King expects ‘tough’ Norton test

By Daniel Prince

South Shields host Norton and Stockton Ancients tomorrow at Peterlee’s Eden Lane in Northern League Division Two.

Manager Jon King is expecting a “tough game” against Norton, who are sixth in the table.

However, no team has played more games than them this season, and they have played nine more than Shields.

The sides drew 2-2 when they met earlier in the season, and although King feels the Mariners have deserved to win a lot more than they have this term, he believes that result was fair.

He added: “Norton was a good draw – I thought it was a fair result.

“We’ve had 13 draws, and about nine of them should have been wins, but the Norton one was fair.

“We are really tough to beat, but we need to be seeing games out.

“It will be a tough game against Norton as they’ve played a lot more than everyone else and have some good First Division players.

“In this league, if you are not right mentally, you will get stung.”

King is also hoping to strengthen his squad in the coming weeks, particularly in attacking areas.

He added: “I’m hoping to get a couple of lads in.

“The deadline is in about three weeks and we’re trying to get a bit of quality on the attacking front to help the forwards we’ve got.”

Shields will still be without captain Barrie Smith tomorrow, with a groin injury expected to keep him out for around another three weeks.

However, forward Adam Burnicle should return after missing Tuesday’s draw with Thornaby.

Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 3pm at Peterlee’s Eden Lane.