By Daniel Prince

South Shields manager Jon King hailed the efforts of his players following Saturday’s trip to Norton and Stockton Ancients – including one who played two games in one day!

The Mariners’ squad was depleted for the trip to the Ebac Northern League Division Two promotion chasers.

Brian Harrison and Jack Hanlon made their debuts for the club as substitutes after being drafted in on the eve of the match, which Shields lost 2-0.

Meanwhile, left-back Ewan Simpson represented the club’s Under-18s side in their lunchtime game at New Hartley, before travelling down to Norton to represent the first-team.

He was taken to the game by Under-18s coach Kevin Bolam, and King has thanked the pair for their efforts.

He said: “I’d like to thank Kevin Bolam, because the Under-18s had a game at lunchtime, and afterwards he drove all the way down from New Hartley with Ewan Simpson.

“Ewan got another 20-25 minutes, so we thanked him for that.

“He had already played 90 minutes for the Under-18s, and he still had the desire to come down and play for the first-team, which was great.

“Thanks to Kevin Bolam for bringing him down at short notice.”

King also thanked Harrison and Hanlon for their efforts, while Ryan Bolam – another of Shields’ Under-18s side – made another appearance for the senior team.

He started the game at left wing-back and played the full 90 minutes as he made his seventh first-team appearance, and King described his performance as “outstanding”.

He added: “Ryan Bolam deserves a special mention. I think he was outstanding.

“For a 17-year-old lad playing an unfamiliar position at left wing-back, he was outstanding.

“He was playing against a good, experienced player in Harrison Davies, and Harrison couldn’t live with Ryan. That’s a big compliment for a 17-year-old.

“I thought he was fantastic at left wing-back. He was up and down, with loads of energy, and he did really well.”

With Stephen Ramsey, Chris Locke, Ben Riding, Aron Burn and Chris Feasey unavailable on Saturday, while Craig Roberts had left the club in the lead-up to the game, King was forced to reshuffle his side.

He felt they deserved a point from the game, and had praise for the efforts of a number of players.

King added: “It was disappointing to lose, and two defensive mistakes cost us.

“I think we deserved a point on the day, but when you make two defensive errors the way we did against a good side like Norton, you’re going to be punished, and that’s what happened.

“A lot of players put in very good performances. I’ve managed Chris Renshaw before, and he can play at centre half. He went in there and did very well, and I think Michael Turner was outstanding at the back.

“Chris Rue had a good game sweeping in behind, James Talbot did well on the right-hand side, and Baptiste Fixot had a decent game.

“He had to come off, so we had to change things a little bit, but the lads that played did very well.

“Barrie Smith had a shoulder injury after about 20 minutes. He went down on it twice and I thought he was going to have to come off at one point.

“We were just about to make a substitution for Barrie, and he stayed on the field, and was absolutely immense.

“Barrie and Michael Turner were immense on Saturday for the team, and about four or five of the lads didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.”

Alex Kempster was handed a start, and went in alongside Paul Kane up-front.

King added: “A few lads had been waiting for a chance, and Alex Kempster got his on Saturday.

“He hadn’t started a game for a while and I thought he did very well, especially in the first half. Alex and Paul Kane up front were a real threat.

“I was pleased for Alex. He tired a bit towards the end and he came off, but I thought he was fantastic in the first half.

“He caused problems and kept the ball for us well, so I was pleased.

“I said to the lads before the game that when they get their chance, they need to make sure they take it, and I thought Alex did well, especially in the first half.”

By Daniel Prince

South Shields manager Jon King was left to rue two “defensive mistakes” in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Norton and Stockton Ancients.

However, King felt his side deserved a point from the game, and in the video above, he praises his makeshift team, who were without a number of players.

King also praises Horden manager Keith Brown, who allowed two of his players to link up with Shields for the match, and Mariners Under-18 coach Kevin Bolam.

The Under-18s were in action at New Hartley earlier in the day, and after the game, Bolam and left-back Ewan Simpson travelled to Norton, with Simpson coming on as a substitute.

