Match Preview: Esh Winning vs South Shields – FA Vase
South Shields make their entrance into this season’s FA Vase on Saturday with a trip to Northern League Division Two outfit Esh Winning.
The Mariners reached the third round of last season’s competition, before losing on penalties to eventual winners Morpeth Town following a thrilling 3-3 draw.
They will be coming up against familiar opposition on Saturday, having played Esh twice in the league last season, winning on both occasions.
Shields go into the tie as leaders of Northern League Division One, while their opponents are bottom of Division Two.
However, having seen off Division One’s bottom-placed side West Auckland Town on Tuesday, joint manager Lee Picton wants his side to show the same attitude on Saturday.
He said: “It’s not a game we can take lightly.
“Esh Winning might be struggling a bit in the Second Division, but we’ve got to go out and do exactly what we did on Tuesday, start the game with a good tempo and hopefully our quality will shine through.”
On the competition itself, Picton added: “We hope it’s the first game of a long run for us in the FA Vase this year.
“We’ve certainly got the attributes and qualities to go very deep into the competition.
“Every team needs a bit of luck along the way, and hopefully we’ll get a bit of that this season.
“The club didn’t have much luck in it last year in the defeat to the eventual winners Morpeth on penalties.”
Shields go into the tie without defender Louis Storey, who suffered a broken leg and ankle ligament damage in Tuesday’s game.
They are also likely to be missing David Foley, Ben Riding and Julio Arca, while there are doubts over Craig Baxter, Jon Shaw and Gavin Cogdon.
Striker Carl Finnigan is confident, though, that the Mariners’ squad is strong enough to come through a testing period.
He said: “There are a lot of injuries and a few are playing who are struggling with knocks as well, so it’s key that we prepare right and make sure we’re all ready for the next game.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad and a great group of players. Players have stepped in and we’re confident with the squad we’ve got.”
Finnigan is set to make his FA Vase debut on Saturday, having played in the past for the likes of Newcastle United, Falkirk and Gateshead.
He added: “I’ve heard a lot about the FA Vase, but I’ve never been involved in it.
“I’ve heard it’s a special cup competition, so I’m looking forward to playing in it and we want to go all the way.
“That’s the end goal. We want to win trophies and that’s one that’s definitely on the list.”
On the trip to Esh Winning, Finnigan said: “It’s another scenario similar to Tuesday.
“We need to take it with the same attitude, 100mph, don’t give them anything early on and kill their confidence.”
Kick-off at West Terrace, which has a post code of DH7 9BQ, is at 3pm. We would very much appreciate your support at the game.
Meanwhile, Esh Winning have posted the following ahead of the match…
“An update for all fans attending Esh Winning vs South Shields FC:
“Tickets: £5 for adults and £3 for concessions, all kids in their Deerness Valley Shirts get free entry with a paying adult.
“Parking: Obviously we are expecting a big crowd so parking will be at a premium, there is a fairly decent sized car park, and our overflow car park is the grass field behind this one. Please note that parking on the overflow car park would be at your own risk, especially if it rains. We will have someone in the car park to help park you, however we advise you to get there early to ensure you get a space. If you are a blue badge holder please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Clubhouse: The clubhouse will be open from 1pm, and of course the bar will be open from that time as well. Please be aware that as per league and FA regulations no alcoholic drinks are to be taken outside. Everyone at the club is a volunteer so please bear with us whilst we try and cope!
“Most importantly we hope you all have a fantastic time in our beautiful location and that we all enjoy the game.”