock number nine.  On thirty-one minutes, Cumnock took a quick free kick just outside the right side of the box and from this Winton had a lucky escape when the ball was played to the back post to the number eleven who, unmarked, totally mishit the ball and it went out for a goal-kick a few feet away from the goal.
     
With five minutes to go to half-time, Lee McCrea went on a good run down the left before hitting a shot from just inside the box that went across the face of the goal and out for a bye-kick.
  Almost on half time, he and Callum Walsh combined well down the left and Callum’s cross was headed back to him by a defender and although he headed the ball back across face of the goal, a defender managed to get the ball out for a corner.
     Ben Carson came on for Conor Browning at the start of the second half and Rovers suffered a huge blow five minutes into the half when Graeme Hamilton, who had been having a really good game and winning a lot in the air, had to be carried off the pitch after a Cumnock player kicked his ankle in a late challenge.
  Hopefully, it is not serious and he will be back very soon.  Ryan Caddis then replaced him partnering Ian Cashmore up front.
     
On fifty minutes, John Johnston, who was playing against his old team, burst through the defence out on the left running on to a good through ball but he was unable to get the ball under control well enough and the defence was able to clear the danger.
  Winton were beginning to get on top in the game and Ryan Caddis was causing problems for the defence who were saved several times in the second half by some doubtful offside decisions against Rovers players.
     
On fifty-two minutes, the substitute keeper fumbled a long range shot from Caddis but recovered the ball.  From a long kick out the number eleven ran on to the ball and his shot from outside of the box went wide on fifty-six minutes but it was Winton that were looking the better side and doing most of the attacking.  On sixty-five minutes, they took the lead when some good play down the right saw the ball played into Ryan Caddis on the right side of the box and he squared the ball across the area to the back post where Ian Cashmore controlled the ball before firing the ball into the net between the near post and the keeper for 1-0 to the visitors.
     It was almost 2-0 on seventy minutes when Ryan Caddis played the ball into Lee McCrea after a good run down the left and he squared the ball to the back post where Ian Cashmore, sliding in at the back post, could only find the side netting under pressure from a defender.
  A couple of minutes, later he was replaced by Greig Mitchell.  Cumnock were now pressing hard for an equaliser but the defence were playing well and on eighty-five minutes, Rovers had a great chance to put the result beyond doubt when another great cross from Ryan Caddis out on the right came to Lee McCrea at the back post and although the keeper blocked his first shot and the ball came straight back to him, instead of heading the ball home Lee tried another shot which went wide.  Rovers almost paid for this missed chance when Cumnock went down the pitch with a couple of minutes left and won a free kick just outside the box.  It took a superb one handed save from Michael Wardrope to keep the ball out of top corner of the goal and the game finished with Winton the victors.
     
This was another very good performance and a great result and if this level of performance can be sustained the prospects for the coming season look good.
  The defence, Callum Walsh, Bob Hay, George Bonner and Billy Gilmour were solid at the back as well as starting a number of the attacking moves.  Up next is the Dennis Donnelly Memorial Trophy match against Benburb at Winton Park on Saturday with a 2.00pm kick-off.
     The Winton team was Michael Wardrope, Bob Hay, Callum Walsh, Billy Gilmour, George Bonner, John Johnston, Conor Browning, Sean Hainey, Ian Cashmore, Graeme Hamilton and Lee McCrea.  The substitutes were Ben Carson, Ryan Caddis, Greg Mitchell and Colin Webb.
         
