Pontefract Collieries vs Birtley Town


Pontefract Collieries

  • Connor Smythe - 1 (16') goal(s)
  • Gavin Rothery - 1 (18') goal(s)
  • Joe Lumsden - 1 (87') goal(s)
Tue 08 Aug 2023 | 7:45 pm
Pontefract Collieries


Birtley crashed out of the FA Cup at the first attempt on Tuesday night, in the rearranged Extra-Preliminary round fixture away at Pontefract Collieries.

Match gallery is available here. 

The Hoops have opened the scoring within the first five minutes of each of their league fixtures this season, but it was Pontefract who provided the early scare, picking up on a wayward clearance only to see a powerful shot blocked by Alex Francis. Gibraltar international Adam Priestley then came close on 16 minutes, latching on to a ball in behind from Gavin Rothery before being denied by Alfie Gordon in the Birtley goal. Within less than a minute the Colls had put themselves ahead through Conor Smythe, who broke through the offside trap to slide past Gordon.

The onslaught continued and the hosts were shortly two in front via Rothery, who fired through a sea of bodies after Birtley failed to clear a long-throw. As the half came to a close Pontefract had a chance to put the tie beyond doubt, only for a great block from Callum Turnbull to keep them at bay.

Half Time | Pontefract Collieries 2 – 0 Birtley Town

Birtley started the second half brightly and had a couple of corners early on, which keeper Harry Spratt was able to gather. Lewis Orrell drew a foul out of Rothery shortly afterwards, with the Colls man joining Birtley’s Kyle Wharton in the book. Jack Steers then saw yellow after a robust challenge on James Proctor, with both Proctor and team-mate Liam Wotherspoon also being cautioned in the aftermath.

The lively Steers nearly got himself on the scoresheet on the hour-mark, but Gordon dived well to his left to deny him. The game continued to get niggly and soon Hoops frontman Stephen Hall found himself in the book for late challenge on Rothery. The visitors then went down to 10-men after Kyle Wharton was dismissed for a swinging arm.

Birtley nearly pulled one back with 73 minutes on the clock, with Alex Francis forcing Flatters into a great save with a header from Callum Smith’s free-kick. On 87 minutes the hosts finally broke the second-half deadlock thanks to Joe Lumsden, who’s well-placed header beat Gordon, cementing the West Yorkshire side’s place in the next round.

Full-Time | Pontefract Collieries 3 – 0 Birtley Town

Birtley can’t feel too hard-done-by after a tough game in which Pontefract flexed their muscles and demonstrated why they’re a Step 4 side. There were plenty of spells during the game, particularly in the second half, where the Hoops looked more than a match for the opposition, which should give the lads some positives to take from the game. Next up we return to Northern League action with a trip to West Auckland.

Manager’s Corner

Manager Paul Bryson felt Pontefract were worthy winners. “It was a great experience for the lads, for some of them it was their first game in the FA Cup. It was great for the club. In the lead up to the game we did a lot of homework on Pontefract. We knew we were going be against an aggressive team who are very direct. We prepared and picked the team which we thought would be best to cope with that.  We started well and dealt with their threat. The throw-in was a real weapon for them. It gets them up the pitch and balls into the box. It’s a real threat. I thought Alex Francis was outstanding again. We lost Mason after 15 minutes and Callum Turnbull was brilliant when he came on. I was pleased with Callum. 

“We conceded two goals in two minutes and we were a little bit naive. We were too expansive, the first one they have pinched possession and they finished it off well. The second comes from the long throw-in. It looks like it could be a foul on Alfie but it wasn’t given. I felt that the referee was intimidated by their bench and players. He was weak in some of his decisions”.

Pontefract scored late on to make it 3-0.

“After those two goals we settled down again and worked hard. We had a couple of little spells. Apart from those two minutes we were fairly pleased. We started the second half really well. Pontefract were clever and cute in their fouls, they knew when to stop the game. They were a little bit more streetwise than us in that department. I felt like the red card was very harsh. At 2-0 down and with 10 men it’s always going to be really difficult. We conceded in the closing moments. We are disappointed with the result, if we can learn from the game, manage the game better and not be as naive then we will do well. It’s no good just saying this, we will need to learn quickly against better quality sides. We go to West Auckland on Saturday and we look forward to that.”

Next up...

Birtley travel to West Auckland on Saturday followed by a home game against Northallerton


To follow….


Date Time League Season
Tue 08 Aug 2023 7:45 pm FA Cup 2023-24


Pontefract Collieries
Beechnut Lane, Pontefract, WF8 4FU


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Pontefract Collieries213
Birtley Town000

Birtley Town

1Alfie Gordon Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Liam Wotherspoon Midfielder 56'
5Alex Francis Midfielder
6Chris Mason 14 Defender
7Lewis Orrell 12 Midfielder
8Kyle Wharton Midfielder 20'
9Stephen Hall Forward 63'
10James Proctor Midfielder 57'
11Callum Smith 19 Forward
12Ben Pentland 7 Defender
13John Mordey Goalkeeper
14Callum Turnbull 6 Defender
15Lewis Exley Defender
17Josh Strassheim Defender
18Michael Roberts Defender
19Drew Lake 11 Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 16 18 18 20 36 50 56 56 57 63 65 67 69 72 78 81 87 94 FT