Birtley Town recorded their third win in three games with a convincing win over Billingham Synthonia.
Goals from Sam Hedley, Aidan Rutledge and Glen Hargrave took Birtley to third in the table on a scorching day in North Yorkshire. The game started at a slow pace with neither side creating any real chances until midway through the first half. The first real action came in the 34th minute when Conor Grant denied Lavan with a strong save. The deadlock was broken on 40 minutes; Alex Francis delivering an excellent cross into the area and Sam Hedley managing to get a small glance. The ball went beyond the Synners keeper and rebound off the post, leaving Hedley with an open goal to poke the ball home and put Birtley ahead at the break.
The Hoops came out in the second half and were much improved. Aidan Rutledge had a great chance to score after Alex Francis had slipped when striking his set piece. The ball fell kindly to Rutledge who forced the Synners keeper into a good save and a corner. Callum Smith delivered the corner and Rutledge was on hand to prod home after a spillage from the Billingham number one. It was a timely delivery from Smith after his old man had spent most of half time moaning about the quality of his deliveries!
The Hoops extended their lead on the hour mark when an excellent counter attack saw Smith link up with Josh Holland. He delivered a low ball into the area which was helped on by Francis. This left Hargrave with only the keeper to beat and he slotted home. The game was all but over in the 65th minute when Danny Chapman was sent off for a rash dangerous challenge on Callum Turnbull.
It was a pleasing win for the Hoops on a day when the soaring temperatures made it difficult for the players. Birtley recorded their first clean sheet of the season too and there were strong displays from the goalkeeper and defence. Tom Scothern showed another tireless display in midfield and picked up the man of the match award.
Manager Paul Bryson was delighted with the result “We come back from Stokesley with a fantastic three points. Away at Billingham Synthonia is always a difficult fixture and the players produced a great performance and 3-0 victory.”
“The first half was fairly even. Conor (Grant) made a great save to keep the scores level. Alex then produced some quality that allowed Heds to tap home. We tinkered with the formation and that seemed to suit us better. The second period we had better passages of play and dominated the ball which led to two further goals. A special mention to Tom Scothern who deserved his MOTM award.”
The Hoops now travel to Horden CW on Tuesday night. The game kicks off at 7.30pm at the Horden Community Welfare Park and you can read our match preview here.
MOTM – Tom Scothern
Attendance – 101