By Bob Wray
The Mariners welcome Darlington RA to Peterlee’s Eden Lane ground on Saturday for an Ebac Northern League fixture, with the kick-off at 3pm.
This promises to be both an entertaining and interesting encounter when one recalls the 3-3 draw between the sides earlier in the season.
That said, this midweek game saw a very good second half display from 10-man Shields against high-flying West Allotment Celtic, who are well-led and by ex-Mariner Paul Stoneman as player-manager.
Therefore, we look forward to the same level of effort and commitment again to try and gain all three points to continue the climb to a respectable position of hopefully above mid table for Christmas and into the second half of the season.
Perusal of the league table and results shows where too numerous points have not been gained with goalscoring opportunities not converted and too many poor goals conceded, numerous it must be said in situations by reason of defensive shortcomings.
Without which, the league table would no doubt look rather different.
The strikers’ goal tally to date is lacking numbers, with the majority of goals coming from the midfield, so both more sharpness and anticipation upfront would remedy this situation, improve matters and the table position.
One league defeat though in the last 13 games is commendable, that being 4-3 at North Shields with a goal for the Robins scored in fortunate circumstances in the 95th minute.
Five defeats all season show only three by more than a one goal margin, two 2-0 and one 5-1.
The overall situation would indeed be quite different with all the top half table teams having been played were it not for the number of drawn games where maximum points eluded the Mariners.
That said, the strength of the division and the capabilities of the leading teams is apparent for what would be required for a promotion drive, a point not lost on all who have seen this season’s games to date.
On balance of results to date, therefore, a fair assessment of the team may well be ‘could do better’, so let us take our chances as they come, improve the score ratio and cut down on preventable goals conceded to make the difference hoped for.
Come on the Mariners, onward and hopefully upward.
Darlington RA. AWAY.
P11. W5. D1. L5. F17. A19. Total GD7. Pts. 37. League table 9th.
Form. Last six games nine points, table placing 10th.
South Shields. HOME.
P11. W4. D4. L3. F19. A22. Total GD -3. Pts. 31. League table 12th.
Form. Last six games seven points, table placing 13th.
South Shields’ next match is away to Whitehaven, on Saturday, December 21st.