Richie McLoughlin is hoping the fans will turn out in numbers for Jarrow Roofing’s final home game of the season tomorrow.
The Roofers will take on high-flying Shildon at the Boldon CA Sports Ground before finishing the campaign off with three away games in a row. There have been some remarkable improvements happening on the pitch at the CA in recent weeks, with the team only suffering defeat once in their last 10 games – and now McLoughlin is hoping the local community will come out to see the changes for themselves.
“The style of football that we were playing at the start of the season is a lot different to the one we are playing with now,” the manager said. “I always like to play an attacking game, and that’s what myself, Mark Collingwood and the players have been working on – and it’s paying off.
“It’s our last home game of the season, and I hope the fans will come out and give us their support. We’re playing great football now, and it is good to watch. Two in-form teams will be facing off against each other, so it should make for a really entertaining afternoon.
“Of course, good support really does help the club, too. We have made so much progress this season, and if the fans can get on board with us, it will help us to carry on this progression next season.”
Roofing have been handed an extremely difficult last home match of the campaign. Shildon have won their last four league games and they are well on course to secure third position in the Ebac Northern League Division 1. However, McLoughlin’s men have a good record against the sides fighting it out at the top, evidenced by his side’s 2-2 draw away at Whitley Bay on Tuesday, and the manager believes the Roofers are more than capable of causing Shildon a few problems of their own.
“There’s no doubt that this will be a hard game. Shildon will be looking to get as many points as they can to try and put some pressure on the top two in the division. However, the side we have now is more than capable of matching them.
“Whether it’s at home, away, the first game of the season or the last game of the season, I will back the group of players we have now to put up a fight against anyone. In fact, I believe we would have been battling it out at the top end of the table if we’d had the group of players we’ve got now at the start of the season.
“We can now match most of the teams in this division in terms of quality, and the winning mentality we have makes us a danger to play against.
“I don’t think the fact that it’s the last home match of the season adds too much more incentive. Obviously, it will be fantastic to win it and end our home fixtures on a high, but this team go into every match looking to win. The players set high standards for themselves, and they always try to live up to them – which is very pleasing.
“If supporters decide to come and watch us, they will see these qualities for themselves, so I’m really hoping they will give us a chance.”
Kick-off at the Boldon CA Sports Ground, postcode NE35 9AL, is at 3pm. Roofing will go into it with a near full-strength side, with only Lee Kerr unavailable.
- Dan McSkimming
- Photography: Duncan Donnelly