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Robins defeated by Bishop Auckland in season opener

The scene at the Daren Persson Stadium for North Shields' first match of the season.
The scene at the Daren Persson Stadium for North Shields' first match of the season.

North Shields 1 Bishop Auckland 2; Northern League, Division One

The Robins failed to get their season off to a winning start after losing 2-1 to a physical Bishop Auckland side last night (Wednesday).

An early Kyle Patton strike in the 12th minute gave the visitors a lead which their start had warranted.

The Robins drew level in the 23rd minute through a Ryan Carr header before visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 36th minute, with Lewis Gibbons being given his marching orders.

However, an early goal in the second half from Darren Richardson condemned the Robins to their first defeat of the season.

After a quiet opening 10 minutes from both sides, Bishop Auckland were the first side to threaten the goal, however, the defender didn’t connect well with a corner and the ball sailed well over the bar.

Soon after, in the 12th minute, they took the lead when a goalmouth scramble, in which debutant keeper Greg Purvis made two magnificent saves, fell to Patton, who only had to stroke the ball home.

This goal seemed to awaken the Robins as only two minutes later, Ryan Carr stretched to get his head to a ball, only to see his effort loop beyond the keeper but narrowly over the bar.

Chances to level the game were coming thick and fast now, with Connor Campbell trying his luck from range, only to see the ball trickle wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.

The Robins finally drew level when, in the 23rd minute, following some sensational link-up play in midfield, Carr was able to get a hold of the ball before lashing past Nick Liversedge from the edge of the box.

The tide had seemed to turn for the guests as within the space of two minutes, Lewis Gibbons picked up two bookings for late challenges, giving the referee no choice but to send the defender off.

This set-back did not deter Bishop Auckland from attacking as in the 41st minute, Darren Richardson had a chance to give his side the lead, only to head narrowly over from a corner.

Soon afterwards, a long-range effort from Shaun Ryder tested the reflexes of Purvis. Thankfully for the Robins, he managed to tip the shot around the post.

The Robins almost grabbed the lead right on the half-time whistle through Lewis Suddick, however, the young defender, who was on the end of some rough treatment from the Bishop squad, could only push his shot a foot wide of the goal.

Bishop Auckland came straight out of the blocks into the second half and after only one minute, they had re-taken the lead. Following a quick free-kick routine, Richardson finally got his goal after cushioning his header over Purvis and into the back of the net.

The Robins were struggling to maintain the same momentum that they had in the first half, providing the visitors with too much of the ball.

The first real chance of the half for the hosts fell Craig Spooner’s way, only for the youngster to see his effort well saved by the keeper in the 56th minute.

After a flurry of substitutions, the hosts had to wait until the 81st minute for their next chance, with substitute Drew Eastlake snapping at the ball, giving the Bishop Auckland keeper no trouble at all in saving.

Then, just before the final whistle was blown, another substitute, Cam Cunningham, almost rescued a point for the Robins, however, the ball floated agonisingly over the crossbar from close range; leaving the Robins faithful frustrated with the amount of missed chances.

Attendance: 338. Referee: Martin Conroy

North Shields: Greg Purvis, Jack Donnison, Jordan Summerly, Craig Spooner, Kevin Hughes, Keiron Aplin, Lewis Suddick (Cam Cunningham, 79), Ben Sampson (Ben Richardson, 70), Connor Campbell, Ryan Carr, Paul Robinson (Drew Eastlake, 70). Not used: Noah Summers, Dan Lister. Yellow cards: Craig Spooner, 57.

Bishop Auckland: Nicholas Liversedge, Michael Hoganson, Callum Munro, Lewis Gibbons, Kieran Galbraith, Shaun Ryder, Darren Richardson, Chris Salmon, Chris Winn, Kyle Fryatt, Kyle Patton. Yellow cards: Shaun Ryder, 41; Callum Monroe, 53; Darren Richardson, 65; Chris Winn, 86. Red cards: Lewis Gibbons, 36 (two yellow cards). Substitutes: Andrew Johnson, Fenwick, Hickman, Ryan Robinson, Jamie Marshall.