IT WAS a big week for Ardrossan Winton Rovers in their quest to win the West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) Second Division.

Gavin Friels' side moved to the summit of the league on Saturday, October 28, after picking up a statement 3-2 win away to fellow challengers, Vale of Clyde.

It was far from straightforward after falling behind early on when Stephen McDevitt headed the home side ahead.

They remained in front until the hour mark when Ryan Wilson levelled the game with a smart free-kick, before adding another only a minute later.

Though when Nicky Fraser put Vale of Clyde level from the penalty spot with only minutes remaining, the match seemed to be heading for a draw.

Up stepped David Gray, who smashed home a superb free-kick into the top corner on 89 minutes to hand Winton all three points and first place in the Second Division.

But the win was far from the only good news coming out of the club this week.

Winton also announced a pair of signings, with former Ardeer Thistle captain Michael Howie joining Friels' squad from Neilston to bolster their defensive options.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Winton's new signing Michael Howie.

Then came the signing of goalkeeper Martin 'Ginge' McDonald, who dropped down from SPFL League Two side Stranraer to join the Winton Park side.

It was a major coup for the side playing in the eighth tier of Scottish football - four divisions below McDonald's former side.

New work commitments left Irvine man McDonald struggling to travel to play for the Stair Park outfit, and Winton jumped at the opportunity to sign the experienced stopper - who had starred for WoSFL Premier Division side Hurlford United before making the move up the ranks.

His rise to that level had been impressive having played in Ayrshire's amateur football ranks as recently as 2018.

READ MORE: Martin McDonald signs for Stranraer from Hurlford United

Speaking to the Herald, McDonald said: "It was a hard decision to leave Stranraer because I loved it, it was a great challenge for me, I never thought I’d have had chance to play at that level.

"I’m grateful for that but I had opportunity for work what I couldn’t knock back so the travelling, work hours and training was just getting too much.

"The move to Winton came about quite quickly, to be honest. I knew a few of the boys and think they had told Gavin about my situation and it didn’t take him long to get on the phone and have a conversation with me.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Winton's new signing Martin McDonald.

"He told me about the club and ambitions he has going forward so I was happy to sign and now hope to push for the title or promotion this year.

"My aims as a Winton player this year is to win the league - the club has a great set up and a good squad so I have no doubt about us being promoted but it would be great to win the league."

And Ginge got off to the perfect start on Saturday as he made his debut shortly after his release from his former club - and before he'd even trained with his new teammates.

The keeper added: "Saturday was good, getting off to a winning start, but I was just happy be back playing as I hadn’t played a game in three or four weeks."

He admitted there will have to be some adjustments back from playing in the senior ranks of the game.

He continued: "The only downfall was the park - there will no doubt be a few games where the parks aren’t great.

"It was hard as well when you're playing with just a referee and no linesmen, it completely changes the game, but you just have to get on with it."

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Winton celebrate after David Gray scores to make it 3-2.

Ginge will be hoping to continue his perfect start at the club next week as Winton travel to face Kilsyth Rangers on Saturday, November 4.

He may also be looking to add to his assist tally, after his long kick out laid on Ryan Wilson's second goal at the weekend.

He commented: "It was good to get an assist -the park was small enough where I had spoken to the forwards if it’s on to do it quick and thankfully it worked for us.

"We've just got to take it game by game now keep doing what we’re good at and I have no doubt we will be up there by end of the season."