Birtley managed to salvage a point in a six goal thriller on Friday evening at the Arrowmark.
Birtley took the lead on 15 minutes when Alex Francis drove on from midfield. He popped it out wide to Callum Smith who delivered a dangerous ball into the area and Joe Barwick beat the keeper to prod home the opening goal. The positive start was short lived for Birtley, Joshua Scott scoring a sublime free-kick to level the scores on 25 minutes. Prudhoe took control of the game at this point and were deservedly ahead when Harry Mitchell scored in the six yard box after slack defending from the hosts.
Birtley went into the break having conceded two quick goals. It took just two minutes for Birtley to draw level. Owen Lancaster firing home from close range. The front four from Prudhoe were dangerous throughout the game and they combined to re-take the lead on 69 minutes when Adam Bell finished a fine Prudhoe move. Birtley equalised for a second time when Callum Turnbull volleyed home from close range to ensure a point for both sides
Paul Bryson had mixed feelings about the evening: “I just want to start about Jack Honour and his injury, It’s devasting news as he has been terrific this season. We have had a few really bad injuries with Heds, Ryan Keltie and then Calvin Thear hasn’t kicked a ball all season. I have mixed feelings about the result and the performance. The way game panned out was a funny one, we have spent 20 minutes of the 2nd half with ten men due to Glenn and Alex getting sin binned. It’s a decent result under those circumstances and being behind twice in the game. I thought we started well and went 1-0 up, which is something we haven’t done in the last few weeks. We then conceded two goals in five minutes which we can’t legislate for. After we conceded the game became a bit of a basketball game.”
“Second half we started well and managed to get back on level times. Then the linesman gives a really odd decision. I think everyone can see it is a corner but a goal-kick is awarded. Glenn then needs to keep his composure but I can see why he is annoyed. We then just have to try and ride out the next ten minutes while we dead with the sinbin. I thought they scored an excellent third goal. Then Alex gets sin binned so again you are concentrating on the next ten minutes. We then pushed on and got a deserved equaliser. I thought the officials were poor for both sides in what should of been an easy game to manager. I have mixed emotions with the way the game panned out. I want to mention Kenny and Prudhoe, they are my team of the season. Kenny came into the job late and was unsure if they were going to be in the Northern League. They have took points off everyone, they have lost some influential players but are still a strong side and getting good results.”
H2H – all competitions
P2 W0 D1 L1 GF4 GA5 Pts 1
02.09.2022 – Prudhoe YC 2-1 Birtley Town – [A. Rutledge]
24.02.2023 – BIrtley Town 3-3 Prudhoe YC – [J. Barwick, O. Lancaster, C. Turnbull]
Birtley host Horden next Saturday in a crucial top of the table clash. Kick-off at the Arrowmark is 3pm.