Mariners to play Coleshill Town in FA Vase semi-final
South Shields have been drawn against Coleshill Town in the semi-final of the Buildbase FA Vase.
The Mariners will travel to Coleshill’s Pack Meadow for the first leg on Saturday, March 11, before the return leg at Mariners Park a week later.
Coleshill are second in the Midland League Premier Division, and reached this stage of the competition with a 2-0 win over Sporting Khalsa on Saturday.
Ticketing arrangements have not yet been agreed between the two clubs, but we hope to be in a position to make an announcement early next week.
Shields joint manager Lee Picton is expecting a difficult tie.
He said: “I’ve already spoken to a contact from that area, and from what I’ve been told, it sounds like this is just about the toughest semi-final we could have had.
“Coleshill are a really strong side who are especially impressive going forward.
“We’ll do lots of research as always ahead of the games.”
Coleshill play on a 3G pitch, which Picton believes could prove a help rather than a hindrance to Shields.
He added: “I reached this stage of the competition a few times as a player, and you know that at this time of the season, you can end up playing on difficult pitches.
“At least with this tie we know what we’ll be getting with a 3G surface.
“The first tie is away, so if we can come back to Mariners Park at least on level terms, we’ll be in a strong position.”
Shields were roared into the semi-final by a Mariners Park record crowd of 3,161 on Saturday as they thrashed Newport Pagnell Town 6-1.
Picton said: “I’m sure the second leg of the semi-final in particular will be another charged occasion at a packed Mariners Park. The performance we put in under similar circumstances on Saturday is important for us.
“The players know they can perform in front of a really big crowd and that should give them good confidence.
“For now, though, we’ve got more pressing issues, with important league games coming up this week.
“We’ve got a tough game on Wednesday at Newcastle Benfield and we’re going to have to be at our best to win there.”
In the other semi-final, Cleethorpes Town will take on Bromsgrove Sporting.