Carlisle City vs Birtley Town


Carlisle City

  • Jack Dickinson - 1 (79') goal(s)

Birtley Town

  • James Proctor - 1 (2') goal(s)
  • Matty Ward - 1 (20') goal(s)
Tue 19 Mar 2024 | 7:45 pm
Carlisle City


A magnificent team performance ensured Birtley won the battle of the railway lines on Tuesday evening. 

Just three days after losing to Carlisle City, goals from Matthew Ward and James Proctor were enough to ensure Birtley took three points from their fellow play-off rivals. Birtley made three changes to the side from the weekend. Ben Pentland replaced the injured Alex Francis while Sam Hedley returned to the starting eleven following suspension. Conor Grant returned to the club to help cover for the absent Alfie Gordon. It took Birtley just three minutes to take the lead. James Proctor picked up a loose ball in the centre of the park before driving beyond the City midfield. Proc then created an opening but just as he was about to take his shot, the ball took a horrendous bobble. Proc managed to make contact and the resulting shot somehow looped beyond Carlisle keeper Simons. 

Carlisle had an opportunity to equalise when Dan Hill cut inside from the right but his effort was tipped around the post by Grant, no doubt giving the Birtley stopper a confidence boost on his first start since May. Birtley were well aware of the threat caused by Hill after his two goals had punished them on Saturday. By 16 minutes both Proctor and Scott Heslop had missed further opportunities to extend the lead. Birtley had started the game brightly with Ward and Proctor both causing issues for The Cumbrians. It was Matthew Ward who doubled Birtley’s advantage. He took control of a pass forward before jinking both ways, that created a small opening and Wardy blasted the ball into the far corner to double Birtley’s lead. 

The Hoops first-half display was electric. On the half-hour mark, Heslop played a superb through ball for Matty Ward but he was denied by Simons. Proc was causing all sorts of problems with his deep running from midfield and when a delightful through ball from Matty Ward found him, Simons was again on hand to deny Birtley from extending their lead.

Credit: Jordan McGrath Photography

HALF TIME | Carlisle City 0-2 Birtley Town

Carlisle started the second period with a mountain of sustained pressure, bombing set-piece and long balls down the throat of the Birtley defence but The Hoops were resolute and stood firm. Birtley remained dangerous on the counter attack too and should have extended their lead when Heslop fired narrowly wide on the hour mark. Proc and Wardy both had further opportunities to score before Ward was denied a penalty despite big appeals from the travelling Birtley support. Moments later, Ward produced a quality bit of skill and unleashed Stephen Hall but his effort was easily saved by Simons.

At the other end Carlisle continued to probe but Sam Hedley and Callum Turnbull both produced outstanding displays whilst being supported by the excellent Owen Lancaster, Kyle Wharton, Josh Strassheim and Ben Pentland. It was Turnbull who produced a heroic clearance to deny Carlisle an opportunity on 78 minutes however he had to leave the field for physio treatment. In his absence, Jack Dickinson scored from the resulting corner which set up a nervy last ten minutes. Turnbull quickly re-joined the action as The Cumbrians were throwing everything at the Birtley defence, the lads continuing to put everything on the line.

The visitors still looked dangerous on the counter attack and should have put the game to bed as substitute Taylor was unable to convert a late opportunity. Birtley supporters were watching through their hands as Carlisle struck the crossbar from a late set-piece but The Hoops managed to hold out for a brilliant victory. 

FULL TIME | Carlisle City 1 – 2 Birtley Town

A historic first win for Birtley in CA1 whilst James Proctor’s second-minute strike was the first time that The Hoops had scored a competitive goal in Carlisle. 

Attendance – 155 including around 30 Birtley supporters

Player of the Match – Callum Turnbull

A superb display from local lad Callum Turnbull. (Credit: Jordan McGrath Photography)

Manager’s Corner

Paul Foster: “Tonight is arguably one of our best results of the season. We had five key players missing from our starting eleven and the lads who came in showed just how good they are. It has given us a few headaches to solve for Saturday! To a man, we were brilliant and went two goals to the good early on and if the truth be known, we should have been out of sight with the chances we created in the first forty-five minutes.

We changed the shape from Saturday to nullify the threat they had and where we felt we could get at them. It worked perfectly from the first whistle, they just couldn’t handle the pace of Proc and Wardy. They were getting in behind them and Hezzy was leading the line superbly.

The back four including Conor were outstanding and gave us the platform to go forward. The middle of the park fought for every single ball and young Josh Strassheim looked like he had played there all season, at 19, he’s going to be some player! Carlisle are a very good side and after Saturdays poor performance we needed a reaction and we certainly got one! 2-1 flattered them if I am being honest and when we didn’t take our chances and they scored with ten minutes to go, I feared the worst but we dug in for a brilliant result.”

H2H vs Carlisle City (at Carlisle)
P3 W0 D0 L3 GF0 GA5

08.02.2020 Carlisle City 1 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 82
03.10.2020 Carlisle City 3 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 78
26.02.2022 Carlisle City 1 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 72

Next up…

Birtley host fellow play-off rivals Whitley Bay on Saturday in another huge clash. Kick-off at The Arrowmark is 3pm and gates are open from 1pm. The game falls on Non League Day which you can read all about HERE!




Date Time League Season
Tue 19 Mar 2024 7:45 pm Northern League D1 2023-24


Carlisle City
Gillford Park, CA1 3AF, United Kingdom


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Carlisle City011
Birtley Town202

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Kyle Wharton Midfielder
5Callum Turnbull Defender
6Josh Strassheim Defender
7James Proctor 14 Midfielder 2'
8Ben Pentland 12 Defender 16'
9Scott Heslop Forward
10Matty Ward Forward 20'
11Lewis Exley Defender
12Stephen Hall 8 Forward
14Taylor Richardson 7 Midfielder
15Dylan Garvey Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 2 16 20 52 66 66 72 75 79 85 FT