Match Preview: South Shields vs Bamber Bridge
Jordan Annear could make his debut for South Shields as they host Bamber Bridge at Mariners Park on Saturday.
The fourth-placed Mariners are looking to return to winning ways after last weekend’s defeat to Hyde United and draw against Scarborough Athletic.
Shields have conceded just one goal in their opening four league fixtures and although they have yet to fully hit their stride, joint manager Graham Fenton has been satisfied with the early signs.
He said: “The game against Hyde produced a disappointing result for us after we felt we had controlled and dominated most of the first hour and just didn’t quite manage to get the lead.
“For some reason we lost our way later in the game, which Hyde capitalised on by scoring what proved to be the winning goal.
“It’s never nice dropping points at Mariners Park and that was a tough one to take having been the dominant team for large periods.
“We were more buoyed by the performance and decent away point we picked up at Scarborough on Monday.
“We were delighted with the general work ethic and application of the players and on another day, we may well have nicked it with the decent chance we had in the final minute, although perhaps that would have been harsh on Scarborough, who contributed towards a hugely competitive game.”
Bamber Bridge have proved to be difficult opponents for Shields in the past, and came from 3-1 down to clinch a 3-3 draw at Mariners Park which damaged the Mariners’ title aspirations last season.
Fenton is keen to ensure history does not repeat itself on Saturday.
He added: “We’re looking forward to what I’m sure will be another tough test, as it always is against Bamber.
“The memories of our draw against them at Mariners Park last season are still fresh.
“There were lots of goals and entertaining football on show and we hope there will be another entertaining game on Saturday, but hopefully we will concede a few less goals on this occasion.
“Our defensive record so far this season has been very, very strong, and we are looking to continue that and add a few more goals at the top end of the pitch.”
Shields remain without the suspended Jason Gilchrist, with Luke Daly also set to continue to miss out with his knee injury.
The Mariners are hoping to welcome back Adam Thurston and David Foley, though, with news awaited on captain Jon Shaw and midfielder Robert Briggs.
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm and admission prices – which can be paid at the turnstiles – are £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s.
Happy Hours will be in operation between 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and from 5pm to 6pm. Tickets can be bought in advance before midnight on Friday by clicking here.