South Shields boss Graham Fenton hails support after record-breaking day

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South Shields boss Graham Fenton has hailed the club’s supporters after another record-breaking day at Mariners Park.

The ground attendance record was smashed again as 3,464 watched the Mariners book their place in the final of the FA Vase.

Fenton says the players are being inspired by the support of the town, after a build-up to the semi-final which included several businesses decking out their windows in Shields colours.

Hundreds of Mariners fans made the trip to the first leg of the semi-final at Coleshill Town last week, and they then turned out in force like never before on Saturday.

Joint manager Fenton said: “It has been magnificent. It looked like we had half the crowd there last week, and then to have over 3,400 there this week was magnificent to see.

“The whole community is getting behind the football club, and we’re just delighted that they can go down to Wembley for a magnificent day out.”

Fenton reserved particular words of praise for captain Julio Arca, who gave Shields the lead with a piledriver on Saturday.

He said: “I thought for large parts of the first half we were in control, and the lads looked comfortable and confident. They had a spell for 10 minutes when they did quite well, but the goal turned the game.

“What a strike it was from Julio, but it was also about his anticipation of where the ball was going to drop.

“It was about his experience, his knowledge and ability to stick it in the back of the net. Going in at half-time 1-0 up just knocked the stuffing out of them.”