Billingham Town Preview

By Daniel Prince

South Shields will look to get their first points of the season on the board tonight when they host Billingham Town at Mariners Park.

The Mariners go into the game on the back of Saturday’s season-opening 3-2 loss to Northallerton Town.

They could welcome back Jonny Wightman for the match after he missed the opener due to cricket commitments, but Daryll Hall is still awaiting international clearance, and strike pair Stephen Ramsey and Paul Kane remain suspended.

Manager Jon King is happy with the options he has at his disposal ahead of tonight’s fixture – but has warned his players that Billingham, like Northallerton, will provide a tough test.

He said: “Teams in the Second Division are not used to playing in front of crowds between 350 and 400, so it will be like a cup final for them when they come here.

“We need to deal with that and manage it, but we didn’t do that on Saturday.

“Northallerton will have seen it as a chance to spoil the party when they saw the big gate, and all of the balloons, and they did that.

“I’d like to thank every supporter who attended on Saturday, and I hope we can provide our first three points of the season tonight.

“It’s going to be another difficult test against Billingham, which I expect all of our games to be this season.

“Everybody will want to come here and beat South Shields, and it’s something we’ve got to deal with. We’ve got to find a way of getting a result.

“We’ve got a good and strong squad to pick from, and I’ve got options to make changes to the starting line-up if needed as we look to get back to winning ways.”

Admission prices are £5 for adults and £3 for over-65s, while it is free for Under-16s. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.