Preview: Witton Albion vs South Shields, Emirates FA Cup
Carl Finnigan returns from suspension for South Shields’ big FA Cup clash with Witton Albion on Saturday.
The Mariners are making the trip to Northwich, in Cheshire, for a first qualifying round tie.
A large travelling support is expected to follow them as Shields look to reach the second qualifying round for the first time since 1997.
They are sure to be given a tough battle by Witton, though, who play one division above the Mariners in the EVO-STIK Premier.
Shields have started their campaign with five consecutive wins in all competitions, but Witton are in similarly good form, with three wins and two draws from their first six league fixtures.
The Mariners’ joint manager, Lee Picton, knows the size of the task ahead of his side.
He said: “It’s going to be a big test for us. It will be a different kind of test, because they’re flying high in the league above us.
“We’re going to go down there and potentially be underdogs, which is slightly unusual for us.
“It will be a different test for us, but one we’re thoroughly looking forward to after our performance on Monday at Scarborough.”
Monday’s game saw the Mariners win 3-1 at Scarborough, extending their early lead in EVO-STIK North.
That was one of three matches Finnigan missed after receiving a red card in the opening-day victory at Trafford.
His return will be a major boost for Shields, but they will be without Barrie Smith, who is on holiday.
Kick-off is at 3pm, and the post code of the ground is CW9 6DA.
For details on the segregation which will be in force for the game, and a pub many Shields fans are set to meet at, please click here.