Birtley Town vs South Shields Preview

By Bob Wray

The Mariners make the short journey on Saturday, December 28th to play Birtley Town in an Ebac Northern League Division Two fixture for a 3pm kick-off, with hopefully no weather disruption.

Following the unfortunate power cable mishap which prevented last Saturday’s Whitehaven game taking place, hopefully this fixture will not be subject to a weather postponement and the match will proceed as arranged.

As ever, three valuable and important points are at stake, as Shields endeavour to finish the year on a winning note towards an initial safety target of 40 points.

Hopefully as near as possible a full strength squad will be available for management selection, and an entertaining and competitive game for supporters’ pleasure and enjoyment will lie in wait.

It has been good to see Stephen Ramsey back on the goal trail with a fine hat-trick in his last appearance, and it is to be hoped this form leading the attack will continue, and for his striker colleagues also to contribute to the tally.

Defensively, it is to be hoped they will be tight, noting the opposition’s goals for their home record to date, with both focus and concentration to avoid slips and errors.

At the half way point of the season, there are lessons to be learned from the progress to date.

There are more than sufficient grounds and reasons for ‘what ifs’ and ‘might have beens’ conjecture, but all in claret and blue must give the remainder of the campaign their best to hopefully finish on as high a league table placing as may be possible given all present circumstances.

Hopefully for supporters, this will be a good game to finish the year and on a winning note, and for all concerned there also most hopefully be a very much anticipated positive indication coming soon from ‘the powers that be’ for good news concerning the club’s future ground back home in South Shields.

On that note, the club most sincerely thanks supporters, sponsors and well wishers for all their support and encouragement in what are difficult circumstances, and hopes very much for us all that 2014 will indeed mark the beginning of a bright new future in a new ground for the Mariners to call home.


Birtley Town. HOME.

P13. W8. D2. L3. F33. A17. Total GD12. Pts. 40. League table 9th.

Form. Last six games 13 points.

South Shields. AWAY.

P11. W3. D6. L2. F19. A19. Total GD -3. Pts. 32. League table 13th.

Form. Last six games seven points.


Next games: January 4th, Tuesday, home to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion. League fixture.

January 7th, Tuesday, home to West Auckland, Durham Challenge Cup, Round Two.


Ground Directions. Birtley Sports Centre, Durham Road, Birtley, DH3 2TB, Tel. 07958 540 389.

Leave the A1(M) at the Angel of the North and follow the signs to Birtley. Continue along the main road through the town. Go past the Komatsu factory on the right and then after approximately 200 yards turn right into an unmarked side road. The ground is directly in front of you. Distance nine miles.