Graham Fenton insists South Shields have no need to panic as they seek one win for title

Graham Fenton insists there will be no panic from South Shields. Image by Peter Talbot.
Graham Fenton insists there will be no panic from South Shields. Image by Peter Talbot.

Graham Fenton insists there’s no need to panic for South Shields - despite their title party being put on hold.

The Mariners conceded a stoppage time equaliser against Morpeth Town on Saturday, leaving them still a win away from the championship.

However, with away matches at Ashington tomorrow and Guisborough Town on Saturday to come, Fenton says confidence is still extremely high that Shields will get over the line.

The joint manager said: “If we had said a few months back that we’d eventually have two games left and need one win for the title, we would have snapped anybody’s hand off to be in this position.

“It’s one of those situations where there was a little bit of frustration and disappointment on Saturday, but we’re still in control of our own destiny.

“The lads were a little bit frustrated, because we were a couple of minutes away from it, but we’ve got two more games.

“We move on to tomorrow night, and know one win from our final two games would be enough to win us the league.

“Hopefully we can wrap it up tomorrow.”

Mark Davison’s 91st-minute leveller means Morpeth themselves are still in with a shot of the title.

They are seven points behind Shields, with the Highwaymen having three games to play, compared to Shields’ two.

It was a fourth game in a week for Morpeth, having beaten Seaham Red Star last Saturday, Ashington on Monday and North Shields on Wednesday.

Fenton felt they provided his team with a tough encounter on Saturday, but was left frustrated by the Mariners’ inability to kill the game off.

He added: “It was a difficult game.

“Morpeth are a good side and near the top of the league for a reason.

“We just felt like we got the goal nice and early, and with the week they have had physically and mentally, if we had got the second goal maybe it would have been a different story.

“Fair play to them. They dug in and stuck the big lads on up top towards the end, and put us under a bit of pressure.

“We dealt with most of it well, and if we could have got one of those counter-attacks with a little bit more quality we could have killed the game off.

“It wasn’t to be though and we’ll move on quickly.”

A crowd of 2,054 meant Shields ended the season with an average home crowd of 1,275.

Fenton said: “It was another crowd of over 2,000.

“We keep saying every week that it’s not a surprise how many people are turning up.

“We’d like to thank them all for turning up and supporting the team again on Saturday.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line for them in the final home game but hopefully we’ll do it in the next away game.