South Shields have no fear heading into game with promotion favourites Washington

IN-FORM ... Barrie Smith, left, receives South Shields' January Player of the Month award from sponsor Shaun Matthias.
IN-FORM ... Barrie Smith, left, receives South Shields' January Player of the Month award from sponsor Shaun Matthias.

JON King insists tomorrow’s game against promotion-chasing Washington holds no fears for his improving South Shields side.

The Mariners have won three of their last four games in all competitions, including last weekend, when they came from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Chester-le-Street.

Tomorrow, they will be given a major test by Washington, who are second in Northern League Division Two and looking likely to win promotion this term.

When the teams met in September, Washington ran out 3-1 winners, but King is hopeful his side can get a result in tomorrow’s game at Peterlee.

He said: “Washington are second in the table and are one of the promotion favourites, so it’s going to be a very difficult game tomorrow.

“If we can stop gifting teams goals, though, we know we will nearly always score, so we’ve always got a chance of winning games.

“If we can perform like we did in the second half against Chester-le-Street last week, we’ll be a match for anybody in this league, so I’m not scared of anyone in the division.

“We need to just repeat what we did in the second half last week, but the only worrying thing is that we are still giving too many goals away.”

Shields – who are 16th in the table – are hoping to close the gap on a clutch of teams above them with victory in tomorrow’s fixture.

They are also in the semi-finals of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup, and King has given his players a target for the season – although he is unwilling to share it publicly.

He added: “I’ve given the lads a little target, and although I’m not going to reveal what it is, they are more than capable of achieving it.

“We’ve got good players and the squad looks really strong now, so we’re able to bring very good players off the bench. We’re happy with the way things are going at the moment, but the one thing we need to rectify is our tendency to give silly goals away.”

Chris Renshaw is expected to return for Shields in tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off at Eden Lane.