South Shields vs North Shields Preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields face one of their toughest tests of the season tomorrow (Saturday) when they take on cross-river rivals North Shields at Peterlee.
North Shields have already secured promotion from Northern League Division Two, having lost just three times in the league all season.
They are on course to smash through the 100 points barrier in the campaign’s closing weeks, while the Mariners head into the fixture after a mixed week.
Last Saturday’s welcome 3-1 win at Stokesley Sports Club was followed with a 4-2 loss at Jarrow Roofing on Monday and 4-0 defeat to Northallerton Town on Wednesday, leaving Shields 16th in the table.
Their hopes of finishing in the top half are still alive, but it would take a terrific run of form over the last seven games to do so.
North Shields will head into tomorrow’s match as favourites, but were given one of their biggest examinations of the season in November, when they last come up against the Mariners.
A last-minute goal secured a 4-3 win for the league leaders in a game South Shields were extremely unlucky to get nothing from.
The Mariners had been down to 10 men and without a recognised goalkeeper since the first half, when Jak Wells was sent off, and fell just short of taking home a point.
A similar performance would be welcome tomorrow, but Jon King is more concentrated on ensuring his side pick up points rather than plaudits.
He said: “It was a pleasing performance, but we left with no points, which is the same as Monday against Jarrow Roofing.
“It’s no good having good performances and getting nothing – I’d rather have bad performances and win.
“We were unlucky with the goalkeeper being sent off. We were the best team in the second half with 10 men, and that is credit to the lads against the best side in the division.
“We should have got something there. I’m sure if Jak didn’t get sent off, we would have got something from the game. We used three or four different goalkeepers.
“We’d like another performance like that, but more importantly, the win.
“We want a good performance and the three points.
“We want to try and get something from the game, but it will certainly be tough.”
Forward Adam Burnicle could miss the rest of the season with a suspected cruciate ligament injury, but a clutch of players are expected to return.
Tony Burnell should be available, as well as Ben Clarey, Elliot Cutts, Joseph Danquah, Tito Davidson, Richard Logan and Shaun Smith.
South Shields. HOME.
P16. W5. D7. L4. F24. A29. Total GD -21. Pts 41. League table position: 16th.
Form. Last six games four points, form table placing 18th.
North Shields. AWAY.
P19. W13. D4. L2. G58. A16. Total GD 104. Pts 94. League table position: 1st (Promoted).
Form. Last six games 14 points, form table placing 3rd.
South Shields’ next game is at Heaton Stannington, on Tuesday, April 15.