First Team



Birtley Town

Sat 21 Sep 2019 | Northern League Div 2 | Home


Kingsley Park, Crawcrook




Liam Lacey



Birtley got revenge over Albion for knocking them out of the Ernest Armstrong Cup with a 2-0 league win at Kingsley Park, in a game in which Ryton failed to score for the first time this season. A 15th minute goal from John Sherlock & stoppage time goal from Christopher Stevens was enough to send the points down the A1.


Albion welcomed Birtley back to Kingsley Park following their cup visit earlier in the month with the hosts hoping to get back to winning ways after going off the boil a little of late. Injury stricken Town soon had another patient in the physio's room when Cameroon Hood injured himself in the warm up to be replaced by Nicholas Hay. Birtley started the game brighter and on 7 minutes created a good move which ended up with Anthony Smith drilling a low shot wide of Phil Holgate's goal. Two minutes later, a poor defensive clearance at the other end saw the ball land at the feet of James Thompson & the Ryton no7's low shot force Hoops keeper Graeme Pickering to dive low & push the ball away to safety. That was to prove a rare dangerous moment for the visitors in a woeful first half for Albion & it wasn't a great surprise when Birtley took the lead on the quarter hour mark. A ball was fed by Oliver Leedham to John Sherlock who spun round leaving his marker for dead and then had the elementary task of slotting home past a totally exposed Holgate. While the visitors were in total control they only really threatened from set pieces, with Ben Milburn heading narrowly wide from a Leedham free kick on 35 minutes & Hay bringing a save from Holgate from another free kick minutes later, & a disappointing 45 minutes for RACA saw them head into the interval just the one goal behind.


Albion massively stepped up their game after the break though they too depended on set pieces to cause problems in the Hoops defence. On 67 minutes, Tyler Davis did get the ball in the Birtley goal, again following a free kick, from a seemingly offside position, & the linesman's flag duly went up... but the Ryton players were adamant the ball bounced to Davis off a defender rendering him on-side ; however the officials stuck to their guns & the goal was chalked off. The Ryton tails were still up as Birtley looked a shadow of their first half selves. The 72nd minute saw Scott Jasper slide into the six yard box to meet a Sam Norris cross only for it to hit the side netting via a intervening Birtley defender's leg. From the corner there was a flying save from Pickering & then the ball bounced off the bar from Jasper's header & from a subsequent corner Jasper caught the cross sweetly on the volley but it was inches wide of the crossbar. Some valiant Ryton defending, particularly from Gavin Dick in the 76th minute prevented Town from increasing their lead as they made a rare but dangerous incursion into RACA territory. As Albion pushed for an equaliser a punt up the field from Birtley's Milburn saw the bounce deceive Albion's Adam Dobson & Christopher Stevens took advantage of the situation slotting home past the advancing Holgate & just evading David Below's despairing attempt to claw the ball off the line, to wrap up the points.




RACA- Holgate, Below, Moody, Turnbull, Dobson, Dick, Thompson, (Dunn 59), Davis, Jasper (Outterside 73), Cooper, Norris


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