Birtley Town vs Chester-le-Street Town


Birtley Town

  • Glen Hargrave - 1 (25') goal(s)
  • Aidan Rutledge - 1 (56') goal(s)
Fri 13 Jan 2023 | 7:30 pm
Birtley Town


A record crowd of 518 descended on the Arrowmark Home Improvements Stadium on Friday night, to see Birtley take back the local bragging rights from Chester le Street Town.

Match programme available HERE

Match highlights available HERE.

Match photos available HERE. 

Managers Bryson and Foster named an unchanged side from that which swept aside Billingham Town last weekend, but the Hoops found it tough going in the opening twenty minutes, as a heavy surface and a resolute Cestrian rear guard combined to limit their opportunities.

Hargrave opened the scoring against Chester-le-Street Town

After 25 minutes, Birtley broke the deadlock. Frontman Aidan Rutledge played a neat pass through the visitor’s defence, which was gratefully collected by Glen Hargrave, who made no mistake from the edge of the six-yard box. The set-back seemed to light a fire under Chester le Street, who almost hit back within a minute, as George Pinder saw a tantalising cross just evade his outstretched boot with the goal at his mercy.

Birtley began to settle into the game however, and Kieran Hunter had to be alert on 28 minutes to deny Rutledge, who had worked himself some space in the box with his customary trickery. Chester had a chance to draw level on the stroke of half-time after Owen Lancaster gave away a free-kick in a dangerous area, but ex-Birtley man Brandon Turnbull saw his shot whizz past the upright, allowing the Hoops to take a narrow lead into the break.

Half-Time | Birtley Town 1 – 0 Chester-le-Street Town

Birtley started the second-half in search of that second goal cushion, and almost found it on 51 minutes as full-back Josh Holland fired just over the bar after darting in from the right. The green & white wave continued to pour forward, and the hosts got their reward after 56 minutes, with Rutledge converting from point-blank range following a wicked cross from the imperious Alex Francis

As in the first-half, the visitors almost caught Birtley napping, as Michael Gray burst forward and lobbed the ball over Conor Grant, only to see it land the wrong side of the bar. The Cestrians must’ve breathed a sigh of relief as Rutledge was withdrawn on 76 minutes, but his replacement Matty Ward made an immediate impact and produced another great save from Hunter.

With five minutes left on the clock, Gray had another chance to get his side back in the game and set up an exciting finish, but it wasn’t to be his night, as his chipped effort fell just wide of Grant’s left-hand post.

Full-Time | Birtley Town 2 – 0 Chester-le-Street Town

Attendance – A huge 518 fans flocked to the Arrowmark to set a new Birtley Town FC club record. 

Player of the Match – Alex Francis

Alex Francis dictates the game against Chester-le-Street Town.

Manager’s Corner

Manager Paul Bryson was delighted for everyone connected to the club. “I am delighted with the three points, we started the game alright without being great in the opening stages. I thought we had control of the game and then once we got the first goal it helped settle us. It was a great goal, fantastic passage of play, lovely little through ball from Aidan and I am really pleased with Glen and his finish. He’s been brilliant all season. We grew into the game from there. The conditions were difficult but we played the pitch well. We made good decisions on when to keep possession or play forward. Second goal was another good goal, we have worked the short corner and Alex delivers a brilliant cross. It’s a cross that any forward dreams about and Aidan was on hand to stick it home.”

“We were pleased to see Ryan Keltie return after a long injury, he has been out since the first game of the season. It was a good three points and an efficient performance I was delighted with Owen Lancaster and Alex Francis. I thought the two of them were outstanding. Owen defended well and made good decisions.  Alex dictated the game from start to finish, he’s brilliant to have and always available.”

“A fantastic crowd once again. I am delighted for everyone at the club. All of the hard work behind the scenes and we are producing the goods on the pitch. I also want to add credit to Chester-le-Street. I have a lot of respect and love for the club. It’s a brilliant club with lovely people connected to it. I want to wish Steve Bowey and Steve Stewart best of luck until the end of the season. They are brilliant football people.”

“We look forward to Washington on Saturday”.

Charlie Graver and Changing Faces

On the evening, both clubs supported Charlie Graver as he undertakes a series of new challenges to help raise money for Changing Faces.  Previously Charlie has completed the Junior Great North Run and ran 87km throughout the month of June, all to help raise money for a charity close to the family’s heart.

Changing Faces is a British charity supporting and representing children, young people, and adults who have a visible difference to the face, hands, or body, whether present from birth or caused by accident, injury, or illness or medical episode. You can find out more about their work HERE.

Both clubs would like to offer their appreciation to all supporters who kindly donated to Changing Faces and the game raised an considerable sum for Charlie. We wish him the best of luck in his upcoming challenge!

League H2H vs. Chester-le-Street Town – (HOME games only)
P10 W6 D0 L4 GF21 GA17 Pts 18

13.01.2023 – Birtley Town 2-0 CLS Town (G. Hargrave, A. Rutledge)
06.08.2021 – Birtley Town  3-1  CLS Town  (J. Honour, A. Clarkson, A. Morland)
11.09.2020 – Birtley Town  4-3 
CLS Town  (L. Teasdale, K. Young, R. Drane x2)
12.10.2018 –
Birtley Town  1-2  CLS Town  (M. Soulsby)
02.09.2015 –
Birtley Town 3-4 CLS Town (O. Lancaster, D. Maddison, M. Gray)
26.08.2014 –
Birtley Town 0-3 CLS Town (N/A)
19.04.2014 – Birtley Town 3-1
CLS Town (D. Reaks, C. Nichol, M. Lowrie)
28.08.2012 –
Birtley Town 1-2 CLS Town (K. Dixon)
27.12.2011 – Birtley Town 2-0
CLS Town (D. Smart x2)
22.02.2011 – Birtley Town 2-1
CLS Town (C. Tait, A. McIntosh)

Next up…

The Hoops travel across the green bridge to face Washington on Saturday (21st) with a 3pm kick off at Northern Area Playing Fields, NE37 3HR
Admission costs are £5 Adults, £3 Concessions and £1 for U16’s.


Date Time League Season
Fri 13 Jan 2023 7:30 pm Northern League D2 2022-23


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


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town112
Chester-le-Street Town000

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant Goalkeeper
2Josh Holland Defender
3Lewis Exley Defender
4Jack Honour Midfielder
5Owen Lancaster Defender
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7Alex Francis Midfielder
8Glen Hargrave 15 Forward 25'
9Aidan Rutledge 14 Forward 56'
10Callum Smith 13 Forward
11Tom McIntyre 12 Midfielder
12Joe Barwick 11 Forward
13Andrew Clarkson 10 Forward
14Matty Ward 9 Forward
15Ryan Keltie 8 Defender
16Josh Strassheim Defender
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 25 56 60 69 76 76 76 85 88 FT