Star duo collect club's first accolade

Another bumper crowd saw South Shields collect their first ever performance award in the EVO-STIK League on Tuesday night before enjoying their club's latest giant-killing performance.

After a season-best gate of 2,887 saw the 2017 Northern League champions and FA Vase winners take the lead at the weekend at home to Hartlepool United for a place in the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup, 1,056 turned out to see them honoured on the pitch before drawing 2-2 with Farsley Celtic in the Integro League Cup and going on to knock out their EVO-STIK League Premier Division opponents 5-3 on penalties.

EVO-STIK League representative Paul Hatt is pictured making the North Division Team of the Month presentation at Mariners Park before the first round tie kicked off to two of the club's key stars behind their rise of recent seasons, former Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca and right-back Craig Baxter.

The duo did the honours after joint managers Graham Fenton and Lee Picton guided their quadruple-winning side from last term to eight wins from nine league games in their first season in the EVO-STIK League to earn the combined accolade for August and September.

On top of posting a points per game average of 2.666 to battle at the top of the table, before losing 2-1 to Hartlepool in the fourth and final qualifying round on Saturday the Mariners had won all three of their earlier outings in the cup with a thrilling last gasp 3-2 victory over York City in front of 2,806 spectators making national headlines.

The Mariners were named alongside fellow newboys Cleethorpes Town in EVO-STIK League South and Shaw Lane in the top flight as the first winners of the monthly accolades to recognise and reward the top performers among the 68 clubs playing in the EVO-STIK League's three divisions. As well a glass glass memento, all winning clubs are presented with a bottle of spirits to celebrate their success.

Image courtesy of Peter Talbot/South Shields

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Where next?

New station joins growing line-up A new station started covering the EVO-STIK League on Wednesday night with commentators from TheHitMix 107.50 keeping fans up to date with the Intrego League Cup action between Kidsgrove and Leek Town.
Cup draw on Facebook and Twitter Fans from five EVO-STIK League clubs will be watching Wednesday's draw for the quarter-finals of the Manchester Premier Cup live on Facebook and Twitter.

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