King: Molloy will be a star

By Daniel Prince

Manager Jon King feels David Molloy will be a “star” for South Shields this season.

Molloy struck a hat-trick on Saturday as the Mariners registered their first win of the new Ebac Northern League Division Two season.

His treble helped King’s side to a 4-0 triumph over Brandon United at Peterlee, and the manager was delighted to see the forward thrive.

King said: “When you’ve got someone like David Molloy up-front – who’s a good finisher – he’s always going to get you goals.

“I’m over the moon for Davey, because he has had his head down in the first few games, although he was excellent in pre-season.

“I said to him before the game that he just needed a few games under his belt to get his fitness, and the rest will come because he’s a good player.

“He’ll be a star in this division when he gets himself fit.

“That’s going to do him the world of good, getting those three goals.”

Shields and Brandon went in level at half-time on Saturday, and the away side had looked dangerous in the first 45 minutes.

However, the Mariners showed great improvement after the interval, with Molloy’s hat-trick and a penalty from captain Barrie Smith sealing the victory.

King added: “It was a game of two halves.

“In the first half, we had probably had about 80 per cent of the possession, but we were delaying things.

“The pitch wasn’t great, and we need it to be cut, as we’re a passing team and want to play to our strengths.

“I was confident that if we did things a bit quicker in the second half, though, we would get goals.”

King also had praise for goalkeeper Brett Wilson, who kept a clean sheet.

Wilson had been sent off in the midweek draw at Ryhope CW – his suspension has yet to kick in – but was impressive when called upon.

The manager continued: “I thought Brett did well.

“Even though we were comfortable in the first half, I felt we should have been two or three goals down.

“They hit us on the counter-attack, and my goalkeeper did well.

“He has kept a clean sheet, and I think it took us 20-odd games to do that last season.”

Shields are next in action on Wednesday, when they travel to Northellerton Town for a 7.45pm kick-off in the league.