Winton Rovers Website, 23 July 2014

WINTON ROVERS 7 – BENBURB 0
Rovers went into the annual match with Benburb looking to continue their good start to the season and to win the Dennis Donnelly Memorial Shield for the first time.  In the past, matches the games have been very tight and in the first half it looked like it would be the same again.  Colin Webb, signed during the summer from Irvine Victoria made his debut after recovering from an injury, replacing the unavailable John Johnston while Ryan Caddis and Greig Mitchell led the line again.
     Winton almost took the lead in the first minute when a free kick was played to Ryan Caddis out on the right and he squared the ball to Greig Mitchell and his shot was fumbled by Lynch in the Bens goal but the keeper recovered the ball at the second attempt.
  The first ten minutes of the game were fairly uneventful with neither side creating any clearcut chances.  On twelve minutes, some good play down the left by Lee McCrea saw his cross into the box reach Conor Browning but his attempted volley hit off a defender before being cleared.  Benburb hit back and on fourteen minutes, they won a free kick which was deflected out for a corner and it took a good header from Callum Walsh to clear the danger from this corner.
     From then until the half hour, both sides created openings and half chances without looking like scoring before Bob Hay went on a run down the right before playing the ball to Conor Browning whose cross was only partially cleared and caused a goalmouth scramble before the ball was put out for a corner.
  From Lee McCrea’s corner, George Bonner had a  good header well saved by Lynch.  A few minutes later another good run down the right from Ryan Caddis saw him lay the ball off to Colin Webb but he shot over the bar.
     On thirty-nine minutes, Caddis, who was to torment the defence the whole game, again went on a run down the right before cutting in to the edge of the box flicked the ball to Greig Mitchell who beat the keeper to the ball before he cut the ball back into the goalmouth from the bye-line but no Rovers forwards could get on the end of it. The opening goal was only delayed another minute when Bob Hay played a good ball out to Conor Browning on the right and his pinpoint cross into the six-yard box was met by Greig Mitchell who shot home from close range for 1-0 to the Winton.
  With half- time approaching, Rovers doubled their lead on forty-three minutes when Ben Carson played a ball straight through the Bens defence and Greig Mitchell ran on to the loose ball ran  on into the box before shooting low past the keeper for 2-0.
     Few people will have seen coming what happened in the second half as Rovers took total control of the game and overran the Bens and at the same time playing some nice football.
  It was, however, the Bens that had a great chance to pull a goal back when Barbour went down the left and fired a dangerous low cross cum shot across the face of goal which hit the far post before being cleared by the defence.  From then on, it was almost one-way traffic with Michael Wardrope only having a few saves to make.
     Rovers were forced to re-organise at the back when Bob Hay picked up an ankle knock on forty-eight minutes.
  He was replaced by Sean Hainey and this saw Callum Walsh move to right back and Lee McCrea drop back to left back.  The forecast rain came down in torrents for much of the second half but had little effect on the game.  On fifty-six minutes, Winton made it 3-0.  Sean Hainey played a good ball out to Ryan Caddis who then played a reverse pass to Ben Carson who shot low into the far corner of the net from about ten yards.
     Ian Cashmore then replaced Callum Walsh, who had picked up a knock in the first half on fifty-eight minutes.
  This saw George Bonner move to right-back and Colin Webb move into the centre of the defence.  It was almost 4-0 on the hour when Greig Mitchell cut in from the left and played a one-two with Ian Cashmore but before he could shoot the keeper smothered the ball at Cashmore’s feet almost on the goal line.  Minutes later, it was 4-0 when Ryan Caddis yet again won the ball before playing it into Ian Cashmore inside the box and he made no mistake firing into the far corner of the net from about fifteen yards on sixty-two minutes.
     Calvin Smith then came on for his first game of the season, replacing Conor Browning on sixty-four minutes.
  Winton then went close with a twenty-five yard free kick before they made it 5-0 when Sean Hainey played a great cross field ball to Ryan Caddis on the left side of the box and with the keeper off his line he chipped the ball goalwards from a tight angle and, although it seemed to be going in, Greig Mitchell made sure, tapping the ball home from a couple of yards for his hat-trick and fifth goal of the season on seventy-nine minutes.  A minute later, it was 6-0 and probably the goal of the match when Sean Hainey picked the ball up twenty-five yards out went into the box and past two defenders before side-footing home.
     On seventy-six minutes, Graeme Hamilton replaced Ryan Caddis and it was good to see him fully recovered from what had looked a bad knock on Wednesday.
  Almost immediately, he and Sean Hainey combined well down the left on eighty-one minutes, before Sean’s cross into the box was headed down by Calvin Smith into the path of Ben Carson who got it under control before slotting the ball home from about ten yards for his second and Winton’s seventh and final goal of the match.  Although Rovers continued to press, there was no more scoring.
     This was another great performance from the whole squad and the defence again looked solid despite the enforced chopping and changing.
  Ryan Caddis is going to be a real handful for defenders this season and Greig Mitchell is looking sharp up front.  Up next, is the biggest test yet with Junior Cup winners, Hurlford United, the visitors on Wednesday.
     
