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Nicholson: Mariners have confidence back heading into Mossley challenge

Right-back Alex Nicholson feels South Shields’ confidence has been restored after the Mariners ended a three-game winless run on Saturday.

Draws against Trafford and Kendal Town were followed by a home defeat to Scarborough Athletic on New Year’s Day as Shields briefly lost top spot in the Evo-Stik North Division.

A comfortable 2-0 victory at Tadcaster Albion on Saturday put the Mariners back on top of the pile, with a solid team performance getting them back on track.

Ahead of this Saturday’s game at home to Mossley, Nicholson feels the squad are in confident mood again.

He said: “After the Scarborough game, we knew we had to bounce back straightaway to get the momentum going again.

“We were all on the same wavelength and all worked hard ahead of the Tadcaster game, when we knew we needed to get the result in whatever way we could.

“We were solid and restricted their chances by keeping the ball away from them, and when we needed to do the dirty work, we were willing to do that as well.

“That result gives us confidence going into the Mossley game, when we will need to have the same mentality.

“It will be a tough challenge, but as long as we get our preparation right and are in the right frame of mind, hopefully we’ll be OK.”

Mossley gave Shields an extremely difficult challenge in the reverse fixture in October. They held a 2-1 lead until the 87th minute, when goals from Julio Arca and Jamie Holmes turned the game on its head and secured the Mariners a dramatic 3-2 win.

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the sides, Shields are top of the league on goal difference from Scarborough Athletic, and Mossley are 13th.

Although Nicholson is not taking too much notice of the table at this stage, he insists the Mariners must be satisfied with their efforts so far.

He added: “You’d rather be the ones being chased than in the chasing pack, but we know we’ve got a big challenge for the rest of the season.

“It’s up to us to maintain the mentality that we’ll stay on top. We don’t want anyone to overtake us and just have to stay in the right frame of mind.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm, and the turnstiles open at 12pm. For full details, click here.

Season tickets and part-season tickets are valid for this fixture, but otherwise admission – to be paid at the turnstiles – is £8 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.