A depleted Shildon side struggled to victory against the Northern League’s bottom club, Stockton Town last Saturday, but two second half Matty Robson penalties eventually saw the Railwaymen maintain their unbeaten record with a 0-2 away win.
It may have been different had Stockton converted any of their numerous first half chances, but a combination of bad fortune and outstanding goalkeeping by Nick Liversedge kept them from recording their first positive result of the season.
In an astonishing sequence midway through the first half, the home side hit the post, Liversedge pulled off an impossible save from the rebound, and from that save, the ball was thumped against the underside of the bar from close range.
That the Shildon goalkeeper was the clear man of the match told the story of the game, which proved that at least two footballing clichés continue to hold true: when you’re struggling the luck goes against you and in order to win titles, you must sometimes convert poor displays into maximum points.
Shildon now have a full week to prepare for a potential giant-killing when Altrincham visit Dean Street this Saturday (16th), five years after knocking Shildon out of the cup at the same round.
Since then, the Manchester club have dropped two divisions in the pyramid but still sit two leagues above Shildon, in the Northern Premier League.
After the Stockton match, Shildon assistant manager Micky Barron was realistic about his side’s prospects: “We shouldn’t win, but we feel we can beat anyone at Dean Street,” he said.
The club will be hoping for the backing of a healthy home crowd as they enter the field at 3pm.