South Shields hope to be spurred on to top spot by bumper crowd

South Shields midfielder David Carson picks up the clubs Player of the Month award for August from Kathleen Butterfield, of sponsors Shaun Matthias.
South Shields midfielder David Carson picks up the clubs Player of the Month award for August from Kathleen Butterfield, of sponsors Shaun Matthias.

South Shields are hoping for a bumper crowd tomorrow when they host Whitley Bay at Mariners Park.

On Non-League Day and with no Premier League or Championship football to compete with it, a four-figure crowd is expected.

Shields will be looking to make it four wins in a row following weekend successes at Chester-le-Street Town (6-0) and Penrith (2-0).

A big win tomorrow could send the second-placed side top of the league, but manager Jon King insists no one is getting carried away at such an early stage of the season.

He said: “We need to go again. We’re not looking too far ahead of ourselves.

“This is a really tough division and we need to be at it every week, because most teams will be at it against us.

“This is still very early in the season and you can’t get carried away by a few results.

“I think that six or seven teams can win the league, but we’re almost a brand new side and have made lots of additions since last season, and we have to be happy with our start.”

Shields and Whitley Bay played the reverse fixture just two weeks ago, with Ross Wilkinson striking a stoppage-time equaliser for Bay to secure a 3-3 draw.

King is confident though that home advantage could make a big difference for the Mariners tomorrow.

He added: “The fans are massive for us and do make a huge difference.

“The support they gave us at Penrith was terrific and I’m sure it will be the same tomorrow.

“Mariners Park is a very special place when there’s a big crowd in and they’re right behind us, and we’re all looking forward to hopefully another very good atmosphere tomorrow.”

David Carson, a summer arrival from Blackburn Rovers, has won Shields’ Player of the Month award for August, sponsored by Shaun Matthias.

He scored in the win at Penrith, and is pleased at the progression showed by the team over recent weeks.

Carson said: “We’ve played well in every game so far, but we’ve just struggled to get the goals.

“Teams are sitting in and trying to stop us from playing, but we’re always playing and always on the front foot.

“We proved on Monday that if we keep doing what we do well, we’ll get the goals eventually and we’ll open teams up.

“We were delighted with the three points and hopefully we can follow it up with another win tomorrow.”

Shields have a doubt over Gavin Cogdon (hamstring) tomorrow, while David Foley (groin) is expected to miss out. Carl Finnigan is expected to return to contention after missing the Penrith game with food poisoning.

Kick-off at Mariners Park tomorrow is at 3pm, and admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – are £6 for adults, £4 for over-65s and £2 for under-16s.