King reacts to Seaham loss

By Daniel Prince

South Shields manager Jon King felt his side were made to pay for a lack of clinical edge as they were beaten 3-1 by Seaham Red Star on Saturday.

Shields led the Ebac Northern League Division Two leaders 1-0 at half-time, but had also had a penalty saved, while both teams had been reduced to 10 men.

However, after the break, Seaham showed why they are likely to win promotion as champions this season, scoring three times within 23 minutes of the restart to claim the three points.

King was delighted with how his side played in the first half, but was left to rue the fact they did not make the most of their chances to kill the game off.

He said: “We were disappointed to lose the game, especially after the first half, when we were fantastic.

“Seaham have been superb this season and will win the league comfortably, but we made them look very ordinary in those first 45 minutes.

“We dominated the first half, and when you dominate against teams as good as Seaham Red Star, you need to be clinical.

“We hit the woodwork, missed a penalty and then had Lee Maitland sent off, which evened it up at 10-a-side. That was a big moment.

“We still dominated from then until half-time at 10 v 10, and the only disappointing thing at half-time was that we weren’t further ahead.

“If we had scored the penalty and taken the great chances we created in the first half, I think we would have won the game before the break.

“It was probably the biggest beating they had all season, but we didn’t take full advantage of it and they made us pay in the second half.”

King was unhappy with his side’s second half performance, but also reflected on how Seaham’s quality shone through.

He added: “As good as we were in the first half, we were as bad in the second half.

“Seaham aren’t top of the league for any other reason than the fact they are a very good side, though, and they proved that in the second half.

“When they raised their game, we couldn’t go with them.

“They scored three goals in their best spell in the game, and although we had a much better first half than they had second half, unfortunately they made the most of their chances and we didn’t.

“Their management was very complimentary about us afterwards, but it counts for nothing.

“If you aren’t clinical against the top sides, you’re always going to have a spell of pressure against you.

“We had a constant 45-minute spell of pressure, and when you play as well as that, you have to be looking at scoring a few goals.

“To dominate a team of Seaham’s class for such a long spell is a positive to take, but they took advantage of their spell in the first 20 minutes in the second half and that’s how they won the game.”

With Aron Burn, Chris Rue and Michael Turner unavailable for the Seaham game, King was forced into a number of changes, while James Talbot was among the substitutes.

King said: “Craig Roberts came in and did very well in the first half – he was outstanding. All of the players did well.

“I gave a start to Baptiste Fixot, and he did very well.

“Talbot told me on the morning of the game he was struggling a bit, and although he said he was OK by the time of the game, I had already decided by then to give some other lads a chance and James a rest.”

Shields are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Norton and Stockton Ancients for a 3pm kick-off.