Match Preview: Gainsborough Trinity vs South Shields, BetVictor Northern Premier Division
South Shields are hoping for a triple fitness boost ahead of their important trip to in-form Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.
The Mariners are two points clear at the top of the BetVictor Northern Premier Division heading into the clash with 16th-placed Gainsborough.
Trinity have been much-improved since the appointment of Curtis Woodhouse as manager in October 2019 and only recently saw an 11-match unbeaten run come to an end.
Shields will be hoping to get the better of them as they bid to return to winning ways and strengthen their hand in the race for promotion.
They could be boosted by the returns of Dillon Morse and Darius Osei tomorrow, while Blair Adams is also back to full fitness after coming on as a substitute in last Saturday’s draw against Buxton.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side won 2-0 in the reverse fixture at Mariners Park, but know the size of the task which awaits them when they travel to Lincolnshire.
Fenton said: “We always get a tough game against Gainsborough.
“Their new manager has got them going and they’ve had some decent results recently.
“We’re not expecting an easy game but you can say that across this league.
“Even when you play the teams in the bottom three you get a really difficult game.
“We have to raise our levels every single week to try to ensure we win three points.”
Saturday’s game could also see the return of Arron Thompson from a head injury, while Lee Mason is being assessed as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
A number of sides near the top of the table have squandered points over recent weeks, including Shields, and Fenton is appealing for greater consistency as the season reaches its business stage.
He added: “Last week against Buxton was disappointing because we can keep talking about other teams slipping up but we’ve been slipping up ourselves.
“We’ve got to get our own house in order and pick up three points regularly.
“We’ve won four points in our last two games so we can say that but our form at Mariners Park in particular has got to be better.”
Kick-off on Saturday at the Martin & Co Arena – which has a post code of DN21 2QW – is at 3pm.