Birtley Town vs Bishop Auckland


Birtley Town

  • Andrew Clarkson - 1 (77') goal(s)

Bishop Auckland

  • John Howard - 1 (23') goal(s)
  • Liam Henderson - 2 (2', 10') goal(s)
  • Charlie Watt - 1 (44') goal(s)
Tue 26 Sep 2023 | 7:30 pm
Birtley Town


It was tough night for Birtley on Tuesday, but they fought hard to salvage some pride after an early deluge from Bishop Auckland.

Match programme is available HERE.

The Bishops boast an enviable front line, evidenced by the fact they were able to leave leading scorer Dean Thexton on the bench. Recent-signing Liam Henderson was favoured up front, and the former Watford man found the net in only the second minute, with a long range shot into the bottom corner. Henderson wasn’t the visitors’ only threat, as they continued to pile forward with pace. Winger Charlie Watt hit a rasping shot over the crossbar on 8 minutes, before Henderson bagged his second from close range following a cross from Louis Johnson.

Bishop Auckland were full in control at this stage, but the Hoops had a chance of their own on 12 minutes, as Stephen Hall wriggled free in the box before firing over the bar. On twenty minutes Henderson sent an exquisite through-ball to JJ Bartliff, but the midfielder turned his effort wide with Alfie Gordon bearing down. Birtley’s Glen Hargrave then came close with a powerful strike which keeper Ryan Catterick just about managed to turn wide. The visitors extended their lead on 23 minutes through John Howard, lost his marker before firing past Gordon.

Things then got from bad to worse for Birtley, as Alex Francis was forced off with a calf injury, leaving the already injury-ravaged Hoops without their experienced captain. On the stroke of half-time, the Bishops rounded off a clinical first half performance thanks to Watt, who converted another Louis Johnson cross for his side’s fourth.

HALF TIME | Birtley Town 0 – 4 Bishop Auckland

There are two ways to respond to a first-half thrashing – you either fold and lose heavily, or dig in and try and win the second half. Thankfully for the crowd of 310, Birtley chose the latter option and set about their task with grit and determination. Callum Smith came close to pulling one back early in the half with a beautiful curling effort that Catterick did well to tip around the post.

On the hour mark, the impressive Kyle Wharton had a shot from point-blank range following a corner, but again Catterick stood firm. Birtley finally got the consolation their play deserved on 77 minutes, as Lewis Orrell’s wicked cross was powered home by club captain Andrew Clarkson after neat play from Matthew Ward.

But it was to prove too little too late for the Hoops, and Bishop Auckland saw out the remainder of the game to scoop a deserved three points.

FULL TIME | Birtley Town 1 – 4 Bishop Auckland

Bishop Auckland are going for the title this year, and on the evidence of the first-half they’re going to take some stopping. There were plenty of positives for Birtley to take from the game however, showing great character to stem the tide in the second half despite several key absences. If they replicate that spirit for Saturday’s visit of Penrith, you wouldn’t bet against them returning to winning ways.

Manager’s  Corner

Paul Bryson recognised that his side had come up against a top Bishop Auckland team. “They started the game with a brilliant tempo and great energy. They went 2-0 within the first five minutes. I have no doubts that if anyone finishes about Bishop Auckland then that team will win the league. I thought they were outstanding. They were brilliant both in and out of possession. Half-time came and the game was over at 4-0 down. We said to the lads that it was going to go one way or the other. It was damage limitation as Bishop were superior. Fair play to our lads who give it a right go in the second half. Some will say they took their foot off the gas but I would like to compliment our lads for their reaction. We found some extra energy and Clarky scored a consolation goal for us. Bishop Auckland are the best side I have seen over the last couple of years. I am full of respect for them. We knew going into the game that we had three or four injuries which didn’t help but take nothing away from Bishop Auckland. After the game we said we need to take a little rain-check, monitor our injuries and look for a big response against Penrith on Saturday.”

H2H v Bishop Auckland (overall)
P3 W1 D0 L2 GF2 GA8

H2H vs Bishop Auckland (at home)
P2 W1 D0 L1 GF2 GA4

23.11.2002 Birtley Town 1 0 Bishop Auckland Durham Challenge Cup Round 2 U/K P. Terrell
24.09.2014 Birtley Town 1 4 Bishop Auckland League Cup | Round 1 80 Anthony Ward

Next up…

Birtley are back in action on Saturday as they host Penrith at 3pm. Match preview can be found online here




Date Time League Season
Tue 26 Sep 2023 7:30 pm Northern League D1 2023-24


Birtley Town
Arrowmark Home Improvements Stadium, Durham Road, DH3 2QW


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town011
Bishop Auckland404

Birtley Town

1Alfie Gordon Goalkeeper
2Josh Strassheim 14 Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender 64'
4Kyle Wharton Midfielder
5Alex Francis 12 Midfielder 29'
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7Lewis Orrell Midfielder
8Glen Hargrave 15 Forward
9Stephen Hall 17 Forward 66'
10Callum Smith 16 Forward
11Lewis Exley Defender
12Ben Pentland 5 Defender
14Drew Lake 2 Midfielder
15Jack Robson 8 Midfielder
16Matty Ward 10 Forward
17Andrew Clarkson 9 Forward 77'
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 2 10 23 29 38 40 44 46 64 66 67 67 70 72 75 77 77 FT