Match Preview: Scarborough Athletic vs South Shields, FA Trophy
Saturday promises to be another landmark occasion for South Shields when they play their first game in the Buildbase FA Trophy since the club reformed in 1974.
The Mariners are travelling to Scarborough Athletic’s Flamingo Land Stadium for the second time this season for the preliminary round tie.
The first meeting between the sides saw Shields run out 3-1 winners against Boro in August thanks to two goals from Luke Sullivan and one from Matty Pattison.
Since then, Scarborough are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions – winning nine of those – and have matched the Mariners in reaching the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Four of Boro’s last five games have ended in 4-1 victories, so they are clearly in fine goalscoring form heading into their rematch with Shields.
The Mariners are in good form themselves, with 13 wins from their 14 competitive games so far this season.
Their most recent victory came against Goole on Tuesday, with late goals from Gavin Cogdon and Julio Arca sealing the three points and cementing their place at the top of EVO-STIK North.
Joint manager Graham Fenton is pleased with the way his side have started the campaign.
He said: “When we went to Scarborough in the league, it was a tough game, so we’re looking forward to facing them again.
“We’re in a good run of form, so are going into the game with confidence.
“To have taken 27 points from our first 30 available in the league is a magnificent achievement, and we’re still in the FA Cup.
“If you’d said that before the season started, we’d have snapped your hand off.
“Our focus now goes to the FA Trophy, and hopefully we can carry our FA Cup form into that as well.”
The Mariners won three cup competitions last season – as well as the league – and haven’t tasted defeat in a knockout match since a 3-1 reverse at Marske United in the FA Cup last August.
Joint managers Fenton and Lee Picton are set to have a strong squad to choose from at the Flamingo Land Stadium, although Alex Nicholson appears unlikely to play any part due to injury.
Although this is the current South Shields club’s first taste of FA Trophy action, the previous club – which became Gateshead in 1974 – did enjoy a level of success in the competition.
In the club’s final season, 1973-74, they reached the semi-final, losing out over two legs to Morecambe, who went on to beat Dartford in the final at Wembley.
Shields had felt they were in with a strong chance of progressing to the final, as they had beaten Morecambe 6-0 and 7-1 in the league meetings between the teams that season.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm, and should the tie be level after 90 minutes, it will go to a replay at Mariners Park on Tuesday.
Admission prices at the Flamingo Land Stadium – which has a post code of YO11 2JW – are £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for children aged 11 and under. It’s pay at the turnstiles.
The winner of this tie will travel to Farsley Celtic in the first qualifying round of the competition on Saturday, October 28.
If you’re unable to make it to the game, click here for live radio commentary.