A number of debatable decisions from the referee go against West but there is no disguising the fact that this was a very disappointing result and performance from West Auckland.
First Half: The match began with an early chance for West Auckland, as Harrison made a dazzling run, cutting inside and beating a defender. However, his shot veered wide of the mark. Moments later, Bishop Auckland’s Johnson was played through, but a well-timed block from Liversedge denied the visitors an early lead.
Harrison continued to be a menace for the Bishop Auckland defence, robbing a defender to break through on goal with only the keeper to beat. Catterick, the Bishop Auckland goalkeeper, showed great composure as he rushed out to send the ball behind, thwarting the threat. Cooke then had a strike for Bishop from inside the box, which was brilliantly saved by Liversedge.
In the 18th minute, controversy struck as Bishop Auckland was awarded a penalty after a player went down dramatically in the box. They capitalised on this opportunity and took the lead, putting West Auckland on the back foot.
As the first half progressed, West Auckland pushed hard, with Whitfield whipping in a dangerous free-kick that nearly found the head of Exley. However, it was cleared at the last moment, leaving the score at 0-1 as the teams headed into the half-time break.
Half-Time Score: West Auckland 0 – 1 Bishop Auckland
Second Half: West Auckland made a substitution at half-time, bringing on Will Constantin in place of Charlie Wood. The second half kicked off with West showing renewed energy and purpose. Nicholson and Harrison were lively out wide, with Constantin coming close with a long-range effort that sailed over the bar.
Nicholson continued to cause problems for Bishop Auckland’s defence, bursting down the right and delivering a low-driven cross that Catterick managed to grab just in time, preventing Scott from converting it into an equaliser.
However, West Auckland’s hopes took a significant blow when Joey Hope was shown a second yellow card in the 56th minute, reducing them to ten men. Despite this setback, West’s defence held firm against Bishop’s attempts to exploit their numerical advantage.
The game continued with Bishop Auckland dominating possession, but West Auckland’s resilient defence held strong. In the 67th minute, Liversedge made an outstanding double save to keep his team in the contest.
In the 70th minute, Bishop Auckland was awarded another penalty under contentious circumstances. They successfully converted it, extending their lead to 0-2. West Auckland continued to battle but found themselves at a disadvantage.
As the match wore on, Bishop Auckland capitalised on their man advantage, scoring two more goals in the 83rd and 90th minutes, bringing the final score to 0-4 in their favour.
Full-Time Score: West Auckland 0 – 4 Bishop Auckland
It was a game filled with drama, including 12 yellow cards, 2 sin-bins, and a red card, as well as two penalties. Both benches seemed unhappy with the referee but it was West who paid the price.