Bishop Auckland 3 Boro Under-23s 0
Adlene Guedioira played his first 45 minutes since returning from international duty, while there were Boro debuts for Tom Brewitt, George Miller and Lewis Wing and 45 minutes on his return to the club for Luke Armstrong.
All the damage was done by the time 32 minutes were played
Boro missed a good chance to edge into the lead when Brewitt shot just wide from close range when meeting a Callum Cooke corner; less than a minute later they were behind.
Si Mohammad conceded a free-kick just up from the left and edge of the penalty area, James Fairley delivered a free-kick which was perfect for right-back Matthew Lovegreen who arrived late and unmarked to power in a close-range header with five minutes played.
Boro went close to equalising five minutes later when Mohammad and Guedioura combined to set up Miller whose chipped effort was grabbed by Carl Robinson.
The Bishop’s ‘keeper was grateful a neat backheel from Mohammad was deflected just off target as Boro pressed their hosts back.
Bishop’s second goal was against the run of play but handed to them on a plate as Brewitt and Zach Hemming got in a mess as the goalkeeper, under pressure, handled a backpass around 12 yards out and after being set up with one touch James Fairley cracked first time into the top corner with 24 minutes played.
Shortly after Brewitt did well to calm a flashpoint when Guedioura reacted to a challenge, a header from Miller on the stretch hit the bar.
Fairley looked a little embarrassed when he cracked home the Bishop’s third on 32 minutes, a free-kick from around 35 yards perhaps not meant to find the bottom corner.
Graeme Lee made seven changes for the second half, a half that was a lot more balanced and one with limited chances at either end.
A competitive affair, well contested and one where a young Boro side were reminded that mistakes at any level invariably prove costly.
Bishop Auckland: Robinson; Lovegreen (Madden 46), Hart, Martindale, Riding, Jury (Capt.), Goundry, Trotter, Moffatt. Thompson (Ward 77), Fairley (Dalton 72). Unused subs: Madden, Harrison.
Boro: Hemming; Johnson (Capt. from 45), Brewitt (Capt. to 45), (Guru 46) Dale (Cook 46), Reading, Lambert, Wilson (Hegarty 46), Guedioura (Curry 46), Miller (Armstrong 46), Cooke (Wing 46), Mohammad (Malley 46). Unused Sub: Pennock (gk).
Referee: Mark Edwards
Bookings: Guedioura 28, retaliation