King reacts to Vase loss

By Daniel Prince

Jon King feels Saturday’s FA Vase tie at Whitley Bay was there for the taking for his South Shields side.

However, the Shields boss was left disappointed by his side’s performance at Hillheads Park after they fell to a 4-3 defeat to the Ebac Northern League Division One side.

The Mariners lost despite Paul Kane’s hat-trick, and King felt his team would have won if they had played to their potential.

He said: “It was disappointing, as it was a really good chance for us to go through to the next round, and we didn’t take it.

“Whitley Bay have got good forwards and that’s their strength, but they weren’t great at the back on Saturday.

“They’re really pacey down either flank as well, but apart from that, they seemed to under-perform.

“If we had played like ourselves, we would have gone through.

“With the chances they had, though, they could have won by a much bigger margin.

“We didn’t play well at all, but we still took them to the wire.”

In the lead-up to the game, King had described the trip to Whitley Bay as a “cup final” for his side, who were without suspended quartet Barrie Smith, Stephen Ramsey, Chris Feasey and Colin White.

He felt the loss of the suspended players was “massive”, and has urged each of them to improve their discipline.

He added: “That was our cup final, but we didn’t perform to the required standard.

“You only get one chance in the Vase every year. We had our chance to go through and didn’t take it.

“I spoke to the suspended players afterwards and told them how disappointing it was to lose.

“It was a massive, massive blow to be without those four. We could have gone through if they had been available. I’ve told them their discipline has to improve.”

King felt the performances of Kane, Chris Locke, Steven Hubery and Dan Hall were the main positives Shields could take out of their Vase exit.

He continued: “Paul Kane had a really good game and deserved his hat-trick.

“He had a really strong performance. He took his goals well, including a screamer.

“Chris Locke also had a really good game, and the goalkeeper Steven Hubery did well.

“Dan Hall did well. He tired after about an hour, as he hasn’t played a lot of football in the last six months, and we brought him off.

“He’s a good player and will give us strength in depth.”