Stokesley Sports Club vs South Shields Preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields will aim to put a difficult 10 days behind them tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Stokesley Sports Club.
The Mariners lost 4-0 at Whitehaven last Thursday, and followed that up with a 3-0 home loss to Alnwick Town.
Both of those sides were behind Shields heading into the games, and they now face another team below them in the league tomorrow.
Stokesley are 19th, with Shields 17th in Northern League Division Two.
The Mariners have had a free week without a fixture after seeing Tuesday’s match against Brandon United postponed, and will be looking for just their second win of 2014.
Stokesley will be desperate to pick up three points, with this their last home game of the season.
Shields, meanwhile, still have 10 matches to play before the campaign is out.
Manager Jon King is determined his side puts an “awful” week behind them tomorrow, although he believes there were mitigating circumstances to the last two defeats.
He said: “It has been awful. The last two games have been disappointing.
“We travelled for almost four hours to Whitehaven, which wasn’t great preparation.
“By the time we got there, the kick-off had been delayed and we didn’t have time to do a proper warm-up.
“There are no excuses, though, and they were the better team.
“I thought we dominated the second half, but we couldn’t take the numerous chances we had.
“We were poor in the first half and didn’t take our chances in the second.”
King felt it was a similar story against Alnwick, and added: “We dominated the first half and they went in 1-0 up.
“Then we gave away a penalty, which was a kick in the teeth, and I thought we lost our appetite for the game after that.
“Only 13 players turned up for the game, which was disappointing.
“Football isn’t the most important thing for a lot of players, but I’m hoping it was just a one-off.
“We had about five or six key players missing, and it would have been a totally different game if they had been there.”
King was again left disappointed when Tuesday’s game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, as he was expecting to have a strong squad available.
He said: “I would have had a really strong squad of about 21 lads, and you just ask yourself sometimes if anything is going to go right for us.
“You just think, ‘Can it get any worse?’
“We cannot dwell on it though.
“We’ve now got a tough game tomorrow, and although people might think we haven’t got a lot to play for, the lads have still got personal standards and we can still finish in the top half.
“I guarantee we will create chances, but we just need to convert them.
” That would take the pressure off the back four and the goalkeeper.
“Hopefully we can get up towards mid-table, which has always been my personal aim. That is still on.”
Stokesley Sports Club. HOME.
P20. W5. D4. L11. G35. A43. Total GD -33. Pts 32. League table position: 19th.
Form. Last six games two points, form table placing 20th.
South Shields. AWAY.
P16. W3. D7. L6. G23. A35. Total GD -17. Pts 38. League table position: 17th.
Form. Last six games five points, form table placing 18th.
South Shields’ next game is at Jarrow Roofing, on Monday, April 7.