Whickham vs Birtley Town



  • Nathan Stephenson - 1 (40') goal(s)
  • Scott Robson - 3 (16', 47', 76') goal(s)

Birtley Town

  • Glen Hargrave - 1 (20') goal(s)
  • Stephen Hall - 1 (54') goal(s)
Fri 22 Sep 2023 | 7:30 pm


Birtley crashed out of the FA Vase on Friday night, as a series of controversial decisions cast a shadow over what was an otherwise-thrilling game of football.

The game got off to a breathless start with several close chances in the opening ten minutes, the first of which fell to Birtley’s Stephen Hall, who headed just over following a Glen Hargrave cross. Within a minute, Whickham had a chance at the other end, with the lively Scott Robson firing narrowly wide from a tight angle. Hargrave was in electric form and twice went close in the early stages, first nodding a Lewis Orrell cross wide, before being denied by a brilliant Tom Dawson save on ten minutes following some great interplay between Hall and Callum Smith.

Birtley thought they had a penalty on 15 minutes as Lewis Orrell was pulled down on the edge of the box, but the ref waved play on. Whickham immediately went on the break, and when Robson went down in similar fashion, the ref pointed to the spot. The striker duly dispatched the spot-kick with a powerful strike that Uncle Bryan would’ve been proud of. To Birtley’s credit they kept their heads up, and within five minutes they’d got back on terms, as Glen Hargrave headed Callum Smith’s wicked free-kick past Dawson for the equaliser.

Stephen Hall nearly fired the Hoops in front on 25 minutes, jinking down the touchline past several Whickham defenders before smashing his effort off the upright. The Lang Jacks got their noses back in front as half-time approached, thanks to a fine strike from Nathan Stephenson following another counter attack. Despite the game being played in excellent spirits, the closing minutes of the half saw Birtley coach Robin Falcus sent from the touchline for disputing a decision, and Whickham’s Tom Howard sin-binned for dissent.

HALF TIME | Whickham 2 – 1 Birtley Town

Birtley started the second half hoping to take advantage of the extra man, but Scott Robson put paid to that almost immediately, receiving a ball over the top and firing past Alfie Gordon to extend his side’s lead. The Hoops continued with their onslaught and Dawson did well once again to turn Callum Smith’s shot wide on 52 minutes. Two minutes later they got their just desserts – Smith again went one-on-one with Dawson, with the ball breaking free to Stephen Hall, who fired into the empty net to make it 3-2.

The chances seemed to dry-up at this point, as the two sides began to cancel each other out. The hard-fought battle continued in the middle of the park however, and Alex Francis, James Proctor and Whickham’s Shay Richardson all received yellow cards for some lively challenges. In the 75th minute Robson again raced through against Gordon; the pair collided, but not before the young striker had sent his effort high & wide. Nevertheless, the referee pointed to the spot and Robson duly completed his hat-trick.

All that was left was for the ref to send off Richardson for a second yellow, before sending Gordon to the sin-bin for complaining at being caught high on the leg by Robson. The ever-reliable Owen Lancaster saw out the remainder of the game between the sticks, but Whickham failed to trouble him, and the game ended 4-2.

FULL TIME | Whickham 4 – 2 Birtley Town

A bitterly-disappointing result for the Hoops who played some of their best football of the season, only to be undone by a handful of missed chances and a couple of hotly-disputed penalty decisions. At the other end Scott Robson proved to be the difference between the sides with his hat-trick. But that’s football, and the lads will look to put it behind them on Tuesday, as they return to league action with the visit of Bishop Auckland.

Attendance – 241 including a sizeable following from DH3. 

Manager’s Corner

Paul Bryson was left frustrated: “We started the game really well. We were on the front foot and created a number of chances. Some of our finishing was poor and that stopped us from taking the lead. We were then on the wrong end of a poor refereeing decisions when they were awarded a penalty. We showed good character to equalise through a good header from Glen after a quality delivery from Smiggs. Hally had a create chance to put us 2-1 up but he has hit the post, I thought the net was going to bulge. We felt aggrieved again when Hally was fouled in the build up to their second goal. That made it 2-1 going into half-time. We said at half-time that we needed to continue to be on the front foot. We then conceded after a few minutes to go 3-1 down. Hally made it 3-2 followed by another dubious penalty makes it 4-2. We are disappointed to go out of the Vase. I felt we were on the wrong end of a few decisions but on the other hand we can’t afford to miss the chances that we did in crucial stages of the game. Chances like those don’t come around too often.”

H2H vs Whickham (all comps)

P22 W8 D1 L13 GF45 GA49

H2H vs Whickham (at Whickham)
P13 W4 D0 LGF25 GA34

16.10.2007 Whickham 0 3 Birtley Town D.C.C | Round 1 U/K J. Thompson x2 | J. Allsopp
03.11.2007 Whickham 3 1 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K J. Sherlock
07.04.2009 Whickham 4 3 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K A. Hoban | S. Burns | T. Thirkell
16.04.2010 Whickham 1 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 82
19.10.2010 Whickham 3 0 Birtley Town D.C.C | Round 1 U/K
12.02.2011 Whickham 3 0 Birtley Town NL Div 2 U/K
27.09.2011 Whickham 6 5 Birtley Town NL Div 2 73 K. Dixon x2 | D. Smart | C. Marron | S. Garrett
04.09.2012 Whickham 3 2 Birtley Town NL Div 2 102 C. Marron | Daniel Smith
21.09.2013 Whickham 5 3 Birtley Town FA Vase | 2QR 75 D. Taggart | C. Coppen | C. Hope
21.12.2013 Whickham 0 1 Birtley Town NL Div 2 70 D. Taggart
18.10.2014 Whickham 1 4 Birtley Town NL Div 2 60 D. Quine x2 | K. Hewitson x2 (1P)
10.10.2015 Whickham 2 3 Birtley Town NL Div 2 75 J. Mitchell | D. Ellis | M. Soulsby
14.12.2021 Whickham 3 0 Birtley Town D.C.C | Round 1 121

Next up…

Birtley now have back to back home games starting with Bishop Auckland on Tuesday evening with a 7.30pm kick off. 

Highlights (Courtesy of Whickham FC)



Date Time League Season
Fri 22 Sep 2023 7:30 pm FA Vase 2023-24


The Glebe Sports Ground, Whickham, NE16 4NA


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town112

Birtley Town

1Alfie Gordon Goalkeeper 88'
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender
4Liam Wotherspoon 12 Midfielder
5Alex Francis Midfielder 58'
6Chris Mason 16 Defender
7Lewis Orrell Midfielder
8Glen Hargrave Forward 20'
9Stephen Hall Forward 54'
10Callum Smith 19 Forward
11James Proctor Midfielder 72'
12Kyle Wharton 4 Midfielder
14Ben Pentland Defender
15Drew Lake Midfielder
16Callum Turnbull 6 Defender
17Lewis Exley Defender
18Josh Strassheim Defender
19Jack Robson 10 Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 16 20 33 40 45+2 47 54 58 60 66 69 72 76 76 76 81 83 86 88 FT