Whitley travel to Bishop Auckland this afternoon to take on one of the League’s in-form sides. Sitting in second place, the Two Blues are on a long unbeaten run and are battling for promotion in a closely run contest with Dunston UTS and Consett. Bay legend Ian Chandler is now manager at Heritage Park, with another ex-Whitley favourite Brian Rowe as his assistant and there could be as many as four other former Whitley players in the Bishops’ line up.
Chandler masterminded Whitley’s heaviest home defeat of the season when the sides met at Hillheads back in September but that 4-1 result came on a day of remarkable misfortune for Whitley, who had to use three different goalkeepers because of injuries sustained in the first half.
While the odds must strongly favour the hosts, Whitley have performed extremely well against the other title chasing sides in recent weeks, having beaten leaders Dunston 3-2 before holding the then leaders Consett to a 3-3 draw at Belle View, and they will go into this game boosted by Tuesday night’s League Cup Quarter Final victory at Newton Aycliffe. Bishops in contrast have not played a competitive game for three weeks, their last outing on 26th January resulting in a narrow 2-1 success at Seaham.