THERE is a saying in football, 'One man doesn't make a team.'

Well some fans at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland last Saturday, March 2nd, might disagree with that after they had watched second in the table Bishop Auckland beaten 3-5 at home by bottom of the table Penrith, because one man, Martyn Coleman, the Penrith number 9, had a huge influence on the game.

Not only did Coleman score a hat-trick, but it was his left wing cross that led to the own goal that put Penrith ahead after 25 minutes, and he was a continuous threat to the Bishop Auckland defence all game with his physical presence and ability to glide past defenders which not only saw him score once in the first half but help Penrith take a 0-3 lead at the interval.

Fair enough Bishop Auckland were not at their best without regular keeper Nick Liversedge and defender Callum Munro, while Kieran Galbraith was not 100% fit and had to be substituted in the first half, but it was hard to take your eyes off Coleman's performance. One free-kick he took ten minutes after the interval from around 35 yards out fairly flew just wide of the goal and that was after he had gone close with a another right foot shot minutes after half-time. Even the lady guest for the day Tracey Owen from Staffs remarked, "The red number 9 is having a good game."

Andrew Johnson, who was another Auckland player not fully fit, came on as a first half substitute and put the 'Two Blues' back in the picture before half-time with a well taken penalty after Chris Winn was fouled in the box. Within ten minutes of the restart a Michael Hoganson free-kick led to an own goal which made the score 2-3 and Bishop were now really back in the game.

Then came another break after a fire was discovered in the disabled toilet.

The players had not been back on the field long when Coleman struck for the second time to make the score 2-4 in Penrith's favour and then he hit Penrith's fifth, and his third, to put the game right out of Auckland's reach. Chris Winn did find the net again for Bishop Auckland before the final whistle which left the final score Bishop Auckland 3 v 5 Penrith, a big difference to the score in the fixture at Penrith on November 3rd 2018 which was Penrith 0 v 5 Bishop Auckland.

It was only Bishop Auckland's second home league defeat of the season after they fell 1-2 to Sunderland RCA at home on Saturday October 6th, but it was their second successive league defeat which has virtually put them out of the running for the league title. It is 33 years,1985/86, since Bishop Auckland last won the Northern League title, and 32 years, 1986/87, since they were runners up, a position which should be achievable this season if they can get their act back together again.