Billingham Town Preview
By Daniel Prince
The Mariners travel to Billingham Town tomorrow (Saturday) to take on Ebac Northern League Division Two’s 20th-placed side, and manager Jon King has warned his side against complacency in the game.
South Shields go into the match on the back of four straight defeats in all competitions, but King is not overly concerned with his side’s form.
However, he is eager for his team to get back to winning ways, and overcome a test King feels could be “tough” if the Mariners are not on their game.
He said: “I certainly wasn’t getting carried away when we won six in a row, and I won’t get carried away with this run either.
“We have got a good side and I’m sure we won’t be in any trouble whatsoever this season.
“Just because we’re ninth and Billingham are near the bottom, though, it doesn’t mean we’re definitely going to win.
“We need to show the same character we did when we were on the winning run, because it will be a real battle if we don’t.”
Last season, Billingham finished bottom of the First Division as they suffered relegation, while Shields won 3-1 at the Evolution Arena in an FA Vase replay.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game, King has paid tribute to David Molloy, who was this week named the Mariners’ Player of the Month for September.
He said: “David Molloy has done ever so well since he came to the club, so I’m pleased for him.
“He had an excellent pre-season but he wasn’t happy with his start to the campaign.
“He hadn’t played for about a year, so I told him just to keep working at it and he has improved all the time since then.
“He closed down the goalkeeper to get a goal against Brandon, and took off from there.
“He didn’t have a lot to work with on Saturday at Whitley Bay, and he got a dead leg, so will be a doubt for the Billingham game.
“We didn’t really create much last week, but if you give him chances, he will take them. I’m over the moon for him, and he deserves the award.”
Abu Salim and James Pickering are unavailable for tomorrow’s game, while Kyle Houshby has left the club and captain Barrie Smith remains suspended.
Shields should welcome back Stephen Ramsey, Chris Feasey and Colin White from suspension, although goalkeeper Steven Hubery is unavailable and Molloy remains a slight doubt.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
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