Bay face a growing fixture backlog

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THE fixture backlog continues to grow for Whitley Bay FC following the postponement of Saturday’s game at Jarrow Roofing.

A sharp overnight frost wiped out most of last weekend’s STL Northern League programme, with pitches failing to thaw out in sufficient time.

One of the few games that did go ahead, however, saw champions Spennymoor Town suffer a shock 3-2 defeat at third from bottom Stokesley.

This was their first away defeat of the season and the first time they had dropped points away from home since the 0-0 draw with Whitley Bay at Hillheads back in September.

The only other division one game saw West Auckland move ahead of Whitley with victory at Ashington, their eighth consecutive win.

Following Tuesday night’s game at Esh Winning, Whitley are once again on their travels this weekend when they visit Bishop Auckland at their new Heritage Park stadium.

The teams have already met three times this season, with Whitley gaining a narrow 2-1 success at Hillheads in October after overcoming the Bishops in a replay in the preliminary round of the FA Cup in August.

The County Durham side are having an inconsistent season and are currently in the lower half of the table, but they will no doubt be out to avenge the earlier season defeats.

Whitley can certainly not afford to be distracted by thoughts of the following Saturday’s FA Vase fifth round game if they are to retain hopes of taking one of the two promotion places at the end of the season.

Following Saturday’s game at Bishop Auckland, the Seahorses will travel to Sunderland RCA on Monday, February 7, for a rearranged match.

The game has been hastily arranged to help ease the backlog of fixtures, and it will also enable Steve Gibson to complete his suspension before the FA Vase game against Dunstable the following Saturday.

Sunderland RCA were promoted to the Northern League division one this season and are currently in a respectable mid-table position.

When the sides met at Hillheads in October, Paul Chow scored twice as Whitley won 2-0.