Whickham vs Birtley Town



  • Scott Robson - 2 (29', 72') goal(s)

Birtley Town

  • Alex Francis - 1 (50') goal(s)
  • James Proctor - 1 (53') goal(s)
Fri 08 Mar 2024 | 7:30 pm


Birtley recorded a 2-2 draw with local rivals Whickham AFC in a fiercely contested local derby on Friday evening. 

The opening chances of the game fell to Birtley; Matty Ward forcing Neal Bussey into a fine save after good work from Scott Heslop, Glen Hargrave narrowly missing the rebound. The ball was cleared long with Owen Lancaster finding Kyle Wharton in midfield. The play then linked through Ward again and Owen delivered a superb low cross into the area which found Kyle Wharton who prodded an effort at goal forcing another good save from Bussey. The rebound fell quickly to Scott Heslop who was unable to convert, Bussey pulling off another fine save to keep the scores level. At the other end, Alfie Gordon was at full stretch to deny Jack Elliott with a terrific fingertip save around the post. Owen Lancaster then struck a powerful volley narrowly wide as both sides looked for an opening goal.

However, it was The Lang Jacks who struck first with Scott Robson roaming free at the back post when he headed home a Jack Elliott cross to the delight of the youthful Whickham support behind the goal. Robson’s goal remaining the difference as the half-time whistle was blown. 

HALF TIME | Whickham 1-0 Birtley Town 

Birtley started the second period at a frantic pace. Tireless work from Heslop and Hargrave forced the Whickham backline into a series of errors with Heslop firing the first chance wide. James Proctor was also causing a number of problems with his running ability and on 47 minutes he was fouled just outside the area following a long, surging run from deep within his own half. Glen Hargrave received a ten minute sin bin for his protests. When the free-kick was eventually taken, Alex Francis found a hole in the Whickham wall and Bussey was unable to keep the effort out.

With the scores level and Birtley temporarily down to ten men, both sides were pushing for the lead. Despite the numerical disadvantage it was Birtley who struck again. James Proctor collected the ball around 25 yards from goal with a deft touch before firing a fantastic long-range effort into the bottom corner. Stephen Hall replaced Glen Hargrave following the end of his sin bin and both sides were back to eleven players each.  

Inevitably for Birtley, Scott Robson popped up again to fire Whickham level. Lewis Leech found Robson around 25 yards out and his curling effort went beyond the outstretched Alfie Gordon. It was a superb goal from the Whickham player and his 47th goal of the season.

On 82 minutes, Sam Hedley was sent-off for a second bookable offence with Lewis Exley also receiving a sin bin for his protests. With Birtley now reduced to nine players they looked to hold out for the draw. In the dying stages, Scott Robson turned Kyle Wharton and looked to be through on goal. Wharton managed to pull Robson to the floor and the Birtley midfielder was given a straight red card to reduce Birtley to eight men. Paul Bryson was also given a deserved straight red card and sent to the stands after taking his protests too far. Luckily for Birtley, the assistant referee had judged Robson to be in an offside position, video replays later showing that he was definitely onside. Wharton remained on the pitch to help see the game out as Birtley took a deserved point back to DH3. 

FULL TIME | Whickham 2-2 Birtley Town

Player of the Match – James Proctor

Attendance – 350. A well attended local derby that was thoroughly enjoyed by all that were present.

Manager’s Corner

Paul Foster: “Anybody who was at the Whickham game would have seen a mirror image of the FA Vase game. We should have been at two or three up but we missed good chances missed. Once again it came back to bite us with them going ahead with their first real chance of the game to lead at half time. We said in the dressing room at half-time to just keep doing what we were doing and we would get our just rewards. Within fifteen minutes of the restart we were 2-1 up, a freekick from Alex and a beauty from Proc. Proc was outstanding all night. We were ahead despite having 10 men after Glen was sin binned.”

“We were to be denied by Scott Robson. Robson has been a thorn in our side if we are being honest and he pulled them back level with a quality equaliser. We then went down to 10 men which looked a harsh decision. Sam Hedley was sent off and in the aftermath of that decision, Ex gets sin-binned for something he said to the linesman. So for the last ten minutes we played with nine men and the lads stood up to everything that was thrown at them. We earned what could be a very good point against a very good Whickham side. We were pleased with the point. What it did show was that we were determined not to lose that game after pretty much everything had gone against us.”

“I know without officials we don’t have a game, it’s as simple as that, but that’s not the first, second, or third time this season we have been left frustrated. The frustration from both sets of players tells you everything you need to know. Something has to be done to get officials up to the standard of football on show!”

“We would like to wish Lee and everyone at Whickham the best of luck for their upcoming Durham Challenge Cup Final.”

H2H vs Whickham (at Whickham)
P14 W4 D0 L10 GF38 GA27

16.10.2007 Whickham 0 3 Birtley Town Durham Challenge
Cup | 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 Durham Challenge
Cup | Round 1
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 | Second Qualifying Round 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 Durham Challenge
Cup | Round 1
22.09.2023 Whickham 4 2 Birtley Town FA Vase | Second Qualifying Round 241 G. Hargrave | S. Hall

Next up…

It’s a quick turnaround as we head down the coast to Seaham Red Star on Tuesday evening for a 7.30pm kick-off. 





Date Time League Season
Fri 08 Mar 2024 7:30 pm Northern League D1 2023-24


The Glebe Sports Ground, Whickham, NE16 4NA


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town022

Birtley Town

1Alfie Gordon Goalkeeper
2Owen Lancaster Defender
3Sam Hedley Defender 45', 84'
4Kyle Wharton Midfielder
5Alex Francis Midfielder 50'
6Callum Turnbull Defender
7James Proctor Midfielder 53'
8Glen Hargrave 12 Forward 49'
9Scott Heslop 15 Forward 59'
10Matty Ward 14 Forward
11Lewis Exley Defender 84'
12Stephen Hall 8 Forward
14Ben Pentland 10 Defender
15Taylor Richardson 9 Midfielder
16Josh Strassheim Defender
17Dylan Garvey Midfielder
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 23 28 29 45 49 50 53 59 59 64 71 72 78 79 84 84 84 88 95 FT