King sets challenge

By Daniel Prince

Jon King has challenged his South Shields side to go on another unbeaten run after they lost for the first time in eight games on Saturday.

The Mariners were defeated 4-2 at Peterlee by Heaton Stannington to bring their six-match win streak to an end.

Shields remain third in Ebac Northern League Division Two, though, and King says he was not too downhearted after the final whistle.

He now wants his team to go on another strong run, starting with the League Cup trip to Penrith on Wednesday.

King said: “It was a disappointing game and we didn’t play great, but after the game, I wasn’t too down.

“We had been on a great run, and now we need to start another one.

“We can’t play fantastically well every week, and although we had won six games in a row, no-one got carried away.

“Our job was always to keep the lads’ feet on the ground, and now it’s up to us to go on another good run.

“We’ve got a young, progressive side, and we’ll have ups and downs this season.

“Saturday was a down, but we’ve had far more ups than downs so far and hopefully it will stay that way.

“It’s important we stick together when there are defeats, and I’m sure we will.”

The Mariners were forced to play Lee Bell in goal on Saturday due to the unavailability of Steven Hubery and Brett Wilson, but King refused to blame that for the loss.

He added: “We had to start with Lee in goal, but that wasn’t the reason we lost.

“We had been by far the better team in the first half and had good possession, but we didn’t really penetrate the opposition.

“We also didn’t give Lee enough protection at the other end, and he was only at fault for the final goal.

“In the first half, I thought we had gone ahead when Stephen Ramsey scored. We all thought he was easily offside, and we should have had that goal.

“Again, though, we can’t blame that for the final result, and now we’ve got to try and bounce back in the League Cup at Penrith on Wednesday.”