Match Preview: South Shields vs Basford United, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

Match Preview: South Shields vs Basford United, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

South Shields will be looking to respond to their first league defeat of the season on Saturday when they take on Basford United at 1st Cloud Arena. 

The Mariners were beaten 3-0 by an impressive Bamber Bridge side in midweek as they suffered their only league loss in their first 13 games.

The result left them second in the Pitching In Northern Premier League table, three points behind leaders Matlock Town heading into Saturday’s meeting with ninth-placed Basford.

They go into Saturday’s game – tickets for which are available by clicking here – boosted by the return of manager Graham Fenton, who was forced to miss last Saturday’s draw at Nantwich Town and the trip to Bamber Bridge after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Mariners will be aiming for a better performance all-round against Basford but particularly in the first half, after they conceded three times in the opening 45 minutes on Tuesday to give themselves too much to do after the break.

Joint assistant manager Brian Smith said: “Fents will be back with us and we have to make sure the lads learn from Tuesday.

“They know they weren’t good enough and need to work hard together, which didn’t happen enough in the first half at Bamber Bridge.

“We need to bounce back and are desperate to.

“We were all hugely disappointed after Tuesday and rightly so, but we’re all massively up for the game against Basford because we know how important it is to respond well.”

Basford have had a mixed start to the season, having gone winless in their opening six league games before winning each of the next five.

They were beaten 1-0 at home by FC United of Manchester in midweek but remain a side hotly-tipped to challenge for promotion this term.

The Nottinghamshire-based side are sure to provide Shields with a difficult test, but Smith is eager to stress that the Mariners should remain content with the way they have started the season and there are plenty more positives to draw on.

He added: “There are loads of positives.

“The lads have been excellent and have only lost once and drawn three times in the first 13 games.

“They’ve been superb but we have to learn from Tuesday, move on and start a new run, hopefully starting on Saturday.”

Shields are hoping to welcome back captain Blair Adams after he recovered from a groin injury and illness, but are without striker Ntumba Massanka as he sits out the first game of a three-match suspension.

Long-term injured duo Joao Gomes (knee) and Jordan Hunter (arm) remain unavailable for selection.

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. Supporters will be able to pay at the gate but cash payments only will be accepted. Those looking to pay by card can purchase tickets in advance by clicking here.

Supporters will be able to take advantage of a Happy Hour between 12.30pm and 1.30pm in all bars, and between 7.45pm and 8.45pm – coinciding with the start of the England game – in the TGS Bar and Barbour Lounge.

During those times, pints of Birra Moretti will cost £3, with Strongbow, IPA and a house vodka double with gun mixer reduced to £2.50. A small bottle of red wine will be priced at £3.

Meanwhile, in the new outdoor kiosk situated next to the 3G pitch, pints of Coors and Carling Black Fruit Cider will be reduced to £2 while stocks last.

The turnstiles will open at 12.30pm.