Hebburn Town Preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields bring their calendar year to a close tomorrow (Saturday) when they take on Hebburn Town in a South Tyneside derby at Peterlee.
The Mariners will be hoping to end 2014 on a high, as a victory in the 3pm kick-off at Eden Lane would make it four wins out of six in all competitions.
Shields and Hebburn met in an entertaining reverse fixture in August, with the Mariners coming from 2-0 down to earn a late point thanks to two Stephen Ramsey goals.
Hebburn were flying high at that stage in Ebac Northern League Division Two, and although they have had some difficulties since then, are still as high as sixth in the table.
Shields, meanwhile, are 16th, and know the importance of a win if they are to keep in close contact with those teams directly above them.
Manager Jon King is hopeful the Mariners can build on last week’s 2-1 win at Tow Law, with Paul Kane grabbing his second goal of the game three minutes before the end.
King said: “We go into the match on the back of last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Tow Law Town, which was a result I felt we fully merited.
“Due to several players being unavailable, we only had 12 lads to pick from, so to get a good result at Tow Law – which is always a tough place to go – was fantastic.
“We needed to show patience on a tough pitch to get our rewards. We got two goals, but perhaps should have had another three and four.
“We have a tough test against Hebburn, who are having a good season. Scott Oliver has done a brilliant job there.
“It’s a local derby, and we’ll be going all out to win the three points against a side we earned a 2-2 draw with earlier in the season.
“In that game, we did brilliantly to come from 2-0 down with two Stephen Ramsey goals, and that gave us the confidence to go on and have a good start.
“Like I said, though, Hebburn are a good side, and we are going to have to perform very well if we are to get the three points we are seeking.”
King is hoping to welcome back a number of players for the 3pm kick-off, including David Molloy and Lee Maitland, who have completed their suspensions.
Aron Burn and Adam Sharp could also be available again for Shields.