King expects tough battle against Darlington RA


South Shields are to face a tough battle against Darlington RA tomorrow as they look to maintain their impressive league form.

That’s the verdict of manager Jon King, who is delighted by his side’s record of losing just once in their last 13 Division Two fixtures.

The run of form has pulled the Mariners comfortably into mid-table, and they sit 12th ahead of tomorrow’s game at Peterlee’s Eden Lane.

Shields drew 3-3 at Darlington RA in October after a topsy-turvy game, and will move to within three points of their ninth-placed opponents with a win tomorrow.

The Mariners will look to build on their impressive showing in the second half of Tuesday’s encounter with West Allotment Celtic, when they dominated despite the sending off of captain Barrie Smith.

The game ended 2-2 after Peter Henderson’s late strike, but King has warned against complacency ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Darlington RA.

He said: “That was another game when we were beating them 2-0 and drew 3-3 (against RA in October). They are certainly no mugs.

“It will be tough – the same as every game. Anybody in this league can beat you no problem whatsoever if you are not right mentally.

“We are confident after Tuesday’s result but this season our results have been up and down.”

Shields will be without striker Adam Burnicle, who is expected to miss at least two to three weeks with an ankle injury.

Ben Riding is also unavailable, while Tony Coe has left the club to join Consett.

Craig Watson, Tony Burnell and Jordan Fraser are back in contention for the game, which kicks off at Peterlee’s Eden Lane at 3pm tomorrow.