Moving quickly to fill up his pre-season schedule, manager Ian Chandler has added a further two away days to the schedule, Bishops making the short trip to Waterhouses to face Esh Winning (July 11) and to Hall Lane to play Chan’s former club, Durham City (July 30).
So, as with the other friendly opponents, who are these?
Esh Winning (Thurs. July 11, KO 7:30pm)
Members of the Northern League Second Division, The Stags, as they are known, reside at Waterhouses, just up the road from Esh Winning, along the old Deerness Valley line.
A long history dating back to the 1880’s the current side can be traced back to the Durham & District Sunday League during the seventies and early eighties where they won many a trophy before joining the Northern Alliance for one season and being founder members of the current Northern League Second Division.
Their last First Division stint was under Barry Fleming between 2002 and 2006 and they won the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup in 2008 – their joint record attendance was set in the FA Amateur Cup back in 1921 against Bishop Auckland.
Durham City (Tues. July 30, KO 7:30pm)
Also members of the Northern League Second Division, Durham City have fallen on tough times in recent years and now play at Hall Lane, the home of Willington AFC.
A history that has seen the club play as high as the Third Division North in the Football League in the 1920s their most successful period was the first decade of the noughties where they were FA Vase semi-finalists and Northern League cup winners (2002), Northern League champions (2008), Northern Premier League Division and Chairman’s Cup winners (2009), reaching the FA Trophy Second Round that same season.