South Shields set to get Durham Challenge Cup bid started tonight

South Shields midfielder Robert Briggs tries to finish off a chance in Saturday's game against Stokesley Sports Club. Picture by Peter Talbot.
South Shields midfielder Robert Briggs tries to finish off a chance in Saturday's game against Stokesley Sports Club. Picture by Peter Talbot.

South Shields have been told they must sharpen up in front of goal ahead of tonight’s Durham Challenge Cup tie against Crook Town at Mariners Park.

Stokesley claimed their first point of the season on Saturday as a late deflected strike earned them a 1-1 draw against the Mariners.

The fans were fantastic on Saturday, and we’ve got to send these people home happy

David Hall

That came after Shields had been wasteful in attacking areas, with numerous chances created and then missed in front of a bumper crowd of 764.

First-team coach David Hall said: “The fans were fantastic on Saturday, and we’ve got to send these people home happy.

“They’re giving their time up to come here, and it’s not good enough to draw with Stokesley at home, and that’s no disrespect to them, because they battled really, really well.

“I don’t think our build-up play was too bad. We had time on the ball, some of our moves were fluent and we moved the ball about quite quickly. It was just in the penalty area that we were poor.

“Our weakness was in and around their penalty area, with the number of chances we created and didn’t take. We gave it away cheaply in the penalty area with our passing and shielding of the ball.

“We were unfortunate a few times, with the efforts which hit the crossbar and the shots cleared off the line, and their goal took a massive deflection and went in off the bar, but that’s football.

“With the expectations of this club this season, and what we’re hoping to achieve, though, that wasn’t good enough.”

Tonight gives Shields a chance to take a break from the league against a Crook side which took a 7-0 battering at home against Northallerton on Saturday.

Mariners captain Leepaul Scroggins said: “Cup games are always good, and this give us another opportunity to get back on track.

“The most important thing is to win the league, but it’s always good to have a cup run and get some silverware at the end of it.

“We’ll need to improve from Saturday, because the stats might say we dominated the game and had more chances, but we need to be putting them away.

“Teams are coming here and making it a dogfight for us, and we have to deal with that. It felt like a loss on Saturday, but hopefully we can get back to winning ways tonight and the fans will show us great support again.”

Shields hope to welcome back Jonny Wightman, Adam Sakr and Wayne Phillips for the 7.30pm kick-off at Mariners Park, but David Foley remains out.

Entry is £5 for adults, £3 for over-65s, £3 for students and £1 for under-16s.