Captain Leepaul Scroggins has hailed South Shields’ togetherness as they go in search of a 12th win in a row at home to Thornaby tomorrow.
The Mariners stretched their lead at the top of Northern League Division Two to eight points with a comfortable 3-0 victory at second-placed Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.
Everyone is buzzing, and the team spirit is fantasticLeepaul Scroggins
The match was watched by a crowd of 589 at Moor Park – with well over 400 thought to have been Shields supporters – and another bumper gate is expected at Mariners Park this weekend.
Shields will not only be looking for a 12th straight win, but also an 11th clean sheet in 12 games.
Scroggins said: “Tuesday was another great result for us, and everyone is working hard to keep this run going.
“We have built a reputation for keeping clean sheets, and now we’re not just wanting to keep winning, but we’re aiming to keep that record going as well.
“The clean sheets record is something we’re all proud of, from the forwards to the goalkeeper, and we’re priding ourselves on that.
“Everyone is buzzing at the moment. Every player is pulling in the same direction, the confidence is growing all the time and the spirit among us is fantastic.
“Every game is a test, though, and I’m sure Thornaby will be another difficult one.”
Manager Jon King has been delighted to see his side click in recent weeks.
He said: “We brought a lot of players in during pre-season and it was always going to take a bit of time to gel. I think they’re doing that now.
“It’s 11 wins on the spin with 10 clean sheets, and we’re obviously over the moon with that.
“I was also delighted for our fans on Tuesday, as there must have been between 400 and 500 of them there.
“I was very pleased that we not only got the result, but put in a very good performance to send them home happy.
“They made it feel like a home game for us, and it was absolutely fantastic to be a part of.
“There’s real momentum here, on and off the pitch, and it’s fantastic to see the people of the town getting behind us.”
King has again stressed the need for Shields to keep their feet on the ground, though, with other teams lurking in the shadows.
He added: “The Second Division is a really, really tough league with some good teams in it, and a lot of others are finding their feet as well.
“Because of that, no one here is getting carried away.
“We know it’ll be difficult tomorrow – I’ve seen Thornaby more than once this season and they’ve got some good players.
“They also haven’t been beaten away from home, so I’m sure it’ll be a good game.
“Everybody wants to beat South Shields, so we have to be on our game every week, which we have been recently and will need to be again tomorrow.”
Shields welcome back Barrie Smith from a ban for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off at Mariners Park. Admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.
Meanwhile, the club is running a coach for supporters to get to Friday’s FA Vase match at Bishop Auckland.
It costs £7 per person, and will depart Mariners Park at 5.30pm ahead of a 7.45pm kick-off. It will then return from Heritage Park at 10pm.
To book, enquire at the club or call 0191 454 7800.