A thrilling start to the NERWFL Premier Division campaign has seen South Shields Women pick up the strongest offensive and defensive record in the division.
No team has scored more than Shields’ 20, while the two goals conceded in four matches is the best in the league too.
Just last Sunday, a strengthened side tore apart newly-promoted Hartlepool United 9-0, in front of 161 supporters at 1st Cloud Arena.
While attention has rightly turned towards the upcoming Women’s FA Cup tie against Alnwick Town, it’s important to revisit the strong start which sees the Mariners sit third.
We caught up with club captain Becki McMahon to gauge how the dressing room is feeling.
Q: It’s been a really encouraging start to the league season, how is everybody feeling about how things have gone?
Everyone is really happy with the way we’ve started the season: four games unbeaten; 20 goals scored and three clean sheets.
Everyone's obviously buzzing. We feel slightly disappointed to have dropped points, but we are looking forward to continuing the unbeaten run!
Q: We’ve scored more goals than any other team and have also conceded the fewest. What’s gone into making that happen?
Lots of hard work on and off the pitch - training at match intensity, working on perfecting our style of play and making use of the video analysis has been massive for us.
Competition for places is very high this season too, which has massively raised performance levels.
Q: How much has changed compared to last season? (For example, the arrival of head coach Matt Gatiss as well as the other coaches)
It’s been a transition, but everyone’s really bought into Matt’s plan and it’s showing in the performances each week.
The coaching staff put a lot of work in behind the scenes and you can really see that paying off in training and in games.
Dan [Gourley] puts on quality sessions every week linking in with the video analysis and has made a massive impact in such a short space of time.
Adam [McGuinness], our goalkeeper coach, working with Scarlett [Gowans] too.
The three clean sheets speak for themselves,
Q: Playing in front of a home crowd at 1st Cloud Arena must have been a special moment for you, so is there anything you’d like to say to the supporters ahead of another exciting game?
We massively appreciate everyone who comes to support us on Sundays.
As you can see from last week's score, you'll definitely get your money's worth of action!
We’re aiming for a good run in the FA Cup and we’d love your support to help cheer us on to the next round.
A reminder that kick-off in the Women’s FA Cup tie against Alnwick Town at 1st Cloud Arena (NE32 3UP) is at 2pm on Sunday. Admission costs £3 for adults and entry is free for under 12s. Supporters can get free entry to Sunday’s game if they reserve a table for Sunday lunch, which they can do through the club’s website: https://www.southshieldsfc.co.uk/food