By Daniel Prince
South Shields manager Jon King has insisted his side have got what it takes to beat high-flying North Shields tomorrow.
The Mariners, who are unbeaten in eight league games, will face the side which has scored the most goals and conceded the fewest in Division Two this season at their Daren Persson Stadium home.
North Shields sit second in the division ahead of the derby, and King is expecting a tough test against “quality” opposition.
He said: “They have started the season flying. They are scoring lots of goals and not conceding many, so it is going to be a real, real test.
“It is a derby game and there will be a good crowd there. They have got good players and (Graham) Fenton has done a good job there.
“I know we will get chances, though. We are definitely doing a lot better than we were and not conceding many goals.
“We need to take our chances and be more clinical in front of goal and that will make the team more relaxed.”
On the standard of the Northern League as a whole, as well as the strength of North Shields, King added: “In the Northern League nobody ever gives up.
“The quality is not as good as the First Division, but teams have got a never say die attitude which is normally the case in derbies as well.
“I expect they will have a lot more quality than some of the sides we have played this season.
“To go and beat one of the best teams in the league in their own back yard would be fantastic.”
By Daniel Prince – from Friday’s Shields Gazette
Manager Jon King has called on South Shields fans to get behind his team for tomorrow’s derby at North Shields.
Many Mariners fans have been unable to attend games this season due to the club’s temporary move to Peterlee, but the Shields derby gives them a chance to turn out and support their team.
King’s side are in good form, and Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Washington extended their unbeaten run in Division Two of the Northern League to eight games.
However, they face an uphill task tomorrow, with North Shields having only conceded 10 goals in their 17 league games so far and currently sitting second in the table, compared to the Mariners’ 13th.
King said: “It’s understandable we don’t get so many people coming to watch us in Peterlee, but this one is local.
“Hopefully we can get a good amount of people coming from the town, because we’re on a good run and the town should be behind us.
“With this being a one-off game, a derby and there being no football on in the top divisions, we’re hoping people will come and support their local team.”
King was frustrated with Tuesday’s draw, as Shields created a host of chances in the first half but only got one goal to show for it.
However, he is confident his side can take maximum points from their trip across the Tyne.
He added: “The points should have been locked up and Washington could have had no complaints if we were three or four up.
“We had lots of possession and chances in the first half, and I was disappointed because we should have had it wrapped up.
“To go and beat one of the best teams in the league in their own back yard on Saturday though would be fantastic.
“They have started the season flying, so we need to take our chances and be more clinical in front of goal.”
Jordan Fraser will again miss out through suspension, while Richard Logan is unavailable as he is on holiday.
The match, at North Shields’ Daren Persson Stadium, kicks off at 3pm, while Shields are in action at Peterlee’s Eden Lane ground on Tuesday night as they face Northallerton Town in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.
By Bob Wray
It is not known the precise number of games played between the cross river rivals – that is something best left for a statistician to comb the records and collate a definite number – but based on the longevity of both clubs, 100-plus by a considerable margin would be near the mark.
As ever in derby games, an added spice is present for such occasions, so for the winner three valuable points for a sporting contest and for the fans an entertaining game to enjoy.
For the Mariners, a full squad complement is apparently available, minus the suspended Jordan Fraser for his third and final game, with no reported injuries so otherwise a full strength selection for the management.
North Shields are currently flying and scoring goals seemingly for fun, with a massive total of 59 currently on the board, so a stern test is in store for the South defence.
The Mariners have so far this season created and missed too many scoring chances, and arguably given a better success rate would have seen a higher league placing.
However, that apart, a mid table comfort zone is becoming apparent as of now, but these are still early days and there is a long way to go before the season’s end.
One could talk of bigger fish to fry on off field issues for next season, and a real Christmas box is most hopefully anticipated by all behind the scenes and indeed on the terraces.
So, whichever way such events will lead the club, we shall see on Saturday what promises to be hopefully a most competitive and thoroughly entertaining encounter.
North Shields. HOME.
P9. W5. D3. L1. F27. A5. Total GD49. Pts. 40. League position 2nd.
FORM. Last six games 11 points, table placing 7th.
South Shields. AWAY.
P8. W2. D5. L1. F12. A12. Total GD -3. Pts. 25. League position 13th.
FORM. Last six games 10 points, table placing 11th.
South Shields vs Northallerton Town, Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup, Round Two.
Tuesday, November 19th.
South Shields vs Whickham, Ebac Northern League Div 2, Saturday, November 23rd.
Saturday Travel Directions. Daren Perrson Stadium, Ralph Gardner Park, West Percy Road, Chirton, North Shields. For satnavers postcode NE29 OSS. Ground tel. 07759 766 732.
Continue north after Tyne Tunnel. Take the first slip road and at the roundabout take the third turn onto the A193. Go across the first roundabout then take the third turn at the next roundabout onto Waterville Road, then turn left onto Silkey’s Lane. The ground is 100 yards on the right.