JON King has praised the determination of his South Shields side ahead of tomorrow’s derby with Hebburn Town at Peterlee.
Shields have scored 22 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches this season, including Paul Kane’s 87th-minute winner in last week’s 2-1 victory at Tow Law Town.
The Mariners also recently grabbed a point with the last kick of the game at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, and scored three times in the last seven minutes to win 4-1 at Stokesley last month.
All of that has contributed to an upturn in fortunes for Shields, who have won three and drawn one of their last five games after a difficult run prior to that.
And it has left King feeling content heading into the game against Hebburn.
The Shields boss said: “We have scored a lot of late goals recently, and that has given the lads confidence in the closing stages of games.
“You don’t have to win games on 50 minutes or something – you just need to stay patient with your passing and try not to force things too much.
“That determination and character to keep going to the end got us a deserved three points at Tow Law, which looked like a game that we would go away from disappointed with a point.
“The win, though, has given us more confidence again, and we’ll have a few more players back against Hebburn.
“It’s going to be a tough game because they are having a good season, but we’re very much looking forward to the derby and are hoping for three points.”
Kane scored both of Shields’ goals in the win at Tow Law to take his tally to 19 goals in 20 games for the Mariners this season.
King has been delighted with the striker’s form, and was impressed with the quality of his two strikes in last week’s win.
He added: “Paul’s goals at Tow Law were fantastic.
“He had been having a bit of a tough time with his hold-up play just before he got the winner, but the goals are what he is all about.
“He’s unreal on that right foot, and if he cuts onto it, we’ve seen time and time again what he can do.”
Shields are hopeful of welcoming back a number of players for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off at Eden Lane, with David Molloy and Lee Maitland available after suspension.
Aron Burn and Adam Sharp are among the others who could return to contention.