Heaton Stannington vs Birtley Town



Date Time Competition Season Attendance Round
Thu 2 May 2024 7:30 pm Northern League Division One 2023-24 1235 Play Off Semi Final


Grounsell Park
Newcastle upon Tyne, North of Tyne, England, NE7 7HP, United Kingdom


Heaton Stannington1
Birtley Town0


Success in probably the Stan’s most important match in their history means that on Monday they will play in an even more important match as they host the play-off final. Birtley had been slightly the better team in the 1st half but the Stan stepped a gear in the 2nd half & although they only won by 1 goal it could have been by many more. There were 2 changes from last Saturday’s win at Crook with Brass & Sayer replacing Corkhill & Cassidy.

A cold Thursday evening was warmed up by a bumper crowd of 1235 which included a good following from the visitors. Both teams started positively. In the 3rd minute, Birtley keeper Gordon got to the ball just before the advancing Lamb, but the ball came back to Lamb although his effort hit off Gordon from close range for a corner. Both teams were trying to attack & in 12 minutes Lamb crossed into the Birtley box towards Reid but the ball was put out for a corner from which the ball was headed clear. Birtley then got a corner from which Brass punched clear for another corner & from it Reid headed clear. 2 minutes later & another Birtley corner was cleared by Evans. A 3rd attack in a row from the Stan saw, in 16 minutes, Gordon getting to the ball just before Hopper & Lamb. In 18 minutes, a Stephenson free kick into the Birtley box was headed just wide by Reid. It was still end to end & in 26 minutes Reid shot just over from just outside a busy Birtley box. Gordon then caught from a Stephenson free kick before Brass had to catch from close range at the other end. Brass then had to catch from a 2nd Birtley corner in 34 minutes. Both teams were still trying to attack but Birtley were having slightly more of the ball. In 37 minutes, Birtley attacked again followed by Gordon having to get down to save from Lamb. Another Birtley attack was cleared followed by Gordon having to catch at the other end. The half ended with 2 more Birtley attacks with the 2nd seeing the ball being headed clear 1st by Burn then by Evans. The 1st half showed that the match could go either way although Birtley had slightly more of the pressure.

Dean Nicolson showed he meant business by moving Lamb at the start of the 2nd half to the right wing. This increased his threat & he should have got a few goals if not for the skill of Gordon the Birtley keeper. In 48 minutes, a Stephenson corner saw the ball go high across a busy Birtley box but miss everyone. The 1st few minutes of the 2nd half saw mainly pressure from the Stan & this paid off in 51 minutes when the Stan went 1-0 up. Hornsby sent the ball into the Birtley box & although it was blocked it came out to Shepherd just outside the box & his blasted shot took a slight bounce which fooled the keeper & went into the net. 3 minutes later & it was back to defensive work for Shepherd as he had to clear from a Birtley attack. Both teams continued to try to attack. In 57 minutes, a Birtley corner was cleared by Burn. Birtley had 2 corners before, in 63 minutes, a Lamb ball into the visitors; box was put out for a Stephenson corner. From it the ball was initially cleared before Lamb’s follow up long range effort was spliced wide. Burn then sent a low range effort of his own into a busy Birtley box & although it was deflected, Gordon got down to save it. The Stan defence stood strong against another Birtley attack before Hopper had a great chance but put his effort over the bar. In 69 minutes, a Burn free kick went over the wall & hit off the keeper, but his rebound shot was blocked & cleared. A Stan throw in into the Birtley box was then headed clear followed by a Stephenson shot from the edge of the box hitting the keeper & Lamb’s rebound shot was blasted well over the bar when he should have scored. The Stan kept the pressure on & in 75 minutes a ball from Lamb was headed on by Reid but Gordon tipped it off the bar. It was a fantastic save. 2 minutes later & Brass  had to get down to save. The Stan shot wide then just wide in 79 minutes. Birtley then shot over the Stan bar followed by a Reid shot being saved by Gordon. It was then back to the Stan end & Birtley shot over. It was end to end with both defences having to work hard. In 89 minutes, a long ball to Lamb on the right saw him supply Reid who forced a fantastic leaping save from Gordon. In the 90th minute, Reid headed clear from a Birtley corner. There were 4 added minutes as both teams still tried to attack. In 93 minutes, a  Brass clearance then saw Lamb counter & pass to Hopper who was brought down but the flag had gone up for offside. A Birtley attack was cleared & it led to another counterattack with Hopper supplying Lamb who beat the keeper but the ball hit the outside of the post & went out. In 95 minutes a Birtley effort was blasted over the Stan bar.

It was an entertaining & hard-fought game especially in the 2nd half when the Stan demonstrated what they could do up front while still being strong at the back. They were only limited to 1 goal due to some great saves by Birtley keeper Alfie Gordon but this meant that there was the threat of Birtley getting a late equaliser.  The Stan now host West Auckland Town on bank holiday Monday afternoon in the play-off final. The prize for the winners is promotion to Northern Premier League East Division.

Kevin Mochrie

Photo Gallery 1

Photo Gallery 2

Heaton Stannington

1Lewis Brass Goalkeeper
2Kane Evans Defender
3Jay Hornsby Defender
4Daniel Stephenson Midfielder
5Mark Turnbull Defender
6Joe Shepherd Defender
7Daniel Sayer 15 Midfielder
8Andrew Burn Midfielder
9Leighton Hopper Forward
10Sean Reid Midfielder
11Konner Lamb Forward
12Nicholas Cassidy Midfielder
14Jordan Lashley Midfielder
15Louis Anderson 7 Forward
16Liam Doyle Defender
17Alfie Marriott Defender


Tyler Dutton