Match Preview: South Shields vs Bamber Bridge, The Pitching In Northern Premier League
South Shields are back on home soil on Saturday when they welcome Bamber Bridge to 1st Cloud Arena in the Pitching In Northern Premier League (3pm kick-off).
The Mariners’ last four fixtures have all been away from home and none of them yielded a victory.
That sequence of results has left Shields second in the table, four points behind leaders Buxton heading into the final seven league games of the season.
On Saturday they meet a Bamber Bridge side which have won one of their last nine games to fall to seventh, but they did win in their most recent outing, against Grantham Town.
The Brig also won the reverse fixture 3-0 in October, so the Mariners are well aware of the dangers they pose.
Shields manager Kevin Phillips has called for a response from his side after 1-0 defeat at Lancaster City on Tuesday.
He said: “The beauty of football is that you’ve never got long to wait to try to put things right, so that’s a positive.
“Our home form of late has been very good and we need to take that into Saturday.
“Our task is simple. We have to win football matches.
“We can’t afford to drop many more points if we want to get promoted automatically so Saturday is a massive game for us, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on the players because they know that.
“It will be a tough match but we have to get over Tuesday very quickly and respond well.”
Phillips added: “I’m a positive person, but I have to say Tuesday was probably the lowest I’ve felt since I’ve been here.
“I didn’t dwell on it too long though because I couldn’t afford to.
“All you can do is look for a response and in the main we have done that, especially in home games, so that’s what I’m looking for on Saturday.”
Shields remain without midfielder Callum Ross, who will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
They are otherwise set to have a strong squad to select from.
Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and admission prices are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s. The gates will open at 12.30pm.
Admission can be paid for at turnstiles 3, 4, 5 and 6, but tickets can be purchased in advance until 12pm on matchday by clicking here.
Supporters are encouraged to stay behind after the game to enjoy live music from Bottle Rocket, who will perform in the marquee from 5pm. The lads proved to be extremely popular on their previous visits this season.
Meanwhile, Happy Hour pricing will be in place in all open bars between 6pm and 7pm.
If you are unable to attend the game, follow live updates on the club’s Twitter channel, www.twitter.com/southshieldsfc.