FA Trophy Round 1
Runcorn FC Halton 7 : Bishop Auckland 0
1 November, 2003
Report from John Cowey - 1 November, 2003
Team: Caffry, Crossman, Foster (Manson 56mins) , Scaife, West, Hope, Moore, Salvin (Brabbs 75mins), Maddison (Marc Taylor 78mins), Shingleton, Irvine
Bishops fielded their fifth different 'keeper in five games, and had Brian Rowe unavailable, with Salvin stepping into the side that had performed so well against Blyth Spartans.
The game kicked off on a dull day in Runcorn's virtually empty Halton Stadium, with Bishops looking comfortable in the early exchanges. But things were to change.
1st Half: The 98.7% empty Halton Stadium
The tone was set in the ninth minute. Bishops failed to clear an attack, and when the ball was swung back into the area a Bishops clearance rebounded into the net off a Runcorn forward.
Moore produced a good cross to put the Runcorn defence under pressure, and later Irvine fired a shot in which hit another Bishops player and flew to safety.
Runcorn added a second on 26 minutes when Mark Foster attempted to play too much football, and succeeded only in leaving the ball for a Runcorn forward to run in on goal. Caffry half saved, and the rebound was fired goalwards again. Hope blocked the ball on the line with his thigh, and it bounced out off the face of the bar, only to be powered home at the third attempt from just inside the area.
It was all downhill from there. Goals were conceded on 39, 40 and 43 minutes and the 5-0 half time scoreline left the Bishops supporters stunned.
The second half was all about damage limitation. The sixth came on 55 minutes, and the seventh on 68 minutes. The unlucky Shingleton headed down from the far post late in the game only to see the ball bounce up off the ground and hit the bar. The final whistle was greeted with relief.
The game was a sobering experience for the Bishops supporters present. There was a noticeable stony silence from the Bishops bench throughout the second half, and the nature of the stadium, and the quiet home support made for a very eerie atmosphere. But there's no hiding from the fact that this was Bishops biggest ever defeat in their FA Trophy history by some way.
Back to reality next week with more league points up for grabs. I for one hope will be hoping to forget today and move on to better things. Bring on Gateshead Reserves !!
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