By Daniel Prince
Jon King heaped praise on veteran defender Brian Rowe after the new signing helped South Shields to a 1-1 draw with Thornaby on Tuesday.
Rowe, 42, made his debut for the Mariners against Thornaby as Shields recorded their 13th draw of the season.
He had been the assistant manager at Whitley Bay under Ian Chandler before the pair resigned last month, but answered an SOS call from King to help Shields out.
And his debut display won the admiration of his manager, who said: “Brian Rowe is a winner and a leader.
“He’s in his 40s now, but (fellow defenders) Ben Riding and Colin White fed off him.
“He’s a good organiser and gave us a big lift.
“He reads the game really well, and doesn’t need to get all over the pitch.
“Brian has done everything, including winning the league and the FA Vase.
“He hadn’t played for a year and I thought he was excellent.”
King was happy to pick up a point after Saturday’s disappointing 5-0 loss at Seaham Red Star, but was left to rue the “schoolboy” defending that led to Thornaby’s equaliser.
He added: “After the disappointment of Saturday’s game against a strong outfit, I was over the moon with the way the lads came back from that.
“We deserved to win, and their goalkeeper had a lot more to do than Jak Wells.
“The goal we conceded was schoolboy, though.
“It was like something you’d see as a nine-year-old in a school playground.
“It was a total, total gift – the pick of the bunch this season.
“It was a lack of concentration, and the worst goal I’ve seen us concede in a long time.”
In the end, though, King accepted a point.
He continued: “We defended their set-pieces really well, and that was their main threat.
“I thought the lads were excellent. A couple of lads were six out of 10, but the rest were sevens and eights.
“It was good to get that point and we look forward to Saturday’s game against Norton.”