Blyth Town vs Birtley Town


Blyth Town

  • Brandon Slater - 2 (36', 91') goal(s)
  • Matthew Nelson - 1 (15') goal(s)

Birtley Town

  • Alex Francis - 1 (53') goal(s)
  • Joe Barwick - 1 (74') goal(s)
  • Glen Hargrave - 1 (87') goal(s)
Sat 11 Mar 2023 | 3:00 pm
Blyth Town


Birtley secured a vital point in their hunt for a play-off spot on Saturday afternoon when they recorded their seventh 3-3 draw of the season at Blyth Town. 

Match highlights can be viewed HERE.
Match photos can be viewed HERE.

Saturday’s game up the Northumberland coast was in doubt like most games this weekend, however an early pitch inspection had deemed the surface playable. Callum Turnbull returned to the starting 11 which allowed Alex Francis to return to his normal midfield role. 

The first period was a difficult one for the visitors with everything going against Birtley. It took Blyth just 14 minutes to open the scoring when Matthew Nelson beat four Birtley defenders before slotting the ball beyond Conor Grant. Credit was given to the Blyth number 11 however it was a disappointing goal for The Hoops to concede. The home side doubled their lead when Brandon Slater calmly lobbed the ball over Grant on 36 minutes. Matters were only made worse moments later when Aidan Rutledge was sent off for two yellow cards within a minute. 

Birtley made the perfect start to the second period when Callum Smith was challenged in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Alex Francis stepped up to give Birtley a glimmer of hope in the game. The game then entered a period with both sides cancelling each other out and chances very hard to come by. With twenty minutes remaining, Josh Strassheim linked up with Smiggs and his cross was only half cleared by the Blyth defence, falling to Joe Barwick on the edge of the area who delivered a sublime finish to pull Birtley level. 

Blyth were having a similar half to Birtley’s first and both teams were down to 10 men when Evan Fogarty, who had been booked earlier in the game, was shown a straight red card for an off the ball challenge.

Birtley thought they had secured all three points when Andrew Clarkson and Matty Ward combined to set Glen Hargrave in on goal, Hargrave made no mistake to complete a brilliant turn around for the visitors. Blyth however dug in and won a penalty of their own in the last minute of the game and Brandon Slater slotted home to make the scores level at the final whistle. The draw kept Birtley 4 points ahead of Blyth with a game in hand. 

Full Time | Blyth Town 3-3 Birtley Town

Attendance – 104 including around 30 travelling Birtley supporters. 

Team-mates celebrate after Joe Barwick’s equaliser.

Manager’s corner

Foss was delighted with a very important point. “Well 2-0 down and down to 10 men at half time I thought we were dead and buried however the character that the lads showed second half was unbelievable. We were actually better with ten men than what we were with eleven!
To go 3-2 up with 3 minutes left and then to concede a penalty in the last minute was cruel and sometimes in football you don’t always get what you deserve. Make no bones about it we deserved nothing after 45 minutes but were disappointed to only come away with a point in the end.”

“That is now 7 times we have scored three goals in a match this season and only claimed a point. It shows we need to be defending better from front to the back but the first two goals we gave away on Saturday were criminal. It gives you a mountain to climb, however we managed to do it and claimed a great point in the end.

“We spoke about discipline before the game and making sure we didn’t get involved in anything after the last game against Blyth however the frustration in the first half showed with Aidan getting two bookings within a minute. I felt the the second one was due to the inconsistency of the officials who I thought were out of their depth for such a big game.”

“I know people will say no referees equals no games however the standard of officials in the second division this season has been poor. When decisions and easy decisions are going against you its easy to lose your head from time to time as Aidan did and this was the case on Saturday. The assessor was present on Saturday and at times I feel this is when common sense goes out of the window and the officials needs to do everything by the letter of the law. Sometimes the way the laws are doesn’t actually help the officials. It has happened too many times this season and it needs looking into to, it would give the officials a better chance.”

“The 10 men who went out in Green and White second half were a credit to the club, as were the squad in the way they pushed each other on. The play from Clarky and Wardy for the third goal which Glen put away just shows how together they all are. I never single players out however I thought Callum Smith was exceptional second half and dragged us back into the game, winning the penalty and then being involved in the equaliser. He ran himself into the ground along with every other player and the lads achieved a result that could be a massive point come the end of the season.”

Lots going on in this photo. Hargrave thinks he’s won the game for Birtley as the bench celebrate. Blyth, unfortunately had other ideas.


H2H vs Blyth Town (all games)
P4 W1 D2 L1 GF8 GA7 Pts 5

11.03.2023 – Blyth Town 3-3 Birtley Town – NL Div 2 (A. Francis [pen], J. Barwick, G. Hargrave)
 – Birtley Town 3-1 Blyth Town – NL Div 2 (G. Hargrave, A. Rutledge x2 [1 pen])
23.03.2022 –
Blyth Town 1-1 Birtley Town – NL Div 2 (S. Hedley)
15.09.2021 –
Birtley Town 1-2 Blyth Town – NL Div 2 (R. Tanoh)

Next up…

Birtley travel to Essity Park, Prudhoe on Saturday to face Newcastle University in a 3pm kick-off. 


Date Time League Season
Sat 11 Mar 2023 3:00 pm Northern League D2 2022-23


Blyth Town
Gateway Park, Sandringham Drive, Blyth NE24 3PS


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Blyth Town213
Birtley Town033

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant Goalkeeper
2Tom McIntyre 12 Midfielder
3Lewis Exley Defender
4Lewis Orrell Midfielder
5Ryan Keltie 17 Defender
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7Alex Francis Midfielder 53'
8Joe Barwick Forward 74'
9Aidan Rutledge Forward 40', 41'
10Callum Smith 13 Forward
11Glen Hargrave Forward 87'
12Matty Ward 2 Forward
13Andrew Clarkson 10 Forward
14Sam Hedley Defender
15Drew Lake Midfielder
17Josh Strassheim 5 Defender
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 15 26 36 40 41 46 53 66 66 66 74 76 80 86 86 87 91 FT