Bishop Auckland manager Ian Chandler said that his team produced a “perfect performance” when they thumped Whickham 5-0 in his first league game in charge at Heritage Park on Saturday.

Former Whitley Bay boss Chandler, appointed during the summer following the resignation of Colin Myers, has brought in several new players as Bishops look for a play off push.

“In not so many words it was a perfect afternoon,” he said. “Whickham were a strong physical team but we attacked them and then our pace ran them ragged. There were great performances all over the pitch. The football we played at times was exceptional. It’s good to be back in management again.”

Bishops started the game well and took the lead on 25 minutes when Kyle Patton scored from a free kick taken by his brother Callum, then after Chris Winn hit the bar, Darren Richardson ran on to a through ball and fired the second before half time.

It was 3-0 on 58 minutes when Richardson got away again and beat the Whickham keeper, and in the last minute, Shaun Ryder grabbed the fourth. Chris Salmon added another in stoppage time.

Bishops, meanwhile, have advertised for a new chairman whose main quality must be “essential leadership qualities.”

Shildon, one of the fancied teams for promotion, were held to a 1-1 draw by Stockton Town at Dean Street.

They took the lead when former Hartlepool youngster Jack Blackford picked up a long ball out on the right, cut into the box and slotted the ball past the Stockton keeper.

However, new signing Mikey Roberts equalised when he dispossessed a Shildon defender in the box and fired home.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “It was a fair result. We started well in the first 30 minutes, Stockton did well last in the last 30. I was pleased to get something from the first game.”

West Auckland were beaten 1-0 at home by Dunston UTS, who scored the winner ten minutes from the end thanks to a Mark Fitzpatrick penalty.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “We never got going to be honest but credit to Dunston as they worked hard to stop us playing and probably just about deserved the win.”

Newton Aycliffe lost 2-0 at home to Ryhope CW, who scored both their goals in the second half through Josh Home-Jackson and Robbie Bird.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “We dominated the first half and missed a few chances to take the lead. Ryhope were the better team in the second half, but two mistakes gifted them the game, typical cliché, it was a game of two halves.”

Elsewhere in the first division, newly promoted Hebburn beat Penrith 2-1 with former Darlington striker Graeme Armstrong amongst the goals. Blyth AFC won 4-3 at Ashington after being 4-0 up at half time.

Consett came from 2-1 down to beat Guisborough 3-2 thanks to a stoppage time goal by Danny Craggs.

Whitley Bay had a good 4-2 home win over Seaham Red Star, while veteran Paul Brayson scored the only goal of the game for Newcastle Benfield at Sunderland RCA.

In the second division, Northallerton, who just missed out on promotion last season, brushed Esh Winning aside by 6-1 at Ainderby Road.

Former Darlington player Kerry Hedley dribbled through and opened the scoring after 4 minutes, and then he set up the second for Nicky Martin on 21.

James Wilson finished off a good move for the third, and Martin quickly made it 4-0 just after the half hour. Esh pulled a goal back through Connor Halpin, before Cheeseman made it 5-1 from a Wilson free kick. Martin completed his hat trick late in the game.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “I was happy that we got off to a good start. We shared the goals around and created plenty more chances which was pleasing.

“The fitness levels were good and some partnerships worked really well. So it was a very positive first game.”

Tow Law started well, with a 3-0 home win over Washington at Ironworks Road.

Dean Thexton scored twice in three minutes in the second half, while Washington defender Nick Allen put through his own goal for the third near the end.

Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “It was a great start, a comprehensive win against a very good Washington side.”

Durham’s new boss Mike Weston came away from one his of his old playing clubs, Willington, with a 1-0 win courtesy of a goal just on the half hour by his assistant, Wayne Gredziak.

“Saturday was a fixture I hold to my heart, said Weston. “Willington are a very good club and I have massive respect for their manager Rob Lee. I knew it would be a battle but I set the lads up to compete, Wayne Gredziak led the line like a pro, but I thought we defended amazingly, we know this season will be tough but one game at a time.”

Willington manager Rob Lee said; “We had 90 per cent possession but we never took our chances very disappointed with our finishing. We must take our chances.”

Crook Town lost 4-1 at home to Jarrow, who took a three goal lead in seven minutes before half time, one of them a 40 yard beauty by Jonathan Hirst.

Crook pulled a goal back through Jonathan Hope when they were 4-0 down, but they were second best.

Manager Jamie Tunstall, who took over during the summer, said; “It was a big disappointment. I've been very encouraged by performances in pre-season and we were nothing like what we have been. Credit to Jarrow who too their chances. Wipe the slate clean and go again.”

Chester-le-Street got off to a good start, beating Bedlington 2-0 at Chester Moor, Craig Marron (penalty) and Andrew Clarkson scoring the goals in the second half.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “It was a decent enough start with a well earner win. It was a cagey affair but we did what we needed to do, defended well and scored at crucial times. After a stop start pre- season, it was good to get going and now we have a decent platform to build from hopefully.”

Brandon were beaten 3-1 at West Allotment, Chris Spence scoring their goal four minutes from the end when they were already 3-0 down.

Elsewhere, Billingham Town striker Craig Hutchinson celebrated his return to the club with a hat trick in the 4-1 home win over Ryton and Crawcrook, while Liam Adamson also scored a hat trick, this time in the space of five minutes in their 5-1 home win over newcomers Redcar Athletic.

The other new club, Birtley, had a good 1-1 draw at Heaton Stannington.

Jamie Pollock’s first game in charge of Billingham Synthonia saw them lose 2-1 at Thornaby.