Match Preview: Shildon vs South Shields
South Shields face what looks almost certainly their toughest test of the season so far on Wednesday when they travel to champions Shildon (7.30pm kick-off).
The clash will see the second and third-placed sides in Northern League Division One go head-to-head.
Shields are second and hold a five-point advantage over their opponents, but Shildon have three games in hand.
That means it will be all to play for at Dean Street when the two teams meet.
The Mariners also travel to FA Vase holders Morpeth Town on Saturday, and assistant manager Martin Scott is looking forward to an “exciting” few days.
He said: “They’re all big games. I’ve seen Shildon two or three times this season, and we know how impressive they are.
“They are a good team and they have been up there the last few seasons, so we know it’s going to be a tough one.
“t’s exciting. We’re about to play against two or three teams who are up there fighting it out.
“We got a great result in the end on Saturday against Ashington and we need to take that positivity into the Shildon game.”
Striker Gavin Cogdon scored Shields’ winner in the 3-2 success against Ashington on Saturday, and he says the players should relish the battle ahead at Dean Street.
He said: “The games are coming thick and fast. We turned our attention to Shildon straight after the game on Saturday.
“I know loads of the Shildon players and I know how good they are. Hopefully that brings the best out of us.
“We’ve just got to go there, believe in how well we’ve been playing and focus on the positives.
“You want to play big games as a player. You should be wanting to test yourselves against them.”
Shields hope to welcome back Jon Shaw and Leepaul Scroggins for the game, but Danny Carson is doubtful and Louis Storey remains out.
Kick-off at Dean Street – which has a post code of DL4 1HA – is at 7.30pm, and all support for the Mariners would be greatly appreciated.