The Winton team was Wardrope, Hay, Walsh, Gilmour, Bonner, Webb, Browning, Carson, Mitchell, Caddis and McCrea with substitutes Cashmore, Hainey, Smith, Hamilton and Pollock.
          Winton Rovers Website, 26 July 2014

WINTON ROVERS 1 – HURLFORD UNITED 1
Rovers faced their toughest test yet when Junior Cup winners Hurlford United visited Winton Park.  Winton had a full squad available and made a few changes from the team on Saturday with Kenny Pollock in goal, Colin Webb replacing Bob Hay at right back, Robbie Cochrane returning to centre – half and Ben Carson and John Johnston switching midfield positions.  Up front, Ian Cashmore partnered Ryan Caddis.
     United were on the attack from the start and caught the Rovers defence cold on just two minutes when a deep cross from the Hurlford right from Paul McKenzie reached an unmarked Stevie Masterson at the back post and he volleyed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 to the visitors.  The first ten minutes or so saw United put a lot of pressure on the Winton goal with first Chris Robertson with a header then John Dempster with a long range shot went close to increasing their lead.     At this point Rovers were still finding their feet and struggled to get their passing going but with about fifteen minutes gone they had fought their way back into the game and were starting to play some nice football.  On fifteen minutes, a good move saw Callum Walsh go on a run at the defence before playing the ball into the area which Ryan Caddis dummied allowing John Johnston to run on to the ball and his well hit shot from about fifteen yards was only parried by Ally Brown in the visitors' goal but the defence was able to clear.  On twenty-four minutes, there was another good chance for Rovers when a good Sean Hainey cross from the right was flicked on by Ian Cashmore but the onrushing Conor Browning was just unable to connect at the far post and the ball went out for a goal kick.  A minute later, it looked as if Winton would get the equaliser when Ryan Caddis ran on to a ball through the defence took the ball into the box before shooting but his shot went just wide.
     T
he Ford, however, were still dangerous and it took a great save by Kenny Pollock to keep out a shot from the edge of the box by Masterson after Stuart Kean had headed the ball to him on twenty-nine minutes.  A minute later, the same player fired a thirty yard free kick over the bar.  He then hit the outside of the far post from the goal line after he got on the end of another deep McKenzie cross from the right.  Kenny Pollock then made a great save on thirty-nine minutes to keep out a thirty yard Gus Cochrane shot and a couple of minutes later, he was there again to deny Masterson.  Winton had the last chance of the first half on forty-four mintes when Rovers won a free kick out on the right almost in line with the box.  Ben Carson’s free kick was flicked on by Sean Hainey to Ryan Caddis in the box but his shot went wide of the target.
     Rovers had matched their Premier Division opponents in the first half and had played some good football.  The second half saw Winton the better team looking solid in defence and dangerous going forward.  They certainly played the better football and restricted Ford to chances from set-pieces and long range shots.  They got their deserved equaliser just five minutes into the second half in a flowing move that saw Callum Walsh play a great pass across the pitch to Conor Browning out on the left.  He ran on into the box and rather than shooting he hit a low ball across the face of Brown’s goal to where Ian Cashmore was on hand at the back post to tap the ball home for 1-1.
     Winton were now on the front foot and on fifty-five minutes, a good ball from Callum Walsh to Ian Cashmore saw him lay the ball off to John Johnston on the edge of the box but his well hit shot was comfortably saved by Brown.  On fifty-eight minutes, Conor Browning was brought down about thirty yards out following some good play.  Ryan Caddis’s free kick went just wide of the goal.  On the hour, Rovers won a corner following a good run down the left by Ryan Caddis.  From Conor Browning’s corner, Callum Walsh rose above the defence and headed just wide.  On sixty-six minutes, another free kick this time from Ben Carson was played to Callum Walsh inside the box and although he brought the ball under control his shot went over the bar.
     The game went from end to end with United pressing hard for a winner but the defence stood firm and both sides created chances during the rest of the half.  Rovers brought on Jared Willet for Ryan Caddis, George Bonner for Callum Walsh, Greig Mitchell for Sean Hainey and Graeme Hamilton for Ian Cashmore towards the end of the half but there was no more scoring and Winton earned a well-deserved draw.
     This was another great performance from the whole squad against one of the top Junior sides and they more than matched their opponents and played some great football.  Up next is the final friendly against Ashfield on Saturday.  Kick off is at 2.00pm.
     The Winton team was Pollock, Webb, Walsh, Gilmour, Cochrane, Carson, Hainey, Johnston, Cashmore, Caddis and Browning with substitutes Bonner, Willet, McCrea, Mitchell,  Hay, Hamilton and Wardrope (GK).
          Winton Rovers Website, 30 July 2014

