Assistant manager Lee Picton praised South Shields striker Jon Shaw after his hat-trick helped seal a 5-2 Sam Bartram Memorial Cup win over Boldon CA on Saturday.
Shaw scored three poacher’s efforts as the Mariners concluded their pre-season programme with a fifth successive win.
Over pre-season, the former Gateshead favourite scored six times in six appearances, and although Picton wasn’t fully content with Shields’ performance at Boldon, Shaw’s finishing was a major positive.
Picton said: “Your whole team can be a little bit out of sorts, but your centre forward can get you out of jail sometimes.
“It’s always great if your centre forward is banging in hat-tricks.
“Even if you’re not at your absolute best, if you’ve got a forward that’s on fire then you’ve always got a chance.
“It’s great to see Jon consistently getting on the scoresheet, and score three more on Saturday.”
Picton also had praise for midfielder David Carson after he scored an impressive goal on Saturday, just hours after completing a move to the club.
He added: “David Carson is another quality signing for us. We’re really pleased to have David on board.
“He has got good pedigree, coming from Blackburn Rovers, and I like his work-rate.
“He is very industrious and has very good quality on the ball as well, so he’ll add more quality to what we’ve already got.”
You can hear Lee’s full thoughts on the Boldon game in the video below.
South Shields reclaimed the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup after Jon Shaw’s hat-trick helped them to a comfortable 5-2 victory at Boldon CA on Saturday.
The Mariners were beaten 1-0 by the Wearside League side in last year’s contest, but had too much for their opponents this time.
Julio Arca was also on the scoresheet with a trademark free-kick, while new signing David Carson also netted after dancing his way through the defence.
Shields have scored 19 goals in their last four games, and have now completed their pre-season campaign ahead of Saturday’s trip to Marske United in the FA Cup.
The game kicked off more than half an hour late after the match officials failed to appear, with Shields physio Andrew Morris eventually taking the whistle, while a replacement linesman and a Boldon substitute were his assistants.
When the match finally did get started, Shields got to grips quickly, with captain Leepaul Scroggins skewing a shot wide after a good move within the first minute.
David Foley hit an effort over before again showing his ability by bringing the ball inside from the left and then hitting a low effort which home goalkeeper Brett Wilson did well to save.
From the resulting corner, Wilson somehow kept out efforts from Michael Turner and Dillon Morse, while Barrie Smith later went close as the Mariners continued to pressurise their hosts.
Boldon were almost handed an unlikely lead, though, when Shields gave it away at the back, and Josh Carmichael was called on to make a fine save from Regan Tate.
The Mariners were soon back in control, and Wilson had to make another stunning double save as he denied Craig Baxter and Foley from close range.
Shields took the lead on 20 minutes as Shaw latched onto a misplaced backpass before racing through on goal and sliding it past Wilson.
The Mariners continued to press after taking the lead as they searched for goal number two, with Foley going close before Shaw scored again nine minutes before half-time.
A Robert Briggs effort from the edge of the box was parried by Wilson, and Shaw was in the perfect position to take advantage as he tapped into an empty net.
Shaw almost had his hat-trick before half-time, but fired over after being found by Michael Turner.
Against the run of play, Boldon pulled a goal back in first half stoppage time when the Mariners gave the ball away at the back, and Tate linked up with Jack Young, with the latter beating Carmichael.
After the break, Shields regained control, and Foley went close before Shaw completed his hat-trick when he tapped in a low cross from Foley.
Arca gained the fourth goal of the afternoon with a trademark free-kick, with the midfielder getting the ball up and over the wall from 20 yards before it nestled in the bottom corner.
Foley and Smith both went close to adding a fifth, but eventually it was David Carson who was next on the scoresheet as he dribbled his way through the defence before coolly beating the goalkeeper.
Boldon scored their second of the afternoon with a superb free-kick from Liam Cox, and that was almost the last action of the game as Shields sealed their victory.
Captain Scroggins lifted the trophy after the game as the Mariners finished their pre-season programme in good style.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Carmichael (Elliott 61), Baxter (Morse 80), Turner, Morse (Storey 61), Riding (Danny Carson 45), Briggs (David Carson 46), Smith, Scroggins (c) (Arca 46), Shaw, Byrne (Finnigan 46), Foley.
Goals: Shaw (20, 36, 58), Arca (68), David Carson (83).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Bob Scott.
The club is delighted to announce the signing of former Blackburn Rovers Under-21s captain David Carson.
David, 20, has been playing with Shields during pre-season, and now links up with brother Danny at Mariners Park.
He joins the club after two years at Ewood Park, having first caught the eye in the Northern League at Ashington as a teenager.
At Ashington, he played under current Shields first-team coach Gary Middleton, and impressed in a variety of roles, including across the midfield and as a forward.
David, from Boldon, spent time on the books of both Newcastle United and Sunderland as a youngster, as well as Gateshead College, while his Northern League career began with Jarrow Roofing.
He made his first appearance for the Mariners in the centre of midfield at Bedlington Terriers earlier this month, while he has also impressed in the last four friendlies both in the centre and on the right.
David is available to play in Saturday’s Sam Bartram Memorial Cup match at Boldon CA.
You will be able to catch a full interview with him later this weekend.