Lee Picton hails South Shields after FC United of Manchester win
Lee Picton hailed South Shields' away day heroes after they made it six league wins in a row with a clinical 2-0 success at FC United of Manchester on Tuesday.
Goals in either half from Lee Mason and Jason Gilchrist stretched the Mariners' lead at the top of the BetVictor Northern Premier Division to six points heading into Saturday's home match against Atherton Collieries.
Shields kept their eighth clean sheet in all competitions so far this season and picked off their hosts at vital times to extend their winning run.
The result and performance left joint manager Picton delighted.
He said: "The match was a little bit of a role-reversal for us psychologically.
"We haven't experienced very often what it's like to have a really strong home following when we go away, so we got a taste of what it feels like for a lot of teams to come to Mariners.
"I thought we dealt with that really, really well.
"We've worked hard on a lot of the defensive stuff and there's no doubt it's paying off at the moment.
We're racking up a good number of clean sheets and once we go ahead away from home we become very difficult to break down.
"I thought we weren't anywhere near our best with the ball, but I'd give us pretty much 10 out of 10 in terms of our determination, fortitude and togetherness.
"That was exemplified again by the back five, who were just rock steady and gave monumental performances to keep them out."
It was Shields’ first visit to Broadhurst Park and they will remember it for all the right reasons.
The Mariners won despite being without captain Jon Shaw and midfielder Adam Thurston, who both missed out with the injuries which forced them off in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Buxton.
They started impressively, with Josh Gillies and Mason both brilliantly denied by the legs of home goalkeeper Paddy Wharton before the breakthrough came in the 36th minute.
Jordan Hunter beat his man on the right before dribbling to the byeline and pulling a pass across goal, where Mason was on hand to steal a march on his defender and poke the ball into the net for his second goal in as many appearances.
The second half was a tighter affair with chances difficult to come by, but the hosts almost levelled when Gillies brilliantly cleared an Alex Curran effort off the line.
The Mariners held firm and after a short burst of intense pressure, they doubled their lead with nine minutes left.
A spot of pinball in the FC United box followed an effort from substitute Nathan Lowe and the ball broke to Gilchrist, who rifled it into the roof of the net against his former club to spark jubilant celebrations and seal the victory.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Adams, Turnbull, Morse, Brown, Briggs (c), Baxter, Mason (Odelusi 64), Gillies (Lowe 74), Foley (Gilchrist 58). Subs not used: Wokoma, Charlton.
Goals: Mason (36), Gilchrist (81).