Gaffer: Shields must repeat Bishop display

By Daniel Prince

Jon King has challenged his South Shields players to produce more performances like the one which toppled Division One side Bishop Auckland last month after being thrashed in midweek.

The Mariners were beaten 6-2 by Northallerton Town at Peterlee on Tuesday in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup, almost a month on from their 2-0 win at Bishop in the Durham Challenge Cup.

King was without a number of players on Tuesday, and has admitted those that took their places did themselves “no favours” ahead of tomorrow’s league game at home to Whickham.

He said: “We were poor. There were a few lads that had been in the squad and hadn’t played a lot. They had a chance to shine but did themselves no favours.

“This was a good chance for us to go far in the competition.

“I’m not making excuses because the team we put out should have got something from the game.

“For the first 20 to 25 minutes we were the better side but we can’t give away the goals we are giving away and expect to win games.”

The Mariners were 3-2 down on Tuesday going into the final nine minutes, but left spaces at the back looking for an equaliser and eventually fell to a 6-2 loss.

It was not something King saw coming.

He added: “I didn’t say a lot to the players after the game because they were really upset.

“What I did say though was to ask them how we could be the better team for 35 minutes of the second half and lose by four goals.

“We were pressing for the third goal and were open to the counter attack. They hit us on the break.

“The biggest thing for me though is that we had four or five lads missing that would have been in the team.

“It was a chance for those who haven’t played a lot to prove themselves and they didn’t really do it.”

King has now set his side the challenge of reproducing the type of display that beat Bishop Auckland as he looks for his side to bounce back tomorrow.

Shields were also impressive in a narrow and late 4-3 defeat against North Shields last Saturday, but that is a performance the manager does not want to replicate.

He added: “We want more performances like the one against Bishop Auckland. We conceded four goals at North Shields.

“The lads raised their game which you have to against the better sides, but we can’t concede the goals even like we did against North Shields.

“We lost at the death which has happened on a few occasions this season.

“If there is one performance from this season I’d like us to copy it’s the one against Bishop Auckland.”