WINTON PARK IN WORLD WAR II ROLE FOR ROYAL NAVY
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.  During the 1943-44 season, the clubhouse and Bell’s Nursery which was nearby were burnt down in an accidental fire and a new clubhouse was built not long after.  At this time, the park played in the opposite direction but was changed to the way it is now and has remained the same ever since.
       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.  Mixed fortunes followed in the 1960s with Rovers joining the Ayrshire League (Western) which included various visits across the water to Dunoon.  In 1965, the club suffered one of their biggest defeats when they lost 13-0 to Armadale Thistle in the Scottish Cup and there were also plans to build a new social club but this never went ahead at this time.  1970 saw Winton reach the Scottish Cup semi-final for the only time in which they faced Blantyre Victoria at lbrox.  A 2-0 win for the Lanarkshire side saw the underdogs just fall short of a place in the flagship event in the junior game.  The side, under the guidance of John Frye and Charlie Milligan, reached the dizzy heights when none expected them to get there.  Soon after the game was finished, goalkeeper Bobby Watson was signed up by Rangers.
       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.  The 1990s saw major changes to the side through current vice-chairman Pat Breen.  Winton received 20000 from the football trust which saw the park completely transformed.  New floodlights were installed plus an all-weather seven-a-side training pitch, one of the first in the junior game.  This, along with a five star hospitality suite, new committee rooms and the construction of a new social club meant the side was booming.  MP Brian Wilson opened the new club and Winton took on a strong Rangers side to which they lost 3-0.
       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.  The successful Airdrie side of the early 1990s, under the leadership of Alex MacDonald, trained at Winton Park prior to their Scottish Cup Final against Rangers.  A League Cup final between Auchinleck Talbot and Irvine Meadow XI was played under the lights and was one of the first finals in the junior game to take place at night.  The side was doing well under Davie Mcllroy and they won the old Western Cup and were holding their own in the old First Division.  Struggles lay ahead though and in 1995 a bust-up in the boardroom led to the chairman and assistant manager Pat Breen leaving the club.  Following on from this, over the next couple of seasons the support dropped, the social club was closed and later demolished after a fire and the seating was removed from the stand and it was then declared unsafe due to vandalism.
       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.
  The club was hanging by a thread and the directors at the time invited former Winton men John Sheehan, Willie Kean, David McKellar and Sam Morrison in to see if they wanted to take over the footballing side of things and Ardrossan Winton Rovers Community Sports Club was formed.  After several meetings and tough negotiations with the directors, the club and the ground was bought back by the new club thanks to the guidance of solicitor Martin McAllister and current chairman Dougie Rae.  When Dougie took up the role, vast improvements were seen over a five year period where the damaged stand was repaired, the pitch was upgraded and continues to be so every year and new sponsors and advertisers have come on board.
       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,
17 September 2014

