MATCH PREVIEW: Mossley vs South Shields, EVO-STIK North
South Shields return to league action on Saturday as they make the trip to Greater Manchester to take on Mossley.
The Mariners have played just once in EVO-STIK North since September 23 because of their exploits in the Emirates FA Cup, Buildbase FA Vase and Integro League Challenge Cup.
During that period, Bamber Bridge have replaced them at the top of the league, although Shields are just three points behind with three games in hand.
Their return to league duty will be far from easy, though, with Mossley boasting an unbeaten home record so far this season, and sitting 12th in the table.
Shields joint manager Lee Picton knows all about the threat the Lilywhites pose, but says it is imperative his side hit the ground running as they return to EVO-STIK North action.
He said: “It will be a really tough one for us.
“Mossley’s home record has been excellent so far this season, so it’s certainly not going to be an easy game.
“It’s another long journey for us, so we’ve got to prepare right, and get our levels back to where they’ve been over the last few weeks.
“We’ve got to pick up three points.
“We’re three points behind Bamber Bridge now and the lads are fully aware of that.
“We’ve got to re-focus on the league, which is our number one priority this season, and make another statement with our performance, and hopefully the result as well.”
Julio Arca is a doubt for Shields with the ankle injury he picked up in the FA Cup defeat to Hartlepool United last Saturday, but is expected to travel with the squad. Jamie Holmes is another doubt for the Mariners, but Carl Finnigan is expected to be available after recovering from illness.
Kick-off at Seel Park – which has a postcode of OL5 0ES – is at 3pm. Admission – to be paid at the turnstiles – is £8 for adults, £5 for concessions, £2 for those aged 16 to 18, and free for Under-16s.