Whickham produced a lacklustre performance in their 3-0 home defeat to Bishop Auckland in what was Steve Bowey’s final game in charge, writes ADAM TONES.
Bishops started the day in 19th position and without a clean sheet in the league since the opening day – but well taken goals from Bradley Mills, Damien Stevens and Matthew Waters allowed the away team to take all three points.
Whickham dominated the first 15 minutes creating a handful of chances – captain Dale Burrell went close twice from 20 yards, the first effort forcing Bishop’s goalkeeper Nick Liversedge into a neat save while the second whistled just past the post.
Bishops manged to get a foothold in the game, forcing James Anderson into a brilliant close-range save to keep the scores level. Minutes later Bishop took the lead after 19 minutes – their initial free kick wasn’t fully cleared allowing Mills to strike on the edge of the box, hitting the crossbar on the way in.
Bishops doubled their lead just before the break – a misunderstanding at the back for Whickham allowed former striker Damien Stevens a close-range tap in.
Both teams started the second half slowly – Scott Robson had the best chance in the early stages to pull one back after being put through on goal, his strike saved by the foot of Liversedge.
Bishops all but sealed the three points on 73 minutes. The away side’s free kick was swung in from the right but similar to their first goal, the ball wasn’t fully cleared and fell kindly for Waters to volley into the back of the net.
After the game, interim manager Steve Bowey said: ‘’We huffed and puffed but didn’t blow the house down.
“We conceded a sloppy goal from a set play again – the second goal was a misunderstanding, it’s mistakes in the final third and we got punished again.
‘’When your two nil behind against a young energetic team it’s hard to come back –iIt’s been a tough season and that’s been replicated on the pitch from day dot.
‘’I’m disappointed, it’s my last game today for Whickham and I’m disappointed with the result. The second half performance was a lot better in terms of how we kept the ball as well as being a little braver with the ball.
‘’It’s the cutting edge, that bit of quality you need. That quality when you’re in the final third, someone who is going to link up play, make that killer pass or someone to finish the half chances.’’
Whickham’s next league game will see them welcome Seaham Red Star to The First Mortgage Glebe on Saturday which will see new manager Tony Fawcett in the dug-out for Whickham. Fawcett was watching the Bishop Auckland game along with coaches Simon Moody and Chris Bannon, before being named as boss on Saturday evening.
Starting XI: J. Anderson, T. Howard, K. Galbraith, M. Hoganson, G. Priest, F. Martindale (L. Parral), D. Burrell ©, D. Bisset (W.Campbell), S. Robson, K.Russell (M. Flitzpatrick), Z. Atkinson.
Subs not used: S. Bowey
Referee: Graeme Hopper