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SGP_NEC_180317SHIELDS10JPG.jpg

Non-league side break unofficial world record by recording 31st consecutive win

Date Posted,April 8, 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing football’s latest juggernaut: South Shields FC.

The Tyneside club have secured their promotion to the eighth tier of the English pyramid and with a healthy financial backing, plus bumper crowds, they are making a serious bid for the big time.

South Shields are the latest club bidding to try and replicate the park pitches to riches stories of Wigan Athletic and Fleetwood Town.

Forest Green Rovers, AFC Fylde and Salford City are in the process of trying it – and now the Mariners can be added to the list.

Their 1-0 victory over title rivals North Shields in the cross-Tyne derby on Saturday confirmed promotion, but also secured another piece of prestige next to the club’s name.

Huge crowds come out to watch Shields play (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)
Shields are on course for winning four competitions this season (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)
Crowds have soared at their Mariners Park home (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)

The win was their 31st consecutive victory in all competitions, unofficially breaking the world record for the most consecutive victories by a professional or semi-professional team.

The legitimacy of the record remains in question, however, as amateur side Wythenshawe Town went on a 38-game winning run in 2015.

Shields rode their luck at times, with the last four of those wins coming by just one goal – and captain Julio Arca (yes, the former Sunderland man) being sent off in the derby.

South Shields’ last loss actually came in the reverse derby fixture against North Shields, where they went down 1-0, ending a 21-match unbeaten record at the time.

Julio Arca is captain of South Shields (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)
Arca has been sent off a few times since moving to Shields (Photo: The FA via Getty)
The huge attendances have helped Shields’ efforts (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)

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South Shields manager Graham Fenton (Photo: The FA via Getty)

A floodlight failure at their Mariners Park home in January with eight minutes to play of their FA Vase clash with Morpeth Town saved the run.

They were 4-2 down at the point of the lights going out – and won the replayed match 4-0.

South Shields can now go on to complete an impressive quadruple later this season.

Shields have made a Wembley final in the FA Vase (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)
Fans are optimistic about what the future holds for Shields (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)
Shiels celebrate securing their place at Wembley (Photo: The FA via Getty)

They are two wins off claiming the Northern League title ahead of Shildon, while they have secured their place in the finals of the FA Vase, Durham Challenge Cup and Northern League Cup.

The Vase final takes place at Wembley on May 21, where they take on Cleethorpes Town, and a win would secure the greatest day in the club’s history.

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