MATCH PREVIEW: Farsley Celtic vs South Shields, Evo-Stik Premier Division
South Shields are bidding to make it two wins from two on Tuesday when they travel to Farsley Celtic in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Both teams kicked off their season with a victory on Saturday, with the Mariners defeating Witton Albion 2-1 while Farsley won 2-0 at Warrington Town.
It promises to be a tough encounter for newly-promoted Shields against a side which qualified for the play-offs last term.
The two teams faced each other in three tight cup ties last season, and Shields joint manager Lee Picton is expecting a similarly difficult match tonight at Throstle Nest.
He is hopeful, though, that Saturday’s win will have settled any pre-season nerves.
Picton said: “Farsley won 2-0 on Saturday, so they will go into this game with a level of confidence.
“They’re a good side who we know well from last season, and it’s going to be tough for us.
“Myself and Graham (Fenton) have got a lot of thinking to do.
“We’ve stepped up a level this season and maybe we have to be a bit more tactically flexible than we were last season or the season before.
“We’ll weigh things up and have to look at how we manage the game from the sidelines as well.
“Hopefully Saturday will have settled a few nerves about being at the football club for some players and the expectations that we set from within the dressing room.
“Improvement is the number one word looking ahead to Tuesday’s game.
“If we can improve on Saturday’s performance, we’ll have a good chance of getting a result.”
Picton wants Shields to cut out the errors after being left slightly underwhelmed by the Mariners’ performance on Saturday.
He added: “We were nowhere near our best, but I don’t know many teams who do play their best in the first game.
“I’m not trying to make any excuses, but we’re still trying to mould a group together that has got a lot of new faces in it, and that’s going to take a little bit of time.
“We made lots of mistakes on Saturday, but if you can pick up three points when you make those mistakes, it’s a real bonus.
“We were nowhere near our best and I thought we were really flat at times, but we found a way to get three points and that’s massively encouraging in itself.”
Shields go into Tuesday’s game without the injured Jon Shaw, Barrie Smith and Anthony Callaghan, while Robert Briggs and Lee Mason are doubts.
Matty Pattison and Darren Lough – who were suspended on Saturday – will return to contention for the 7.45pm kick-off at Throstle Nest, which has a post code of LS28 5BE.
Admission prices are £9 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for accompanied children aged under 16. The turnstiles are located at the main entrance to the ground, adjacent to the club car park.
Farsley Celtic have advised that the clubhouse will be open from 6pm, with the turnstiles to open at 6.30pm.
There is a large car park located at the main entrance of the ground, with car parking free to all supporters on matchdays. Supporters are asked to avoid parking on the streets around the ground.
Coaches will also be parked in the main club car park. For disabled parking, email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a convenient parking space.
IMAGE: Kev Wilson.