Birtley Town vs Boro Rangers


Boro Rangers

  • Harry Williams - 1 (74') goal(s)
Sat 25 Mar 2023 | 3:00 pm
Birtley Town


Birtley’s title hopes took a heavy blow on Saturday as defeat to Boro Rangers left them trailing the Teessiders by ten points.

The match programme can be viewed HERE.
Match highlights can be viewed HERE.
Match gallery can be viewed HERE.

The game got off to a frantic start, as the two sides got stuck into each other from the first whistle. A series of increasingly ferocious tackles from both sides culminated in a touchline fracas after Rangers’ Harry Williams clattered into Aidan Rutledge from behind.

Williams was first into the referee’s notebook, and was soon joined by the Birtley’s Lewis Exley and Joe Barwick, each for a late tackle. Chances were few and far between, with the each side’s best opportunity falling to a full-back. First Phil Horsman nodded just wide for the visitors, before 17-year old Josh Strassheim came close for the Hoops, heading Callum Smith’s cross just over the bar.

As half-time approached, the game had its second major flashpoint, with Joe Barwick dismissed for a second yellow following another vigorous 50-50 challenge with Williams.

Half-Time | Birtley Town 0 – 0 Boro Rangers

As in the recent Blyth Town game, the sending-off seemed to inspire Birtley, who dominated the opening exchanges of the second half. On 55 minutes later the Hoops had their breakthrough – or so they thought – as Aidan Rutledge was clattered by Rangers’ keeper Dan Horner. But rather than point to the spot, the official booked the Birtley man for simulation, much to the surprise of everyone else in the ground.

The Teessiders knew they’d had a let-off, and nearly took advantage with a 68th minute attack which Alex Francis just about managed to snuff out. Francis was soon on the receiving end of another late challenge, this time from Callum Hickman, who was lucky to receive only a booking.

On 73 minutes, Williams gave his side the lead with a long range effort that dipped agonisingly under the bar after Conor Grant had got a hand to it. Birtley threw on the heavy artillery with Andrew Clarkson replacing Lewis Orrell, and the big man nearly got his side back in it, only to see his far post effort nodded over the bar by fellow substitute Robert Keenan.

As the game entered added time, Boro’s Ben Turner had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed, but Grant made an incredible save from point-blank range to keep his side in it. But it proved to be the last action of the game, leaving a jubilant Boro Rangers to retain the top-spot and a bitterly-aggrieved Birtley eyeing promotion via the play-offs.

Full-Time | Birtley Town 0 – 1 Boro Rangers.


Aidan Rutledge’s claims for a penalty were waved away and ultimately the forward was booked.

Manager’s Corner

Paul Bryson was left proud of the performance but dismayed by the decisions from the officials: “We started the game really well. We had the best two chances of the first half with opportunities for Aidan and Josh. If I was to have any criticism of the lads it would be that we didn’t take our chances. Including Clarky’s chance at the end. They are good chances and against good sides you have to be more clinical. Aidan’s chance is a good one and he could have maybe squared it for an open goal.”

“Boro Rangers are a big physical side. We coped with that well. The sending off is the first big decision. It is a foul on Joe Barwick, the lad who has tackled Joe also has a yellow card. It should be the opposition who picks up their second yellow. That meant second half we were down to 10 men, I was proud of how the lads stuck to their task. Then there is a really disappointing decision with Aidan and the penalty claim. It’s beyond belief. Its a sending off and a penalty, then to book Aidan for diving is just deflating. The lads then kept on knocking at the door. We conceded but we kept on going. Clarky’s chance at the end would of been the reward that the lads deserved on the day. The two decision are really big moments and have defined the game.”

“We still have plenty to play for, five games to go. I was delighted that the supporters gave the lads a standing ovation. We lost the game but the supporters clapped their team off, it shows how well the lads have done. That moment didn’t go unnoticed and I want to thank our support for that. We move onto Wednesday, we are still hurting but we will look to bounce back.”


H2H vs Boro Rangers (all games)
P2 W0 D1 L1 GF3 GA4 Pts 1

25.03.2023 | Birtley Town 0-1 Boro Rangers | NL Div 2 – (N/A)
19.10.2022 | Boro Rangers 3-3 Birtley Town | NL Div 2 – (A. Francis, OG, G. Hargrave)


Birtley Town Non League Day history (all games)
P13 W6 D2 L5 GF31 GA23

04.09.2010 – Birtley Town 2-0 Northallerton Town
(M. Roper, N. Hepurker)

09.10.2010 – North Shields 2-2 Birtley Town
(M. Roper, C. Tait)

03.09.2011 – Birtley Town 2-3 Crook Town
(D. Smart | A. McIntosh)

07.09.2013Birtley Town 4-1 Tadcaster Albion | FAV 1QR
(D. Taggart x2, M. Fisher, M. Brereton)

06.09.2014Birtley Town 2-1 Thornaby | FAV 1QR
(Robert Smith, M. Soulsby [pen])

10.10.2015 – Whickham 2-3 Birtley Town
(J. Mitchell, D. Ellis, M. Soulsby)

03.09.2016Killingworth Town 5-3 Birtley Town
(T. Smith, S. Hay, D. Hill)

07.10.2017 – Gateshead Rutherford 0-1 Birtley Town
(A. McEwen)

12.10.2018 – Birtley Town 1-2 Chester-le-Street Town
(M. Soulsby)

12.10.2019Birtley Town 6-0 Durham City
(K. Thear x3, R. Williamson, A. McEwen x2)

10.10.2020Jarrow 3-2 Birtley Town | FAV 2QR
(G. Caygill, J. Barwick)

26.03.2022 – Birtley Town 3-3 Boldon CA
(S. Hedley, J. Barwick x2)

25.03.2023 – Birtley Town 0-1 Boro Rangers

Next up…

Birtley enter the final stretch of the season with an away game at Willington AFC on Wednesday evening. The postcode for Hall Lane is DL15 0QQ and the game kicks off at 7:30pm. We’d love it if you could join us.





Date Time League Season
Sat 25 Mar 2023 3:00 pm Northern League D2 2022-23


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


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town000
Boro Rangers011

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant Goalkeeper
2Josh Strassheim Defender
3Lewis Exley 12 Defender 27'
4Alex Francis Midfielder
5Callum Turnbull Defender
6Liam Wotherspoon Midfielder
7Lewis Orrell 14 Midfielder
8Glen Hargrave Forward
9Aidan Rutledge Forward 57'
10Callum Smith Forward
11Joe Barwick Forward 36', 44'
12Andrew Clarkson 3 Forward
13Isaac Robinson Goalkeeper
14Tom McIntyre 7 Midfielder
15Sam Hedley Defender
17Kevin Mirzakhanian Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 17 27 36 44 57 64 73 74 80 80 83 83 FT