Willington vs Birtley Town




Birtley Town

  • Aidan Rutledge - 6 (17', 25', 45', 48', 83', 91') goal(s)
  • Callum Smith - 1 (36') goal(s)
  • Tom McIntyre - 1 (32') goal(s)
  • Joe Barwick - 1 (54') goal(s)
Wed 29 Mar 2023 | 7:30 pm


A rampant Birtley hit nine goals past struggling Willington on Wednesday night, as they banished their bad memories from Saturday to move one step closer to the play-offs.

The Hoops started the game brightly, with the in-form Callum Smith forcing a superb save from Matthew Pattison after only three minutes. Lewis Orrell then came close on 12 minutes, whipping a sweet free-kick just wide of the upright. The inevitable breakthrough came on 17 minutes, as Pattison again denied Smith, before Aidan Rutledge tapped home the rebound to notch his fiftieth goal of the season in all competitions. The irrepressible marksman then doubled his tally on 25 minutes, racing onto a quickly-taken throw-in from Hargrave before rounding the keeper and slotting home.

The hard-working Willington defence was struggling to contain wave after wave of Birtley attacks, and it wasn’t long before the Hoops had their third, as Thomas McIntyre hit a powerful left foot effort from all of 25 yards. The game had barely re-started before Callum Smith worked himself some space in the box and found the net from close range to make it four.

And in the first minute of injury time Rutledge completed his perfect hat-trick with a sublime glancing header from another Birtley corner.

Half-Time | Willington 0 – 5 Birtley Town

Birtley made the first of several changes at half-time, bringing on vice-captain Sam Hedley in place of Lewis Exley, as the former continues his return to match fitness. Three minutes into the second half, recent signing Liam Wotherspoon whipped in a wicked corner which Rutledge headed home to make it 6-0.

Birtley made another change – with Glen Hargrave making way for Joe Barwick – and in five-minutes the evergreen Birtley man had joined in the fun, seeing his close range shot deflected past Pattison by an unfortunate Willington defender. Keeper Isaac Robinson then entered the fray in place of Conor Grant, and the young stopper was quickly in the thick of the action, twice denying Willington has they looked to pull one back.

At the other end, his opposite number Pattison did well to deny Rutledge on 84 minutes, but the rebound fell kindly to the prolific No.9 who fired home his fifth of the evening. As the game entered the dying minutes, Rutledge saved the best ‘til last, as he danced nimbly through a sea of Willington defenders before finding the net to complete a double hat-trick and set the seal on a dominant performance.

Full-Time | Willington 0 – 9 Birtley Town

All credit to Willington who stuck to their task admirably from the first whistle to the last, but they simply could not contain the attacking threat of a Birtley side still hurting from Saturday’s defeat. The Hoops face another struggling side on Saturday, as Sunderland West End visit the Arrowmark Home Improvements Stadium, and you wouldn’t bet against another high-scoring game.


Rutledge took his tally for the season to 55 goals.

Manager’s Corner

Paul Bryson was pleased with the performance and particularly for double hat-trick hero Aidan Rutledge: “I was really pleased with our lads, we had a disappointing result on Saturday. I was really pleased with the professional job last night, it was a difficult pitch but we applied ourselves really well. We kept our standards from the first whistle to the last. It was good to get the subs on and get some minutes into them, that will be important for them. Sometimes when you make so many changes it can make the game go a little flat but I thought this added to the intensity. I am pleased with how Spoony and Lewis Orrell have settled in, it is great to have Heds back after such a long time out with injury. Massive congratulations to Aidan too. He has now reached 55 goals, 53 in the league plus two in the FA Vase. That’s an outstanding return.”

“I have huge respect for the Willington players, they kept going and didn’t stop working. I thought their attitudes were fantastic. I feel for the club but the management and committee were all there. It will be those types of people that keep the club going. The players were a credit.”

“We now look forward to Sunderland West End on Saturday, it’s another huge game for us. I would love to see another big crowd at the game. I said in the team talk last night that the supporters clapped us off on Saturday. They knew we had given everything. It was a great touch from our supporters. It would be great if they are there again on Saturday.”


H2H vs Willington (all games)
P21 W10 D2 L9 GF49 GA34

H2H vs Willington (at Hall Lane)
P10 W4 D1 L5 GF21 GA12

25.02.2006 | Willington 0-3 Birtley Town
(S. Rochester, T. Thirkell X2)

19.08.2006 | Willington 0-4 Birtley Town
(T. Thirkell x2, B. Johnson, S. McAvoy)

29.03.2014 | Willington 2-0 Birtley Town

20.12.2014 | Willington 3-1 Birtley Town
(M. Soulsby)

07.11.2015 | Willington 3-1 Birtley Town
(R. Bell)

18.08.2018 | Willington 1-1 Birtley Town
(J. Honour)

21.08.2019 | Willington 2-1 Birtley Town
(J. Sherlock)

31.10.2020 | Willington 0-1 Birtley Town
(J. Barwick)

29.03.2023 | Willington 0-9 Birtley Town
(A. Rutledge x6, C. Smith, T. McIntyre, J. Barwick)


Next up…

The Hoops will look to take another step towards securing a play-off position when they face off against Sunderland West End on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm. 



Date Time League Season
Wed 29 Mar 2023 7:30 pm Northern League D2 2022-23


Hall Lane, Willington, DL15 0QQ


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Birtley Town549

Birtley Town

1Conor Grant 16 Goalkeeper
2Josh Strassheim 15 Defender
3Lewis Exley 14 Defender
4Alex Francis 20 Midfielder
5Callum Turnbull Defender
6Liam Wotherspoon Midfielder
7Lewis Orrell Midfielder
8Glen Hargrave 12 Forward
9Aidan Rutledge Forward 17', 25', 45', 48', 83', 91'
10Callum Smith Forward 36'
11Tom McIntyre Midfielder 32'
12Joe Barwick 8 Forward 54'
14Sam Hedley 3 Defender
15Matty Ward 2 Forward
16Isaac Robinson 1 Goalkeeper
20Andrew Clarkson 4 Forward
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Sin Bin
Own Goal
Player of the Match

KO KO 17 25 32 34 36 45 46 48 49 54 59 61 64 83 91 FT