WINTON ROVERS 5 – GIRVAN 1
     Although Rovers (on 31 December 2015) expected a harder game than Lugar had had last week against eight men they made hard work of it, especially in the first half, against a Girvan team with a mixture of youngsters and some experienced players who made a real game of it.  Winton had Gareth Turner signed on loan from Troon for the rest of the season on the bench and made a couple of changes to the team that had beaten Annbank
     Rovers almost took the lead inside the first minute when Robertson in the visitors’ goal made a good save from a Conor Browning volley after the defence had failed to deal with a cross from the left and the ball landed at his feet at the back post.  On three minutes, a Craig Breen cross from the right reached Ian Cashmore at the back post but the he couldn’t get off a shot and the ball went out for a bye-kick.  Five minutes after that, Ryan Caddis flicked the ball on to Jared Willet but his cross was blocked and cleared.
     Rovers were forced to make a change on ten minutes when Craig Breen was injured keeping the ball in and was replaced by Darren Miller.  A couple of minutes later, Michael Wardrope comfortably saved a snap shot from Kyle Russell as Girvan created their first real chance of the game.  Robertson made another good save from Ian Cashmore after he got on the end of a Ryan Caddis cross at the back post.  Although Rovers had the majority of the possession and chances they were struggling to put the ball in the net and on twenty-two minutes, Jared Willet had a shot deflected for a corner after some good play down the left and he worked his way into the box before shooting.
     A minute later it was 1-0 to Rovers when the resulting corner from Lee McCrea was cleared out only as far as Matty Bennett about thirty yards out and he hit an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net.  Jared Willet then went close again following some good play down the right between Ryan Caddis and Conor Browning.  On thirty-five minutes, Ryan Caddis ran at the defence and broke into the box but his finish was comfortably saved by Robertson.  A couple of minutes after that it was almost 2-0 after a cross from the right deflected off a defender and almost crept in at the near post.

     It was, however, 2-0 on thirty-nine minutes when David McVitie handled a Conor Browning cross in from the right and was booked.  Ryan Caddis stepped up and beat Robertson with a chipped spot kick.  Although it had been almost all Winton for forty minutes, Girvan had been making a game of it and had had a few breaks down the pitch and with a minute to go to half time they pulled a goal back when a cross from the Girvan right was missed by the defence and fell to John McLaughlin who was unmarked and he turned and shot home from about fifteen yards to make it 2-1.  The last action of the half saw John Johnston rather harshly booked.
     
As in the first half, Robertson was in action in the first minute of the second period when he did well to palm out a Lee McCrea but Ian Cashmore was unable to get in a good shot and Robertson saved comfortably.  Ian Cashmore then had another two attempts before Ryan Caddis hit the top of the bar with a header on fifty-seven minutes and there was another good chance for Rovers to increase their lead before Michael Wardrope denied Girvan’s best outfield player, Connor Gracie, with a flying save to turn his shot round the post.
     Robertson then made a good save on sixty-three minutes from a Ben Carson free kick awarded after Ryan Caddis had been brought down just outside the box after a run from midfield.  The ‘keeper also blocked the follow up before a third shot went well wide of the goal.  Rovers finally got the third goal on 66 minutes when after some good play down the right Conor Browning played the ball into Jared Willet who fired home from fifteen yards.
     Gareth Turner then replaced Ryan Caddis and Girvan brought on Calum Hamilton for Jake Smith just before Rovers made it 4-1.  Some great play down the right between Gareth Turner and Conor Browning saw the ball come to Browning and he hammered the ball home from about twenty-five yards.  With ten minutes left to play, a good move involving Gareth Turner and Calvin Smith who had just replaced Ian Cashmore ended with Robertson making another good save from Jared Willet.  On eighty-three minutes, it was 5-1 when Lee McCrea did well to control a cross ball from the right on the edge of the box before playing it to Jared Willet who fired home for his second of the game.  With time running out, it took a good double stop from Robertson to deny firstly Calvin Smith then Gareth Turner on eighty-seven minutes and a minute later Robbie Cochrane went close with a header just before the final whistle.
     This was a tougher game than many expected and all credit to struggling Girvan for making a game of it.  With the Buffs dropping two points, we are now three points behind with a game in hand and the next two games are both real six pointers and wins against both Lugar and Whitletts would put a real dent in their promotion hopes but both will be very tough games.
     
The teams were
Winton Rovers - Michael Wardrope, Craig Breen, Matty Bennett, Ben Carson, Robbie Cochrane, Conor Browning, Ryan Caddis, John Johnston, Ian Cashmore, Jared Willet and Lee McCrea with substitutes Darren Miller, Gareth Turner, Calvin Smith, Colin Webb and Sean Hainey
Girvan - Colin Robertson, William McMichael, Jake Smith, Sean Scobie, Darren Cunningham, Conor Gracie,  David McVitie, Sandy Robertson, John McLaughlin, Jamie McAvoy and Kyle Russell with substitutes Calum Hamilton, John Murray and Conner Davidson.

         
Winton Rovers Website, 3 January 2015

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