South Shields vs Thornaby Preview
By Bob Wray
South Shields have a job to do at home tonight when Thornaby are the visitors.
Nothing less than a win is required to get three much needed points on the board, having drifted to a position – mainly due to postponed games – of only eight points above the second bottom team.
It is no matter that only two clubs will be relegated, as 10th from the top is a requirement now for FA Cup entry for next season, and for mid-table respectability if nothing else.
Given the circumstances of why and how the club is where it is at Peterlee, and the consequent loss of income from numerous sources that directly affects the squad the club can sign, we are now precisely where we are.
That said, displays as on Saturday only emphasise the performance level required where deficiencies are apparent.
The non-availability of regular both centre halves against Seaham Red Star – Colin White and Jordan Fraser – robbed the team of its spine, plus also the enforced absence of influential midfielder and captain Barrie Smith, recovering from a groin operation, and likely to be out for another three weeks, meant a weakened team to play against the third top club.
Defensive lapses made for a 2-0 deficit at half-time after having 35 minutes of the game, and being unable to make full use of a strong wind.
A highly questionable penalty early in the second period with, it must be said, no appeals, made a comeback then a huge ask.
The attack posed but little threat to the home goal, and some individual performances require questions being asked.
Heads went down and by the 70th minute a 5-0 margin meant the heaviest league defeat of the season and this against the team that got a point at Peterlee in October with a goal in the 96th minute.
The obvious is glaringly well apparent, and reinforcements are needed and quickly and of better quality.
Tuesday’s visitors come on the back of a 5-0 home victory against Whitehaven on Saturday, so will be fired up for the points to help their cause.
Earlier in the season, Shields won the first encounter 2-1, and now with most hopefully both White and Fraser available in defence, plus Tony Burnell and perhaps Kane to help striking options, a better all-round display may be anticipated, otherwise the predictable may well result.
Another home game against Norton and Stockton Ancients will be on Saturday, and it goes without saying that six points will most certainly help matters. We shall see ….
P16. W3. D1. L12. F22. A39. Total GD1. Pts. 40. League table 13th.
Form. Last six games 12 points, form table 5th.
South Shields. HOME.
P13. W4. D6. L3. F22. A25. Total GD -10. Pts. 33. League table 16th.
Form. Last six games six points, form table 15th.