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Match Preview: Bishop Auckland v North Shields (29/02/20)

The Robins travel to County Durham tomorrow afternoon as they face Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park in another crucial Ebac Northern League Division One tie.

In their first League game in almost three weeks, the Robins were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Ryhope CW, with Gareth Bainbridge scoring his record-breaking penalty with only minutes left on the clock, following James Ellis’ earlier strike.

The result lifted Shields to fourth in the Division One table, five points behind third-placed Shildon but with one game in hand.

Bishop Auckland, on the other hand, who finished third last season, have struggled for consistancy this time around and currently sit it tenth place, having won one, drawn two and lost two out of their last five games.

In their most recent game, a Brian Close goal just before half time was enough to condemn them to a 1-0 home defeat against Guisborough Town. This game, which took place on February 8, was the last time the Two Blues have played a competitive game of football.

The last time Shields travelled to face Bishops, a solo goal from Ryan Carr was not enough as goals from Christopher Winn, Michael Hoganson, Kyle Fryatt and Shaun Ryder condemned the Robins to a 5-1 defeat.

However, when Ian Chandler’s side travelled to the Daren Persson Stadium earlier this season, goals from Wayne Buchanan, Paul Robinson and Denver Morris earned Shields a 3-0 win.

Should the Robins pick up the win tomorrow, they would remain in fourth but could close to within two points of Shildon in third.

However, were Bishop Auckland to come away with the win, they could jump up two places to eight, above West Auckland Town and Billingham Town, but four points behind Newton Aycliffe in seventh.