South Shields boss Lee Picton warns players not to be distracted by Farsley Celtic and Warrington Town in title race

Robert Briggs celebrates scoring against Hednesford.
Robert Briggs celebrates scoring against Hednesford.

Joint manager Lee Picton insists South Shields can not afford to be distracted by the efforts of title rivals Farsley Celtic and Warrington Town as the season enters a thrilling finale.

The Evo-Stik Premier Division’s top three all won on Saturday, with Shields’ 4-1 victory against Hednesford matched by triumphs for Farsley and Warrington at Buxton and Matlock Town respectively.

For a 20 minute spell in the second half on Saturday, the Mariners were top of the league, with Farsley being held at Buxton.

However, a late winner from the Yorkshire side maintained their one-point lead over Shields at the top.

Picton admits he was aware of events elsewhere during the game, with news of goals in both matches involving Shields’ title rivals spreading quickly around Mariners Park.

He said: “With the world we live in these days, you’re never too far from a mobile device.

“We were constantly hearing from fans during the game, keeping us updated.

“You try to push that to the back of your mind as much as you possibly can, because we’ve got a job to do ourselves and can’t get distracted.

“The last thing we want is for ourselves or the players to get distracted in any way and then for us to slip up.

“You are aware of it and we were hoping Saturday might be a day we could get to the top of the pile, but it wasn’t the case.

“The positives are that we improved our goal difference versus the other two and you never know, that might come into play.

“We move onto Tuesday and we’ve just got to focus on getting another three points.”

Shields are away to bottom side Workington tomorrow as they seek a sixth win in a row.

It is one of just five games remaining this season.

Picton is looking for an improvement from his side from Saturday’s performance.

He added: “We were really satisfied with the result.

“We would have snapped someone’s hand off for that result before the game, but it maybe wasn’t a reflection on how the game went.

“Fair play to Hednesford, because they caused us some problems, particularly in the second half of the first half.

“I thought we were wasteful with the ball across the whole game compared to our usual high standards, but in the end we showed enough flashes of quality to get the right result.”