King reacts to Norton loss

By Daniel Prince

Jon King says he and his South Shields side were “shell-shocked” to be 3-0 down at half-time in yesterday’s game against Norton and Stockton Ancients at Peterlee.

Shields eventually lost the Ebac Northern League Division Two match 3-2, but manager King felt they did not get what they deserved for their performance.

He said: “We were shell-shocked to come in at half-time 3-0 down. We absolutely dominated the first 15 minutes, and due to a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing, we couldn’t get a goal.

“It should have been us who were 3-0 up at half-time, not them.

“They had the better of the second 15-minute period, but again we came on strong in the last 15 minutes of the half before they scored from a corner in stoppage time. It was unbelievable that we were 3-0 down.”

In the second half, Shields fought back, and goals from Stephen Ramsey and Paul Kane got them back into the game.

However, they could not force an equaliser, leaving King to reflect on the “sloppy” goals the Mariners conceded.

He added: “At half-time, I said to the lads that the goals we conceded were really sloppy.

“We can’t give teams a three-goal head start. If we had not given those three sloppy goals away, I think it would have been a comfortable afternoon for us, but it wasn’t to be.

“In the second half, there was only one team in it, and that was us. We could have scored four or five.

“Overall, we were just shell-shocked with what happened in the first half.”

Ramsey was sent off in the closing stages after the referee ruled he had stamped on a Norton and Stockton player.

However, King has defended the striker, and described the decision as “harsh”.

He said: “Stephen’s red card was really disappointing.

“I spoke to three of their players who were nearby, and they said Stephen couldn’t get out of the way of the lad on the floor.

“I also spoke to Stephen, who said he didn’t stamp on him. I feel sorry for him.

“He’s South Shields through and through, and has just come back from a suspension. He’ll now miss another three games.

“I couldn’t defend him with his suspension for five bookings, but I can defend him this time. It was a harsh sending off.”

King will hope his Shields side gets back to winning ways on Tuesday, when they host Easington Colliery at Peterlee in the Durham Challenge Cup. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.