Preview: Easington Colliery vs South Shields
The Mariners take on the last team to beat them on Saturday as they travel to Easington Colliery in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Newly-promoted Easington won 2-1 at Mariners Park in September, and since then, South Shields have gone on to win 15 and draw one of their next 16 games.
The last 15 of those have been victories, which has helped Jon King’s side open up an 11-point lead at the top of the table.
However, King is hoping for an improved performance following Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Birtley Town.
He said: “Easington are a big, strong, physical side with pace. They beat us at Mariners Park on the counter-attack and are on a good run of form.
“They’re near the top of the table, so we need to go there and be a lot better than we’ve been of late and come back with the points.
“We can’t be too critical of the lads, because again it wasn’t a great performance on Wednesday, but we won again and that’s 15 on the spin.
“Full credit to the lads for keeping the run going, but we all know we need to be a lot better, because we’re going to be coming up against some tough, tough sides in the next month.”
Defender Daryll Hall, meanwhile – who has become something of a cult figure on the terraces – has described the trip to Easington as Shields’ “biggest” of the season so far.
He said: “I didn’t play in the last game against Easington, but I was there and they’re a tough side. They get behind the ball and shut up shop well. It would be nice to get an early goal again.
“We know they’re going to try and spoil our party and it’s on their own turf, so they’ll be up for it.
“It’s a massive game for us against another one of the teams who are up there in the table.
“It’s a massive, massive game, and the biggest of the season so far for us.”
Shields will be without the suspended Lewis Teasdale for the 3pm kick-off at Welfare Park, but otherwise hope to have a close to full-strength squad to choose from.
There are still places left on the supporters’ coach to the game. To book or enquire, please call 0191 454 7800.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. STILL IMAGE: Peter Talbot.