By Daniel Prince
Jon King says he never lost belief in his South Shields side’s ability to get something at Hebburn Town on Monday.
The Mariners battled back from two goals down to earn a point at the Hebburn Sports and Social ground, with Stephen Ramsey scoring twice in the last 16 minutes to seal a 2-2 draw.
Shields had found themselves two goals behind at the break – a position King felt his team did not deserve to be in.
However, he was delighted with the fight they showed to get a draw in the South Tyneside derby.
King said: “I thought we controlled the game in the first 20 to 25 minutes.
“We controlled the game that much, I thought that it took the wind out of our sails when they did score.
“For all the play we had at the start, I didn’t feel we really created a lot in the final third.
“We conceded the second at a bad time, just before half-time, but we just needed to be a bit quicker in the final third in the second half.
“We had nothing to lose at 2-0 down. Nobody expected us to get anything before the game, and even less did at half-time, but I did.
“I said if we could get a goal, we would get another one, and I was proved right.”
Shields improved as the second half went on, and gained some real momentum leading up to Ramsey’s first goal – a bullet header from a Kyle Houshby corner.
Ramsey then grabbed his second two minutes into stoppage time after James Talbot’s header came back off the post, and King said he was delighted for the striker.
He added: “Ramma’s first goal gave us a big lift, and I’m over the moon for him that he scored twice.
“David Molloy is scoring goals, Stephen is scoring goals, and it’s great for them and us as a club.”
King’s substitutions – he brought on Houshby, Adam Sharp and Colin White – all worked well for the Mariners, and he was particularly pleased for Houshby, who had a major hand in both goals.
He said: “I told Kyle ‘Well done’ because he came on and made an impact. He has got great quality.
“He was upset to be left out of the side, but sometimes you have to make tough decisions like that.
“Sometimes I’ll not make the right decision, but it’s nice as a manager when you make changes and they’re all involved and do well.
“It could have quite easily worked the other way. I asked the keeper to go up for a throw-in with two minutes left and it was a gamble – they could have scored from it.
“I’m pleased the substitutions we made were all involved and made it a good point for us.
“We were carrying some knocks as well and missed some players, so with all the circumstances, I’m over the moon to come away with a point.
“It looked at one point like it would just be a routine 2-0, but Stephen got that goal and it all changed.
“I was pleased with how every player did, especially in the last 20 minutes.
“I think Hebburn will be there or thereabouts and they have started the season really well, so it was a good point in the end.”