South Shields boss Lee Picton hails his Mariners 'historymakers' after their FA Cup heroics

South Shields’ joint manager Lee Picton has hailed his Mariners ‘historymakers’ after they put their name in the FA Cup first round draw.

Saturday, 24th October 2020, 7:00 pm
South Shields boss Lee Picton celebrates his side's FA Cup win (Pic via Kev Wilson).

The South Tyneside outfit cruised to a 2-0 win over National League side Halifax Town – placed two divisions higher – at the 1st Cloud Arena to claim a place in the competition ‘proper’ for the first time since 1973.

After a Wembley win, promotions and trophies galore in the not too distant past, Picton was delighted to see his side put what has been a difficult 2020 behind them by producing a performance for the ages.

“We talked to the boys about it,” he said of how long Shields had waited for an FA Cup tie.

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"We told them it was an opportunity to go out there and make some history for us, for the group, for the club.

"We are not talking about something that hasn't happened in 10 years - it's nearly 50 since this club got this far.

"It is brilliant. Geoff Thompson (chairman and owner) came in after the game. I am so glad for him, he has put so much into this club. There have been ups and downs in recent times, more downs lately. To see the smile on his face at the end was magnificent.”

While fans are shut out across the land, non-league football has, to an extent, been able to allow supporters to enter, with some 300 or so inside the ground to witness Shields’ famous win.

And Picton admits those that braved the awful conditions got what their fervent support deserved, making 300 sound more like 3,000.

“There may have only been 300 fans here but they made it feel like a lot more,” said Picton, who admits his side want to draw North East rivals Sunderland in Monday’s draw.

"Without a doubt it makes a difference (having a crowd at the game). You can feel energy in the ground. Fans and players bounce off each other.They push us on and that can't be understated.We are heartbroken it is not 10x that. But to have anyone in is positive.”