By Daniel Prince
Jon King says South Shields will need to step up their level of performance again when they take on Whickham at Peterlee tomorrow (Saturday).
The Mariners ended a run of 10 games without a win on Tuesday when they defeated Esh Winning 4-1 in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Tomorrow, though, they face a side which is five places and four points better off in the table, and King is expecting a stern test at Eden Lane.
He said: “It was great to get back to winning ways on Tuesday, and the dressing room was happy afterwards.
“We needed the three points and I thought we went about our job well with a decent performance, although we could have won even more comfortably.
“We will need a much better performance on Saturday, because Whickham are a good side, and were one of the best teams we played last season.
“They are a proper Northern League side – well-organised, physical and strong – so we will need to increase our level of performance.”
Should he shrug off an injury picked up in Tuesday’s win, Chris Feasey will make his 250th appearance for the club in the game.
King has praised the loyalty of the left-back, and is hoping he will be able to call upon him.
He added: “Chris has been a very loyal servant to South Shields.
“He has spent most of his career here – he went to Newcastle Benfield and then came back at one stage – and he used to terrorise defences in his prime as a winger.
“He has now adapted his game to be a full-back, and he has had a great start to the season.
“Unfortunately, he picked up a knock on Tuesday so is very doubtful for tomorrow’s game, but he will reach the landmark soon enough and it will be thoroughly deserved.
“Loyalty at this level is unheard of, really, and Chris has stuck by the club throughout all of the good and bad times, as has Stephen Ramsey, who is just two games away from his 250th appearance.”
Steven Hubery is expected to return for the 3pm kick-off, as are Lee Maitland and Steven Graham.
Feasey, though, is extremely doubtful, and striker Stephen Ramsey begins his three-match suspension.
David Molloy should again be available after scoring on his return from injury on Tuesday.