ARDROSSAN Winton Rovers boss Gavin Friels says his side aren't celebrating too much just yet...despite clinching a second successive promotion.

Saturday's 3-0 win away to Larkhall Thistle means Friels' men will be playing in the First Division of the West of Scotland Football League in 2024-25.

Winton's scorching form through most of this season, including a fantastic 10 wins in a row from October to early February, saw them become the first team in all five tiers of the WoSFL to secure promotion.

Having had their hopes of confirming their move up the ladder dashed by results elsewhere seven days earlier, Winton travelled to Lanarkshire knowing their fate was in their own hands.

And Friels' men showed no sign of any nerves, with Blair Docherty's strike early on giving them the ideal start at Gasworks Park before a Ryan Wilson double either side of the half put the game beyond doubt.

Friels told the Herald: “We played well. We were actually a wee bit more nervous last week but we went into it quite confident on Saturday.

“We started well, and looked on it from the start. Blair Docherty set us off with a good goal then Wilson made it two. After that we were reasonably comfortable.

“It was a good victory, and it was good to get over the line at the first time of asking.”

By coincidence, Winton found themselves up against the same opponents who they'd faced when they secured promotion from the Third Division a year ago.

That game ended in a nervy 3-3 draw at Winton Park - but the convincing manner of Saturday's win showed just how far Friels and his squad have come in the last 12 months.

“Last year we were chasing promotion quite a bit," the manager continued, "whereas this year we got ourselves in a good position. 

“Once we got into the position before Saturday where we thought it was coming, we just went and grabbed it.

“The boys have done well, but there wasn’t too much celebration because we’re just focussed on the next four games now.”

Saturday's win means only two teams, Vale of Clyde and Cumbernauld United, can stop Winton clinching the championship. 

But the Ardrossan men can secure the title by picking up seven points from their last four games - an achievement which would cap off an incredible season.

The Winton boss continued: “Promotion was the goal at the start of the season, and we’ve got that now. But with the position we’re in, we really should be going and winning the league.

“We had a great support up at Larkhall, and we’ll have a good support at home at our next home game. 

“We want to get as strong a team as possible ready for it. We can enjoy it a wee bit more now the pressure is off.

“You can be relaxed and enjoy it but you can’t over-relax."

While thoughts will certainly be on topping the pile for now, Winton fans may be starting to dream of top division football as they move up to just one tier below the Premier Division.

And Friels was keen to emphasise just how impressive it is for his side to reach this level.

"We’re absolutely delighted to get back to back promotions," he said. "It’s a big achievement, not just for the coaches, but the whole club.

"They’ve given me backing and it’s good to reach our goals as early as we can.

“I said at the start that to get us to improve as as a team, we need to get at least into the league above.

“We’re ready for it, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Winton's charge for the championship begins at home to Vale of Clyde this Saturday, April 6, with a 2pm kick-off at Winton Park.