Ryan Bolam, meanwhile, played in an unfamiliar left wing-back role at Norton, and King described the 17-year-old as “outstanding”, while Barrie Smith and Michael Turner were “immense”.

In the video, King also talks about the red card received by Paul Kane, and looks ahead to next week’s game against Alnwick Town at Peterlee.

By Philip Reay

South Shields were beaten by two quickfire second half goals as promotion-chasing Norton and Stockton Ancients claimed a 2-0 victory on Saturday.

A makeshift Shields side – depleted due to injuries, suspensions and unavailable players – held out until the 53rd minute, while they were reduced to 10 men late on when Paul Kane was sent off.

Norton had started the game on the front foot, and Shields had to weather early pressure.

Harrison Davies broke down the right flank before playing the ball into the path of Anthony Hume, but he was denied by a superb reflex save by Niki Lawson.

Norton maintained the pressure on the Shields defence as Davies attacked down the right, but he was unable to create any clear opportunities.

As the game approached the 15 minute mark, Norton’s Dan O’Brien collected the ball 25 yards from goal and fired a shot at goal that flew wide of the upright.

The resulting clearance by Shields goalkeeper Lawson was collected by Kane, and he fired a shot at goal from 25 yards that was comfortably saved by David Knight.

Norton continued to press forward, but their only reward was a series of corners that were comfortably defended by the Shields defence.

As the first half approached the midpoint, a foul on Davies resulted in a free-kick on the left angle of the box that was sent in by Rocky Andrews, but Michael Turner was on hand to head the ball clear.

On 25 minutes, a long clearance from Lawson found Kane wide on the left flank.

He beat his marker before releasing James Talbot, who fired the ball into the Norton box, but Knight tipped the ball over the bar for a Shields corner.

The visitors were enjoying a period of possession and pressure. Ryan Bolam and Alex Kempster combined to release Lee Maitland, who brushed aside the challenge of a Norton defender before firing a shot inches wide of the upright.

Shields continued to press forward. Maitland won the ball in the centre of the park and found Barrie Smith in space, and he launched a long range shot at goal that Knight tipped over the bar.

A minute later, the Mariners went close to opening the scoring.

Kempster’s pressure on the Norton goalkeeper resulted in him fluffing his clearance, and Kempster gathered the ball and fired it towards goal, but a goal-line clearance denied Shields an opening goal.

With 10 minutes remaining in the half, Davies broke down the right flank and crossed the ball towards Karl Charlton, but a fine save by Lawson foiled the Norton striker.

In the closing stages of the first half, Kane went close to giving the Mariners the lead.

He collected the ball wide on the left and cut inside towards goal before driving it towards the corner of the goal, only to be denied by a good save from Knight.

With the half-time interval looming, Shields were forced into their first change as debutant Brian Harrison replaced the injured Baptiste Fixot.

Deep into added time, Kane again tested Knight in the Norton goal, but his shot was saved and the sides went into the break all square at 0-0.

Norton started the second half as they had the first, and their pressure bore fruit on 53 minutes.

Davies fired a free-kick into the Shields box, and Lawson punched the ball clear.

However, it only went as far as Andrews, and he drove the ball through a group of players to give the home side the advantage.

The Norton lead was doubled three minutes later after a Shields attack had been halted by an offside flag.

Knight fired the free-kick over the Shields defence, and Charlton beat the defence to the ball to fire in.

Shields responded well to the setback, and on the hour Kane turned away from his marker before firing a shot at goal that whistled past the outside of the post.

The Mariners continued to press forward, and Harrison won the ball in the centre of the park and combined with Kane to release Talbot. He raced past his marker and fired a shot across goal that beat Knight, but went past the post.

With 15 minutes left, the Shields cause was dented as Kane saw red for a comment made to the referee.

Despite going a man down, the visitors continued to press forward, but were unable to break down the Norton defence, and the home side held on to claim all three points.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Lawson, Talbot, Bolam, Rue (c), Renshaw, Turner, Smith, Fixot (Harrison 42), Kane, Kempster (Hanlon 85), Maitland (Simpson 85). Sub not used: Evans.