South Shields’ remarkable 32-game winning run coming to an end could be a blessing in disguise, according to Carl Finnigan.
The striker netted his 28th strike of the campaign at Mariners Park at the weekend against Morpeth Town. And it looked to be a match-winner, until Mark Davison popped up in added time to level and ensure the Northern League Division One title-race went to the final week of the campaign.
The draw meant Shields had to put their title celebrations on hold, and the Champagne on ice until tomorrow night at the earliest, when the Mariners head to Ashington knowing a win would ensure the trophy is heading to South Tyneside.
It also signaled the end to an unofficial world record run of 32 wins on the bounce.
Finnigan admits the disappointment in the dressing room was obvious.
But he does think the run end could release a bit of pressure, heading into of the most crucial sequences of games in the club’s history, with three finals, including the FA Vase at Wembley, on the horizon.
“It is a brilliant run to win 32 games, but we are still 34 unbeaten,” said the in-form frontman.
“It is an amazing run, at any level of football. And we are all disappointed that it has come to an end.
“But in a funny kind of way it might not be a bad thing for us. At least now people won’t be talking about records and the amount of games we have won on the bounce.
“We can now just concentrate on winning trophies, starting with the league tomorrow.
“We thought we’d wrap it up in front of our own fans on Saturday. We just have to make sure we do tomorrow night instead.”
Former Newcastle United trainee Finnigan, continued: “To get the winning goal, the one that won the title, would have been nice, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
“Sometimes things work out like that in football.”
While the overriding emotion at the weekend was disappointment, which put a slight dampener on the club’s pre-arranged promotion party at Mariners on Saturday evening, Finnigan feels it is only a matter of time before the title is sealed.
It is still a case of when, not if, for the 30-year-old.
“We are all majorly disappointed,” he said.
“To control most of the game we aren’t happy that we didn’t get a second and a third to kill the game off. It came back to bite us.
“Confidence is still high, though.
“The feeling is that we will get the job done this week, and then we can concentrate on winning the three finals we have after the league is finished.”