Birtley Town vs Esh Winning


Birtley Town

  • Tom McIntyre - 1 goal(s)
  • Aidan Rutledge - 2 goal(s)

Esh Winning

  • Jonathan Swift - 1 goal(s)
  • Vincent Gash - 2 goal(s)
Sat 08 Oct 2022 | 3:00 pm
Birtley Town


Esh Winning stunned Birtley on Saturday afternoon as a late fightback from 3-0 down left the sides sharing the points.

The match programme is available HERE.

Match gallery is available HERE.

Match highlights are available HERE

The Hoops were able to field a strong first XI, with new-signing Lewis Exley coming straight in for the injured Alex Francis, and Conor Grant able to retain his place between the sticks after seeing his recent red-card against Chester-le-Street Town overturned on appeal.

The opening exchanges were fairly even, with Esh looking far stronger than their lowly league position would suggest, but the hosts got their breakthrough on 18 minutes, as the ever-impressive Aidan Rutledge received a throw-in with his chest before turning on a sixpence and firing a shot past Jak Wells. The visitors nearly hit back five minutes later as Lee McMahon hit a powerful effort from a tight angle, which Conor Grant did well to tip over the crossbar.

On the half-hour mark, Birtley doubled their lead thanks to a bit of quality from recent-signing Tom McIntyre, who received the ball 25 yards out before setting himself and curling a lovely effort into the top corner of the net.

The second-half began perfectly for the home side, with barely a minute gone before Aidan Rutledge rounded the keeper and slotted home to notch his side’s third goal, and his 31st for the season in all competitions.

Rutledge scored another two goals, taking his tally to 31 for the season.


Right on the hour mark, Northern League stalwart Vinny Gash gave Esh a bit of hope, turning in a close-range finish following some excellent skill from winger Willian Alves Olimpio. The next twenty minutes were scrappy, with a fair few niggly fouls and a bit of handbags following a tough 50/50 challenge between Sam Hedley and Dan Pringle. Birtley would’ve still felt fairly comfortable until the 79th minute, when Conor Grant rushed out and missed a cross, allowing Esh skipper Jonathan Swift to nod home the loose ball.

With the game now set up for a nervy finish, the visitors had the bit between their teeth, and on the 83rd minute they drew level through Vinny Gash who burst clear of the Hoops’ defence and made no mistake with the finish.

As the game drew to a close, both sides had chances to nick a winner, with Conor Grant and Joe Barwick doing brilliantly to deny Andy Taylor, and Birtley front men Andrew Clarkson and Aidan Rutledge each coming close with headers. But it wasn’t to be, and Esh set off on the long journey home with a point gained, whilst the hosts were left licking their wounds.

Esh Winning staged a remarkable comeback to come from 3-0 down.

It was a hard result for the Hoops to take after dominating. Paul Foster was understandably frustrated.

Saturday gone just shows you can’t take anything for granted in this league. 3-0 up and cruising then we decided to press the self destruct button. You don’t mind if other teams score screamers or you hold your hands up and say fair play but the three goals we gave away were schoolboy errors, particularly the second and third goals which you just can’t legislate for at any level of football. No matter how well you set up, no matter how well you play, its just not acceptable.

We have spoke about doing the basics well over the last few weeks and to be 3-0 up with thirty minutes to play, we have to see the game out yet we decided to stop doing what had got us to 3-0 in the first hour. We thought that the game was done and we stopped doing what had got us there in the first place. Extremely disappointed was an understatement at 4:55pm on Saturday. The sooner the players start realising that in any game you cant take the foot off the pedal and go sloppy with wrong decisions all over the park the better.

Without being disrespectful to Esh Winning who weren’t in the game for 60 minutes we should be taking three points and that was a bitter pill to swallow and to chuck the game away the way we did. If we want to be where we need to be come April then we need to be better right across the board from front to back and cut out the sloppiness that has crept in over the last few games. The next few games could define the rest of the season with the games we have coming up against very good teams, they are all away from home where we need to be on it from minute one to minute ninety–five.”

Next up for Birtley is a long trip to Tow Law Town on Tuesday evening in the Durham County Cup. 


Date Time League Season
Sat 08 Oct 2022 3:00 pm Northern League D2 2022-23


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


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town213
Esh Winning033

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Jack Honour Midfielder
5Callum Turnbull Defender
6Tom McIntyre Midfielder
7Ben Garrity 15 Midfielder
8Lewis Exley Midfielder
9Aidan Rutledge Forward
10Callum Smith 12 Forward
11Glen Hargrave 14 Forward
12Joe Barwick 10 Forward
14Andrew Clarkson 11 Forward
15Josh Strassheim 7 Defender
16Brandon Turnbull Forward
17Thomas Scothern Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 25 72 77 80 FT