Birtley’s derby delight

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Birtley Town are within striking distance of third-top Esh Winning following last night’s crucial 2-0 derby victory over Chester-le-Street in the STL Northern League Second Division, writes Malcolm Pratt.

Danny Smart fired Birtley in front on 22 minutes and, although there were chances for both teams, he also grabbed the crucial second goal 18 minutes from time when he again beat Cestrian goalkeeper Chris Rookes.

Whickham, who had not claimed a point in their previous six games, hammered Brandon United 6-1 at The Glebe.

Lawrence McKenna (2), Scott Robson (2), John Harrison and substitute Stephen Aiston, who scored with his very first touch, all beat keeper Andrew Wilkinson.

Mark Brischuk claimed United’s consolation before Robson made it six with a magnificent 30-yard lob.