Match Report | Birtley Town (A)

Monday 22nd April 2024

EBAC Northern League Division One

Birtley Town 2 – 1 North Shields

‘Mistakes costly in Robins defeat’

With the dust just about settled off Saturday’s brilliant win on the road at the weekend over Penrith, Brian Smith’s side took the field for the first of three midweek games.

Similar to Saturday, a number of players unavailable for selection saw starts for Dan Cherry, James Sloan and Flynn Williamson.

Lee Mason had the chance for the Robins after 5 minutes, picking up the ball in space before firing an effort high and wide of the target.

James Sloan was on hand to deny the hosts with a great block with 10 minutes on the clock.

Dean Holmes picked out Lee Mason after good work down the left, who couldn’t guide his headed effort goal bound.

The Shields defense put themselves under unnecessary pressure, looking to play out from the back, losing possession only to Dobson to save their blushes with a great stop low down his feet.

Halfway through the first half, Shields almost took the lead, Sloan rising highest from a corner kick, the path falling into the path of Mason, who turned and shot, only to be denied point blank by the Birtley keeper.


A long ball over the top, the defensive line dropping deep and Dobson rushing out of his goal, a mix up amongst the bodies saw the ball fall kindly for Proctor, who drove towards goal before passing the ball into an empty net.

A barrage of attacks from the hosts looking to double their advantage, firstly Dobson making a great save despite the calls for offside, followed by Coppen making a great double block to keep them at bay.

On the stroke of half time, almost caught out again at the back, the Robins almost found themselves two nil down at the break, only for Dobson to deny the hosts.

Half time upon us and behind at the break, Brian Smith’s side had created a few good chances but unable to convert, the hosts happy to go in at the break with the lead knowing that if the result stayed as it was, they would seal their play-off spot.

Almost immediately from the restart, Shields should have been level, McCamley with a cross field pass, picking out Telfer on the far side, who drove towards goal before looking to place the ball in the far bottom corner, only to see his effort go agonizingly wide of the post.

Dean Holmes found his name in the match officials book, despite appearing to win back possession with a great tackle.


The Robins punished for not taking their chances as the deficit was increased to two, after a loose across goal deep in the Robins was intercepted, the ball worked to Proctor who composed himself before slotting home to get his and Birtley’s second of the night.

Telfer played in McCamley, only to be tackled at the crucial point on firing the trigger and seeing a freekick awarded against him, to his and most others’s bemusement.

On the hour, a clever freekick routine saw the ball worked to Mason who turned and shot, only to be denied a great save low down from the Birtley keeper to his right.


A long free kick into the box, the ball bouncing around inside the area, before Mason fired home to reduce the deficit and make for a very interesting last half hour.

A double change saw the introductions of Lewis Henry and Ewan McGowan for Lee Mason and Matty Telfer.

Callum Dobson produced another great save to stop the hosts from adding a third, followed moments later a superb block on the line from Flynn Williamson.

Euan Anderson found himself in the referee’s book as he attempted to win back possession on half way only to mistimen his tackle, this being his final action of the night as he was replaced by Luke Swailes.


Initially being sent to the sin bin, before the match official realized he had already been booked, he changed his decision and produced the red card for dissent.

Down to 10 men, 15 minutes left of the normal time, the Robins went in search of an equalizer, Dan Cherry seeing his shot blocked, before moments later, rising highest for a corner but unable to guide his header on target.

4 minutes added time indicated by the match official, but Shields were unable to find that leveler, as the hosts secured their play off spot with the win, in the aftermath, the match official produced a red card to Curtis Coppen after the full time.

We go again on Wednesday as we welcome Crook Town to the Daren Persson Stadium with a 7.30pm kick off.

North Shields: Dobson, Anderson, Williamson, Fletcher, Coppen, Sloan, McCamley, Cherry, Mason, Holmes ©, Telfer.

Subs: Henry, McGowan, Swailes, McCafferty

Goal Scorers: Mason 

Attendance: 225

Up Next: Crook Town – Wednesday 24th April – 7.30pm