Birtley Town vs North Shields


Birtley Town

  • James Proctor - 2 (21', 50') goal(s)

North Shields

  • Lee Mason - 1 (63') goal(s)
Mon 22 Apr 2024 | 7:30 pm
Birtley Town


Birtley Town have qualified for the Play-Offs for a second consecutive season!

Two goals from James Proctor have secured a play-off position for Birtley Town, a remarkable achievement in their first season in Northern League Division One. On a wet and cold evening in DH3, a nervy Birtley fought off a late fightback from North Shields.

The first chance of the game fell to Matthew Ward but he was denied by Callum Dobson. Moments later, Liam Wotherspoon lost his footing when he looked destined to score. At the other end, stand-in keeper Conor Grant somehow denied a North Shields goal as he saved a close-range effort with his face.

The deadlock was broken in bizarre fashion. A huge clearance from the edge of the 18-yard box by Sam Hedley was chased down by James Proctor. Proctor just reached the bouncing ball before the outrushing North Shields keeper and ultimately was left with an open goal from 18 yards out. The goal helped settle Birtley into the game and Scott Heslop rattled the crossbar just a few minutes later. On the stroke of half-time, Dobson was again on hand to deny Ward.

HALF TIME | Birtley Town 1-0 North Shields

North Shields had an opportunity to equalise shortly after the break, Matthew Telfer having an early chance but Conor Grant was able to force him into firing his effort wide. The Hoops were finally two ahead in the 50th minute when a delightful through ball from Scott Heslop was superbly finished off by James Proctor, much to the delight of the Birtley faithful.

Matthew Ward was inches away from making it 3-0 but it was Shields who clawed themselves back into the game, Lee Mason poking home from a set-piece. On 69 minutes, Scott Heslop brought down a ball from the sky but Dobson denied the Birtley striker a brilliant goal. Birtley should have restored their two goal advantage when Proctor pulled the ball back to Heslop on the penalty spot, this time Heslop was denied by a clearance off the line from Flyn Williamson.

Shields were reduced to ten men on 75 minutes when Dean Holmes managed to upgrade his sin bin to a straight red card. The red card seemed to lift North Shields though as they piled pressure onto Birtley in search of an equaliser. The best chance of the evening fell to Daniel Cherry but his header was wide of the target, much to the relief of the Birtley players, management team and supporters. Four minutes of injury time seemed to last an absolute lifetime but The Hoops held out for a brilliant victory.  

FULL TIME | Birtley Town 2-1 North Shields

Birtley now turn their attention on to Seaham Red Star on Thursday, a win would secure a top four finish for The Hoops.

It was a hard fought victory for Birtley against a battling North Shields side (Credit: Raw Edge Media)

Attendance – 225

Player of the Match – James Proctor

Manager’s Corner

Paul Foster was delighted to see his hometown club reach another milestone:

“We knew it was going to be a nervy night and so it proved to be. We looked anxious before a ball was kicked. We knew what the stakes were but we are delighted to get over the line with a game to spare. To reach the play-offs again, after being promoted last season is nothing short of unbelievable and that is down to the lads who have been brilliant all season.”

“With Alfie again missing through injury we brought Conor Grant out of retirement for the second time this season and his experience was vital. Once Proc had scored the first goal we settled down a little bit but still didn’t find the quality in key areas which could have made it a lot easier. We scored an excellent second goal and should have had scored another couple but when they get one back with twenty minutes left you sometimes rue them missed chances however we got over the line and that’s all that matters.”

“We should have a better idea of who we get in the play off semi-final later this week. Let’s take nothing away from the season we have had, every player who has pulled on a shirt this season has done themselves and the club proud. No matter what happens from now until the end of the season, to get promoted and then be in with a chance of going up again is incredible for a club like ourselves. Playoffs are a one off game, anything can happen but lets just enjoy last night for what it was.”

Paul Bryson: “We are delighted to get over the line and make the play-offs. It is a magnificent achievement. I am delighted for everyone involved with the club, the players deserve so much credit, they have been superb. For the last two years we have had a brilliant group. It’s been two of the best years that I have had in football. Considering that when we got promoted, we never really set any targets. We just asked the lads to be best version of themselves. We have been very consistent and never been outside of the top five. We deserve to be in that play-off position. I think the longest run without winning a game has been two games. We have bounced back from any negative result in a positive manner. The players take special credit.”

“I thought we started the game a little bit nervy, maybe that come from the staff as we were desperate to finish in the top five. In the final third we were rushing a pass or a cross, we didn’t really get going. Proc scored a good goal from his unbelievable energy. I thought that would settle us down but Shields still looked dangerous. They have good players who can hurt you.

At half-time we stressed the importance of a clean sheet. Hezzy then plays a superb through pass for Proc, Proc with a lovely finish. He deserved his two goals and has been a fantastic signing. Fair play to Shields, they kept going and scored from a set-piece. We had numerous chances to finish the game off. Hezzy had a chance cleared off the line and another one went beyond the post. We held on and we got our just rewards.”

Overall H2H vs North Shields (at home)
P19 W7 D4 L8 GF28 GA32

The last ten vs North Shields (at home)
P10 W3 D3 L4 GF8 GA11

27.09.2003 Birtley Town 2 1 North Shields Wearside League   C. McManus | M. Ford
27.03.2004 Birtley Town 0 2 North Shields Shipowners’ Cup | Semi Final  
05.04.2008 Birtley Town 1 1 North Shields NL Div 2 U/K Barrie Smith
07.03.2009 Birtley Town 1 0 North Shields NL Div 2 U/K S. Graham
06.02.2010 Birtley Town 0 1 North Shields NL Div 2 45
19.02.2011 Birtley Town 0 0 North Shields NL Div 2 75
08.10.2011 Birtley Town 1 1 North Shields NL Div 2 62 C. Marron
14.08.2012 Birtley Town 2 0 North Shields FA Cup | Extra Preliminary Round (Replay) 174 D. Smart | J. Honour
23.03.2013 Birtley Town 0 3 North Shields NL Div 2 48
14.12.2013 Birtley Town 1 2 North Shields NL Div 2 72 C. Hope
James Proctor’s double secured a play-off position for Birtley Town. (Credit: Raw Edge Media)

Next up…

Birtley host Seaham Red Star on Thursday in their final league game of the season. Kick-off is at 7.30pm


To follow…


Date Time League Season
Mon 22 Apr 2024 7:30 pm Northern League D1 2023-24


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


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town112
North Shields011

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Kyle Wharton Midfielder
5Alex Francis Midfielder
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7Liam Wotherspoon 16 Midfielder
8Matty Ward 12 Forward
9Scott Heslop Forward
10James Proctor Midfielder 21', 50'
11Lewis Exley 20 Defender
12Glen Hargrave 8 Forward
14Josh Strassheim Defender
15Ben Pentland Defender
16Daniel Wilds 7 Midfielder
20Stephen Hall 11 Forward
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 21 48 50 63 66 66 70 73 73 75 75 80 85 90 90 FT