Whickham v Bishop Auckland preview

The Lang Jacks return to home soil when they welcome Bishop Auckland to The First Mortgage Glebe this Saturday, writes ADAM TONES.

Whickham, who are without a manager, sit in 13th place after only two wins in their last eight in the league following last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away to Newcastle Benfield.

Bishop Auckland are currently second bottom with only goal difference separating them from the foot of the table. The away side have only two league wins in 14 coming into the game with Whickham taking all three points in the reverse fixture back in August.

Bishops, who have recently appointed highly-regarded manager Chris Hardy to replace Andy Toman, are without a clean sheet since the opening game of the season and have conceded 16 goals in their last six league matches – and Whickham striker Zak Atkinson is hoping to add to their defensive frailties.

Zak scored the equaliser for Whickham the last time these two teams met before Declan Bisset’s winner. Whichham’s top goalscorer, who has two goals in as many games, is hoping the squad can turn a corner and start climbing the league table beginning with a victory against Bishops this weekend.

Zak said: “There have been many times this season the game could have been killed off, but we’ve not taken our chances which is partially my fault as I’m in the team to score goals but also others have missed chances.

“You can see in the dressing room the lads are frustrated, we’ve got big players who have played in big teams and won things – as a group we’re not used to being down the bottom end of the table but I’ve no doubt we will get it right and start climbing the table. 

‘’I’ve played in this league for a lot of years now and one of the reasons everyone loves the Northern League is because every team can beat any other team on their day. All it takes is our luck to start changing which will then breed a bit of confidence into the lads and once you start putting runs together you can easily go from 13th to fourth or fifth in the table.”

There are no new injury concerns for Whickham but they will be without captain Ross Peareth again who is serving his third of a four-game ban.

Kick-off is 3pm at The First Mortgage Glebe on Saturday 23rd October – tickets are available at the gate. Adults £6; concessions £3.

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