King praises character
By Daniel Prince
Jon King has praised the character of his South Shields side ahead of tonight’s clash with Brandon United.
The Mariners lost 2-1 to Washington on Tuesday, but created a host of good chances against a team expected to challenge for promotion from Northern League Division Two next season.
Shields won their two previous games, and King senses a new resolve in the squad.
It may come too late to have an impact this season – Saturday’s game with Ryton & Crawcrook Albion is their final fixture – but the manager sees positive signs for next term.
He said: “We had numerous chances in the first half, and should have had it wrapped up.
“They went in 1-0 up at half-time and then made it 2-0, and were just clinical.
“We kept going, though, and the character of the lads has been great in recent weeks.
“We got a goal back with 10 minutes left, and only one team looked like scoring at the end.”
King is expecting a difficult game tonight against a side lying 20th in the table.
He added: “It’s not going to be an easy game. If we think it will be, we’ll get beaten.
“It’s no good putting in a performance in against a good side if you can’t do it against the teams at the bottom of the table.
“We’ve lost points to teams in the bottom half of the table this season, which has been disappointing.
“We should win the game, as long as our mental attitude is right.
“If it is the same as it was against Washington, we should have no problems at all.”
Shields have two goalkeepers available for tonight’s game at Peterlee, with Brett Wilson and Simon Parkin competing for a place.
Barrie Smith, Brian Rowe and Alex Berhan are expected to be back, but Adam Burnicle and Richie Logan will miss out due to work commitments.
Tony Burnell will miss the last two games after hurting his back in a car crash, while David Halliday is expected to be out for the rest of the season after picking up an injury against Washington.
Jak Wells is also out for the last two games, but Colin White should return on Saturday.