Sunderland RCA vs Birtley Town


Birtley Town

  • Glen Hargrave - 2 (13', 75') goal(s)
  • Scott Heslop - 2 (41', 54') goal(s)
  • Matty Ward - 1 (24') goal(s)
Sat 03 Feb 2024 | 3:00 pm
Sunderland RCA


Birtley returned to winning ways on Saturday afternoon with a five star performance away at Sunderland RCA. 

Match Gallery is available HERE

The hosts started the game on the front foot, with an early shot being deflected wide and the resultant corner being tipped over by Alfie Gordon. Birtley’s first chance of the game came in the ninth minute as recent-signing Dan Wilds capitalised on some great play down the wing only to see his shot blocked. Within minutes though, the Hoops got their noses in front as Glen Hargrave converted Owen Lancaster’s cross to give his side the lead. Lancaster was in the thick of it again shortly afterwards, rising to meet a corner, only to see his header go narrowly over. 

Matthew Ward was on-hand to double the lead on 23 minutes, taking advantage of a quick free-kick before burying his shot in the RCA net. The Hoops’ lead was further extended as half-time approached, with Scott Heslop firing home through a crowded penalty area, during a frantic spell in which he and Hargrave both had strikes ruled-out for offside. 

HALF TIME | Sunderland RCA 0 – 3 Birtley Town

Dan Wilds made his first start for the club.The Hoops were now well in control, and Heslop didn’t have to wait long to get his brace, finding the net following James Proctor’s corner. 

Matthew Ward almost grabbed a second of his own on the hour mark, but was denied by a fine James Hopkinson save. RCA then nearly pulled one back on the counter, but Alfie Gordon was down low to protect his clean sheet. Hargrave rounded off the scoring on 76 minutes, seeing his first effort saved by Hopkinson, before getting back to his feet to bury his second.  

FULL TIME | Sunderland RCA 0 – 5 Birtley Town 

A fantastic performance from the Hoops keeps them well in the play-off mix. We’ll need to be at our best again on Tuesday night as we welcome Heaton Stannington to the Arrowmark Home Improvements Stadium, for what is always a tough test. 

Manager’s Corner

Paul Bryson: “We were missing Spoony so Kyle replaced him and we had Alex back in the side which was great news. It was a really convincing performance and result. The biggest thing in the game was the attitude of the players, they were fantastic.

It was a really difficult pitch and poor conditions but it was the same for both sides. We started the game really well. We created good chances and scored goals. We could have had a couple more if it wasn’t for the offside flag. The first goal was an excellent move down the right and a brilliant ball fizzed across to Glen. He tapped it home for 1-0. Wardy scored another great goal. Hezzy extended the lead with a good finish. We dictated the play throughout. We dealt with the conditions fantastically well.

“Hezzy scored another one in the second half and Glen got another too. It was really pleasing as Dylan, Hally, Ben and Drew all got good minutes and they deserved that. Really pleased with the attitude, performance and result. We look forward to Heaton Stan on Tuesday.”

Glen Hargrave was back on the score sheet against RCA.

Previous H2H vs Sunderland RCA
P5 W0 D0 L5 GF3 GA18

17.11.2007 Sunderland RCA 2 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K
31.01.2009 Sunderland RCA 3 1 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K M. Hepplewhite
10.02.2010 Sunderland RCA 3 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K
19.08.2011 Sunderland RCA 7 0 Birtley Town FA Cup
Extra Preliminary Round
16.09.2014 Sunderland RCA 3 2 Birtley Town Durham Challenge Cup Preliminary Round U/K J. Gill | D. Waters

The result was the first time that Birtley had registered a victory at Sunderland RCA. 

Next up…

Birtley host Heaton Stannington on Tuesday evening in a crucial play-off contention fixture. Kick off is at 7.30pm. 


To follow…



Date Time League Season
Sat 03 Feb 2024 3:00 pm Northern League D1 2023-24


Sunderland RCA
Beechbrook, Ryhope, Sunderland, SR2 0NZ


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Sunderland RCA000
Birtley Town325

Birtley Town

1Alfie Gordon Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster 14 Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Kyle Wharton Midfielder 36'
5Alex Francis 15 Midfielder
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7Daniel Wilds Midfielder
8Glen Hargrave Forward 13', 75'
9Scott Heslop 12 Forward 41', 54'
10Matty Ward 16 Forward 24'
11James Proctor Midfielder
12Stephen Hall 9 Forward
14Ben Pentland 2 Defender
15Drew Lake 5 Midfielder
16Dylan Garvey 10 Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 13 24 35 36 41 46 54 60 60 66 68 69 75 80 80 FT