South Shields players inspired by crowd as they aim for sixth straight win

Graham Fenton, left, and Lee Picton are set for their second game in charge of South Shields. Image by Peter Talbot.
Graham Fenton, left, and Lee Picton are set for their second game in charge of South Shields. Image by Peter Talbot.

Joint manager Lee Picton has urged South Shields to feed off the support of the crowd as they aim for a sixth consecutive win tomorrow.

The Mariners are hosting Ryhope CW at the end of an eventful week which included the departure of former boss Jon King, and appointment of Picton and Graham Fenton as his replacements.

It was a fantastic crowd again on Tuesday, and they’re always fantastically supportive of the lads

Lee Picton

A win tomorrow could see them leapfrog Fenton’s former side, North Shields, into top spot.

It would also be a 19th consecutive home league win, a run stretching back almost a year.

So far this week, two crowds of over 1,000 have attended Mariners Park, generating a positive atmosphere for the players.

Picton hopes Shields can utilise that support to reach even greater heights.

He said: “It was a fantastic crowd again on Tuesday, and they’re always fantastically supportive of the lads.

“I think there are times in the last couple of games when we should have tried to utilise the crowd a little bit more.

“I watched the footage back from the Whitley Bay game last Saturday and the fourth goal, where the lads were flying into challenges, the crowd was going crazy and then when Carl Finnigan stuck it in the net, the roof came off.

“That’s what you need, and the players and crowd feed off each other. That’s what we’ve got to try to do as much as we can, because we’ve got unbelievable support.”

Picton admits that the team is still gelling, but after another positive training session, they are ready for tomorrow’s test.

He added: “We had a good training session on Thursday and have prepared properly. We’ve watched and reviewed the footage from Tuesday’s game, have picked out some key points and will look to make progress.

“We’re still a new team, and as always, it’s about progressing as a side.”

Shields are expected to be without Ben Clark, David Foley and Gavin Cogdon for the 3pm kick-off, while Stephen Ramsey could step up his recovery with the Mariners’ reserves in their Wearside League trip to Annfield Plain.

Admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – are £6 for adults, £4 for over-65s and £2 for under-16s.