Jarrow Roofing sign ex-Newcastle youngster in bid to reverse fortunes

Liam Atkin has signed from Ashington. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Liam Atkin has signed from Ashington. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Jarrow Roofing head into their home Northern League Division One clash at home to Guisborough Town tomorrow looking to start the second half of the season with a bang against their high-flying visitors.

With two defeats in the two league games that survived the weather in December, the Roofers have been without a game for over one month, though that was still more games than some of their division rivals managed.

I’m hoping that the players used that break to now get their smart heads on and to make sure that we give Guisborough a game.

Richie McLoughlin

And with much of the momentum lost that some of those teams had built up until the end of November, manager Richie McLoughlin is looking for his side to take advantage and wipe the slate clean with a commanding start to 2016.

“The break has allowed us the chance to regroup and assess things,” said the Roofing supremo.

“I’m hoping that the players used that break to now get their smart heads on and to make sure that we give Guisborough a game.”

The South Tynesiders have suffered from inconsistency during the first half of the season with McLoughlin also citing “silly mistakes in a dozen games that wouldn’t be expected of school kids” as a reason for his side starting the new year down in 17th place.

But with games in hand on much of the other clubs, a run of form would see Roofing hit the top half of the table with McLoughlin calling for that to start against their third-placed opponents at Boldon.

“Guisborough have a good side but so do we,” he added. “And you need more than a good side just to win football matches.

“To win, you need commitment and we must also be well organised and patient. We’ve showed signs of that at times, but not consistently enough.

“If we can stay switched on, and defend as a team, then we won’t gift sides the game.”

The Roofing supremo has used the break to shore up his defence having seen Danny Carson cross the borough to South Shields and then Anth Myers suffer from injury – though the Hebburn-based player would have missed out against Guisborough due to suspension, having saw red in the defeat at Seaham Red Star prior to Christmas.

Richard Paxton has arrived from Washington while the Roofers clinched the signing of Liam Atkin from Ashington on Thursday night.

Atkin spent last season with league runners-up Shildon with the former Newcastle United reserve player, who appeared in the first team during pre-season games while at the Magpies, adding pace to the back line as well as providing an experienced option alongside Paxton.

“We badly needed experience at the back and with the arrival of Liam and Richard, we now have that,” explained McLoughlin.

“We’ve missed that in the centre of defence, someone who can read the game and who has been around the league in that position for a long time.

“I’m hoping that the back five I’m now able to field will be solid and that we’ll be hard to break down with our shape.”

Having spent time working on the pitch this week, the Roofing boss is hopeful that the game will get the go-ahead tomorrow, though he admits that any heavy rain or frost overnight would put the match in doubt.

Kick-off at Boldon is at 3pm.