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Chester-Le-Street 2-5 Birtley Town – Match report

Birtley Town are undefeated in eight in the Northern Football League after goals from Aiden Rutledge and a quick-fire Glen Hargrave hat-trick secured an away win over Chester-Le-Street United.

The game was fairly quiet until the 30-minute mark, when Hargraves fired in his first with his next two coming in the 31st and 34th minute.

Rutledge added a fourth in the 42nd and his second in the 56th after Brandon Young pulled one back for Chester-Le-Street in the 47th minute. Taylor Campbell scored for Chester-Le-Street late on in the 78th minute but it was all to late to mount a comeback.

Birtley Town manager Paul Bryson welcomed back Hargraves, Josh Holland and Alex Francis to the side and now have a free week before their trip to Willington.

Hargraves opened the scoring with a beautiful chip shot after spotting the goalkeeper off his line, then a poor back pass was picked up by Rutledge who squared it to Hargraves to finish off for his second.

Hargraves completed his hat-trick when he got on the end of Lewis Exley’s corner and fired home. Another defensive error allowed Rutledge to spin on the 12-yard spot and hit the back of the net for four.

The hosts pulled one back when Young latched one to a loose ball following a save from Birtley keeper Conor Grant.

Rutledge scored Birtley’s fifth when his powerful left foot strike beat the keeper after picking up the ball halfway in the Chester-Le-Street half and turning one defender before finishing.

A 25-yard strike from Campbell was the pick of the goals, his strike gave Grant no chance as it flew into the top right corner. Owen Lancaster then hit the bar for Birtley before the match ended 5-2 to the away side.