Ryhope CW preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields will look to make it three wins out of four tomorrow (Saturday) when they host Ryhope CW at Peterlee.
Kick-off at Eden Lane is at 1.30pm due to ongoing problems with the ground’s floodlights.
Shields go into the game in positive mood after David Molloy scored with the last kick of the game on Tuesday to earn a 1-1 draw at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
That followed wins over Tow Law Town and Stokesley SC in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup and league respectively, with the Mariners showing signs of a return to form.
Shields have scored crucial late goals in their last two games, with the 4-1 win at Stokesley featuring three goals in the last seven minutes.
That is a trend manager Jon King has welcomed, and one he hopes Shields will be able to maintain over the coming games.
King said: “You’ve got to keep going until the very end of every game, whether that is 95, 96 minutes or whatever.
“It was very pleasing to get an important goal so late in the game on Tuesday, and it was down to our endeavour, hard work and persistence.
“To go to the last kick of the game and get the goal was fantastic, and it got us what I felt was a thoroughly deserved point.”
Tomorrow’s opponents, Ryhope, won promotion from the Wearside League last season, and had been tipped for a promotion push this term in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
They are sitting 11th in the table – four places and five points above Shields – but have at least two games in hand on all of those ahead of them, apart from league leaders Seaham Red Star.
Shields travelled to Ryhope for their second game of the season, and came away with an excellent 1-1 draw.
Goalkeeper Brett Wilson was sent off after 10 minutes, and the Mariners had to play the remainder of the game with defender Colin White in goal.
Despite falling behind early in the second half, Shields went on to enjoy the better of the game, and they deservedly got back on level terms three minutes into stoppage time when James Talbot netted his first competitive goal for the club after coming on as a substitute.
King has fond memories of his team’s performance in that game, and hopes they can produce a similar display tomorrow – only without a red card this time.
He said: “Ryhope is going to be a tough game.
“We should have got three points against them at their place early in the season, I felt.
“We had Brett Wilson sent off early in the game, but we played really well and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.
“I was really proud of the lads for the performance they put in against Ryhope in August, and the belief that gave us helped us start the season well.
“We know it’s going to be difficult tomorrow, and we will have to improve our passing, as that wasn’t great on Tuesday.
“To get a point against a very good side in Ryton, though, was a positive for us when you consider how late we got the goal and the changes we had to make to the system during the game.”
Shields will welcome back midfielder Barrie Smith after he completed his suspension, although Lee Maitland is still banned.
One last reminder – kick-off is at 1.30pm!