Chester le Street Town entertained local rivals Birtley Town in this Friday night fixture in front of a 248 crowd
Before the match started, the crowd were joined by local 22 year-old Ryan Anstey who has won three football gold medals – two representing the North of England at the Special Olympic National Games and a few weeks ago at the World Special Olympic Games representing Team GB. A guard of honour from the two teams formed as he walked on to the pitch to proudly show his latest medal.
Birtley took the lead on 8 minutes through Robbie Williamson with a strike from twenty yards which Keeper Aaron Steavans failed to hold and it went through his legs and into the back of the net. Chester le Street’s best chance of the half,came in the 20th minute when a free kick was headed away but only as far as Scott Robson who volleyed it straight at Jordan Bolton. Birtley retaliated immediately by going up the other end, through Joe Barwick who squared it for Robbie Williamson who miskicked the chance and the ball was cleared..
Birtley had another great chance for a second goal when Nick Hay was presented with a free header from a Birtley free kick but headed over the Chester bar.
Right on half time, Chester le Street had a chance from a corner which was spilled by Jordan Bolton under pressure and it fell to Michael Graver just outside the box but his driven strike was along the ground and was easily cleared by Tom Soutar.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Davey Surrey saw an effort go wide of the post and a minute later a decent chance for Chester went begging as a header was glanced wide of the far post. Seconds earlier, Andrew Clarkson had been denied by some good defending from the Birtley back four.
A Chester le Street cross into the box was missed by Bolton with Scott Robson trying to get through a packed Birtley defence he was unable to find a teammate and the chance was cleared. Robbie Williamson was played in Ben Garity but he was injured in the process of attempting to go for goal and took no further part in the game and eventually was taken to hospital with suspected concussion. Andrew Clarkson had a chance for Chester deep into stoppage time but he blazed over from the edge of the box. The final whistle then follows after the goal kick has been taken.
Team: Aron Steavans, Chris Stephenson, Rhys Turnbull, Kevin Dixon, Alexander Walker, Michael Graver, Owen Henderson ( Jack Oliver 79 mins), Kieran Megran, Andrew Clarkson, Scott Robson, Michael Hepplewhite ( Harry Wood 67 mins)
On Saturday 6 March Chester le Street Travel to meet Jarrow FC on South Tyneside ko 3.00 at Perth Green CA NE32 4QA