Guisborough Town vs Birtley Town


Guisborough Town

  • James Frazer - 1 (28') goal(s)
  • Jordan Fielding - 1 (5') goal(s)
  • Jason Blackburn - 1 (79') goal(s)

Birtley Town

  • Alex Francis - 1 (72') goal(s)
  • Matty Ward - 1 (77') goal(s)
  • Stephen Hall - 1 (44') goal(s)
  • Glen Hargrave - 1 (80') goal(s)
Sat 09 Dec 2023 | 3:00 pm
Guisborough Town


Birtley recorded their first ever win at Guisborough Town in a thrilling 4-3 victory. 

A dramatic late goal from Glen Hargrave earned Birtley a memorable win in North Yorkshire as The Hoops recorded their first league double of the season. In an pulsating tie both teams deserve credit for giving the 149 spectators a thoroughly enjoyable Northern League game. James Proctor and Matty Ward returned to the starting eleven after both players had started the defeat to Crook on the bench. Glen Hargrave returned to the bench after missing that fixture due to working commitments. 

Credit: Guisborough Town FC and Dan Clark.

It was Guisborough who started the better of the two sides with Sonni Coleman seeing his early effort go narrowly wide. Town were ahead on just five minutes when Jordan Fielding powered his header beyond Alfie Gordon. Guisborough deserved to double their lead but Kurtis Howe’s low effort whistled across the six yard box and evaded everyone in red and white. It took Birtley 24 minutes to calve open their first real opportunity when Matty Ward played Callum Smith through on goal however his effort was well saved by Guisborough keeper Dean. Guisborough did manage to double their lead on 28 minutes when further slack defending saw James Frazer loop his header into the Birtley net. In a defining moment in the game, Birtley managed to get one back before the break when Stephen Hall nodded home a Liam Wotherspoon corner. 

HALF TIME | Guisborough Town 2 – 1 Birtley Town

Birtley started the second half on the front foot and looking for an equaliser. James Proctor had two early opportunities to score but blazed his first effort over the bar. The second opportunity was a clear one on one with Guisborough keeper Dean somehow managing to turn Proc’s effort wide. Proc later confirming he had no idea how the keeper had managed to keep the ball out of the net. Birtley made a host of changes to try and change the outcome of the game with Scott Heslop and Glen Hargrave coming on for Callum Smith and Ben Pentland. Birtley had another opportunity thwarted by Guisborough when Dean denied Scott Heslop from around 18 yards out. At this stage it was beginning to feel like one of those days when the elusive equaliser would evade The Hoops. From the resulting corner, Birtley were awarded a penalty despite a number of onlookers confused to just why the decision had been awarded. Alex Francis stepped up to slot home a deserved equaliser for Birtley with the referee later confirming that a Birtley played had been pulled back in the box.

Credit: Guisborough Town FC and Dan Clark.

Birtley had looked to have staged a memorable comeback when a moment of magic from Matty Ward sent The Hoops into the lead for the first time. Ward cut inside and beat two players before firing a low effort into the Guisborough net. Ward then ran away in jubilant fashion before destroying an innocent corner flag.

The rollercoaster of a game wasn’t quite finished there, within two minutes Ward tripped Joe Pickett inside the area, Jason Blackburn making no mistake from the spot on 79 minutes. By 80 minutes, Birtley had regained the lead. Matty Ward played a promising ball forward to Stephen Hall who took control before unleashing Glen Hargrave down on goal. Hargrave had looked to taken his first touch a little wide but then delightfully dinked the keeper to put Birtley 4-3 ahead.

Both sides kept pushing for further opportunities and Heslop was once again denied. There was a late scare for Birtley when Frazer had another bullet header but this time it was straight at Alfie Gordon.

FULL TIME | Guisborough Town 3 – 4 Birtley Town

Attendance – 149
Player of the Match – Matty Ward

Manager’s Corner

Paul Bryson: “It was a fantastic result against one of the best sides we have played. To take six points off Guisborough is a fantastic achievement. The pitch made it difficult for both sides however both teams give it a right go and it was a brilliant advert for Northern League football. Credit to both sets of players.

We started the game quite slowly and they started well. It proved costly as we went 1-0 down after around 5 minutes before shortly going 2-0 down. Both of the goals could of been dealt with better from our point of view. We did have a really good chance when Smiggs should have scored and we were hoping that wouldn’t come back to haunt us. The big turning point for us was Hally getting a goal just before half-time. It give us a lifeline and we were then kicking down the hill with the wind behind us. We asked the lads to have the belief to go on and get something out of the game.” 

“We started the second half well before Alex finally got us level with the penalty. Wardy produced a bit of magic to fire us in front. He beats a couple of players before smashing it into the bottom corner. I thought Wardy was outstanding, he is a great prospect both in and out of possession. He puts a real shift in and he can score goals. I was delighted for him. Then unfortunately for him he gave a penalty away! Typical Wardy he’s so honest and tracks the run from the full back, I thought it was just a coming together but the referee pointed to the spot. At 3-3 we were thinking it was a good result.

We then scored a brilliant goal on the counter attack. Glen producing a superb finish in difficult conditions. It was a great way to win the game. We had to make decisions and make adjustments to get back in the game. Glen and Hezzy both helped enormously to get us back in it. I was delighted for the lads, they have trained brilliantly despite not having a game for a couple of weeks. The lads deserved that, I was proud of the group, it’s a brilliant three points.”


Credit: Guisborough Town FC and Dan Clark.

Next up…

Birtley were due to travel to Whitley Bay on Tuesday evening however that game has fallen victim to the weather. Next up for Birtley will be a home fixture against Crook Town on 23rd December (3pm kick off)

H2H vs Guisborough Town

P5 W0 D2 L3 GF4 GA17

25.08.2007 Guisborough Town 1 1 Birtley Town NL Div 2   L. Kerry
03.01.2009 Guisborough Town 5 1 Birtley Town NL Div 2   S. Burns
12.12.2009 Guisborough Town 6 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K
26.02.2011 Guisborough Town 2 2 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K A. McIntosh | N. Hepurker
09.11.2011 Guisborough Town 3 0 Birtley Town League Cup | Round 2 U/K

Match highlights



Date Time League Season
Sat 09 Dec 2023 3:00 pm Northern League D1 2023-24


Guisborough Town
King George V Ground, TS14 6LE


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Guisborough Town213
Birtley Town134

Birtley Town

1Alfie Gordon Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Liam Wotherspoon Midfielder
5Alex Francis 15 Midfielder 72'
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7Matty Ward Forward 77'
8Ben Pentland 12 Defender
9Stephen Hall Forward 44'
10James Proctor Midfielder
11Callum Smith 14 Forward
12Scott Heslop 8 Forward
13John Mordey Goalkeeper
14Glen Hargrave 11 Forward 80'
15Josh Strassheim 5 Defender
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 5 28 44 65 66 66 72 72 77 79 80 89 FT