The 2023/24 Northern League Division One draws to a close at Green Lane.

After months of endless weather-induced chaos, consistent inconsistency, and decimating injuries, the latest instalment of the Ebac Northern League meets its end on the Redcar seafront.

This evening, champions Bishop Auckland are bestowed the coveted trophy on the hallowed turf at Green Lane, a rather poetic end to a season of such promise, gone awfully awry.

Only one question remains, can the Steelmen pull off one last hurrah, and spoils the celebrations of the Two Blues’ on their big day?

Here’s everything you need to know about Bishop Auckland, as the Steelmen’s quest to spoil the title celebrations…

Picture of WHO ARE YA?

WHO ARE YA?

Bishop Auckland

From unmatched glory in the FA Amateur Cup, to a deep history with the Northern League, Bishop Auckland are one of the more decorated clubs in the north east region.

Formed by theological students from Oxford and Cambridge Universities – studying at Auckland Castle in 1882 – the football club was originally bestowed Bishop Auckland Church Institute.

Come 1886, an internal conflict sparked the breakaway of a new club, Auckland Town, and from such upheaval, the Bishop Auckland that exists today was born. 

Founder members of the Northern League in 1889, Auckland Town took a short hiatus from the division after it’s inaugural season, but returned as Bishop Auckland four years down the line.

It was in the FA Amateur Cup that the Two Blues truly carved their legacy, first clinching the title with a 1-0 win over Royal Artillery Portsmouth.

In the years to come, Bishops repeated feat an incredulous ten times, finishing as runners-up in another seven.

Come the dissolution of the tournament in 1974, as Bishops Stortford sank Ilford by four goals to one, Auckland were presented a replica trophy, to commemorate their insurmountable record.

CURRENT FORM

Fourteen wins, fourteen losses, and only a spot in the bottom half up for grabs, it’s fair to say Redcar’s aspirations for the final day last July have fallen somewhat short.

The Steelmen head into their season finale on the back of a defeat to Teesside rivals Boro Rangers, however controversial, with the newly elected champions their only chance to end the season on a winning high.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bishop Auckland have remained near infallible across the course of the season, worthy winners of the Division One title, and fit for promotion to the Northern Premier League East.

LAST TIME OUT

Just the second game in the tenure of Carl Jarrett, Redcar lost out to an abhorrent opening half hour at Heritage Park.

The Two Blues were sitting pretty at three goals up when the Steelmen began to surface, pulling within one thanks to a club first goal from Brad Mills, and a tidy finish from Adam Boyes.

Still, a late resurgence wasn’t to be, as with mounting pressure, came gaps at the back, and Louis Johnson pounced to mark a swift breakaway with a deserved goal.

There was a very different tale to be told the last time the Bishops came to Green Lane.

The Two Blues came locked horns with the Steelmen on the last legs of their title push, hitting a dead end in the face of a Donny Holdsworth double.

Wayne Whitfield found the net in the dying embers, but two late dismissals rendered the forward’s goal nothing more than a desperate consolation.

TEAM NEWS

The most frustrating of seasons on the availability front, from a scourge of disciplinary problems, to a decimation through injury, amassing a final eleven may prove a fitting challenge for Carl Jarrett.

In the absence of a number of key names – not limited to the likes of Adam Boyes, Adam Wheatley, Danny Boyle and Mark Anderson – the Redcar boss will have to look to his younger contingent.

Dale Hopson the latest injury concern

Just three names manned the bench on Tuesday evening, Dale Hopson falling victim to a long-standing groin injury during the first half, as Joe Ferguson made way after a straight red card.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Joining us at Green Lane tonight? Click below to read our matchday information package.

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