We were back on the road again today and back to Ebac Norther League Action. This time we headed south down to Bishop Auckland. Although there had been disappointment from getting knocked out of the Buildbase FA Vase in the manner we did, Manager James Clark looked to rally his team for a second win of the season. Bishops were four places ahead of us but three points would lift us above them in the League.
The Mechanics were forced to make a last-minute change before kick-off due to a dead leg to Matthew Fishes sustained during the warmup. That allowed a first start for Samuel Grieveson. New singing, Goalkeeper Decklan Greenwood replaced suspended Dan Gladstone
The change in players allowed Clark to change the formation and revert to a traditional 4-4-2. This seemed to have the desired impact as Washington seemed more settled and get a better rhythm of the game.
And it was Washington who applied most pressure in the early stages. Some good play on both wings had Bishops on the back foot. A foul on Matty Waters gave Washington a free kick just outside the box after five minutes. Ross Gardner stepped but and his low driven kick was blocked by the wall. The follow-up was cleared by the Bishop defence.
Not long after and Bishop caused concern at the heart of the Washington defence. Andrew Johnson was just short on getting on the end of a cross. Then Michael Laws needed to be brave with a double block on the edge of the box. Following Bishops had a good spell of pressure that was dealt with by the Washington defence.
On 15 minutes Bishop came close again with a freekick about 10 yards outside the Washington area. Up stepped Michael Hoganson and he fired a brilliant strike is saved onto the post by Greenwood. Washington broke and with their attack rattled a ball of Gareth Young’s post in the Bishop goal. The ball cannoned off a defender and went behind for a corner.
The corner was cleared but Washington followed up and won another corner. This time Grieveson knocked the ball down to Waters but the number 9 was off target with his shot. Waters came close again 3 minutes later. Good play by Shaun Pickford down the right fed into Grieveson and then onto Waters, again his shot was just wide.
Washington were looking by far the better team. Including the midfield getting involved in the final third. A ball in the box was just too high for Pickford to get on the end of. Ross Gardener shot just over after good holdup play from Grieveson. But it wasn’t to be for the Mechanics and 33 minutes Bishop went ahead with a goal from Johnson.
But Washington’s head didn’t drop as it may have done in previous games. They continued the pressure and looked much the better team for the remainder of the half. A clever through ball from Evans was picked up on, would have been a golden opportunity. Waters could have brought the mechanics level into time added on but couldn’t get the ball out of his feet after the keeper could only parry a ball from Pickard into the box
HALF TIME: Bishop Auckland 1 – Washington FC 0
Into the second half and Washington looked bright. They had some good build up play but struggled with the final product. Evans delivered a deadly ball into the six-yard box but no Washington player was there to get on the end of it. Another ball in from Wilson and Grieveson was just short on making contact.
Just before the hour new addition Connor Gardner made his debut replacing brother, Ross. And the younger brother didn’t take long to make an impact on the game. Delivering a telling freekick into the box. The Bishops defence struggled to deal with it and Washington won a corner. The ball in from the corner was punched clear. Washington started again and this time a ball in the box falls to Pickard whose header is straight at the Bishop Keeper.
On 65 minutes Michael Fisher replaced Grieveson, going into midfield and Pickard moved up alongside Waters.
Five minutes after the change Bishop came close to increasing their lead with a shot from the edge of the box hit the frame of the Washington goal. Bishop were beginning to build momentum. A foul by Fisher just outside the box brought a booking for the sub and a Bishop freekick. Griffiths’s free kick was superbly saved by the diving Greenwood.
This just seemed to spur Washington on. They were having good build up play and forreys into the box. But it was, again, the quality finish that was missing. And it wasn’t to be with 20 minutes to go Bishop broke into the box. A good shot across the goal from McAloon beats the keeper but hits the post. Third time lucky for the home team as Bennett is in the right place at the right time and finishes from close range. 2-0
Washington’s heads dropped with this and Bishop were able to control the game. 8 minutes left in the game and Wilson was replaced by McArdle. Washington were looking tired.
A minute after the change Bishop increased their lead further. A McAloon shot was saved by Greenwood but he couldn’t keep out the finish from Johnson. 3-0.
Frustration set in for some Washington players and in the final minute Pickard was booked for decent. Tring to salvage some pride from the game, Washington finished strong with a couple of corners but couldn’t get a shot on goal.
FULL TIME: Bishop Auckland 3 – Washington 0
|30/09/2017||3:00 pm||Northern League Division 1||2017/18|