Three goals for Birtley, three red cards for Blyth – Birtley Town 3-1 Blyth Town match report
Birtley Town saw off promotion rivals Blyth Town in a heated contest where Blyth ended the game with eight men.
Glen Hargrave opened the scoring for Birtley in the 27th minute, Aidan Rutledge added a second before half time two minutes after Brandon Slater levelled for the visitors.
Rutledge made it 3-1 from the spot before a hat-trick of second half Blyth red cards gave them no hope of coming back.
This was Birtley’s first match in just under one month due to weather cancellations, however they showed no sign of dropping off after their fine form before the break.
Hargraves opener was originally given to Alex Francis who met Callum Smith’s corner, however after long debate it was decided Hargrave got the final touch.
Despite Birtley’s dominance Blyth’s Slater impressively rounded goalkeeper Conor Grant to equalize.
Hargrave then became provider for Rutledge, his cross was met by the striker who neatly volleyed home at the back post.
Rutledge then scored his 40th goal of the season from the spot after Smith was brought down in the box.
The 63rd minute saw the first red card for Blyth, Liam Wetherspoon first to go for a rough challenge on Rutledge.
Emotions had spilled over in the Blyth team, less than ten minutes later George Hayton was then sent off for a dangerous tackle on Ben Garrity.
Evan Fogarty rounded off the red cards as he received a second yellow for a tactical foul late in the game.