Match Preview: South Shields vs Birtley Town

Match Preview: South Shields vs Birtley Town

South Shields face their final Saturday home game of the season this weekend when Birtley Town visit Mariners Park (3pm kick-off).

Shields have won their last eight games in the league, a run of form which has moved them within five victories of securing promotion.

Birtley have major concerns of their own, though, as the season reaches its climax.

They are one place outside of the relegation zone, with only goal difference currently keeping their heads above water.

Birtley have been improved recently, though, and lost out narrowly to in-form Northallerton last time out, while a recent victory over Esh Winning was vital in their survival bid.

Shields will go into the match full of confidence, though, and determined to move a step closer to Ebac Northern League Division One.

With it being Easter Saturday, an international break and the Mariners’ final Saturday home match this season, it is hoped that there will be another bumper crowd at Mariners Park.

ADMISSION

The club would truly appreciate yet another strong support at Mariners Park as the players aim to edge closer to the finish line in the battle for promotion. Admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s. Admission is paid for at the turnstiles on the day of the game.

For those who have not yet been to Mariners Park, here are some directions to the ground.

LAST MEETING

November 4, 2015 – Ebac Northern League Division Two, Birtley Sports Complex

Birtley Town 1 (Day 21) South Shields 3 (Bulford 3, Foley 12, Ramsey 15). Attendance: 320.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Young, Smith, Turner, Hall, Galpin, Briggs, Foley, Scroggins (c), Ramsey (Arca 73), Bulford (Wightman 65), Phillips (Sakr 79). Subs not used: Pocklington, Byrne.

FORM GUIDE

Last six games (in all competitions)

Birtley Town: LLDWLL (Overall league position: 20th, 20 points from 33 games)

South Shields: WWLWWD (Overall league position: 1st, 80 points from 32 games)

THOUGHTS AHEAD OF THE GAME

Jon King, South Shields manager: “We’re just looking at the next game, and won’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We’re not going to look three, four or five games down the line. All that we’ve been focussing on since the Crook game has been getting right for Birtley. We did a lot of work in training on our shooting. We’re looking forward to Saturday’s game, and hopefully we’ll be able to tick that one off before looking ahead to the next one.

“It’s a game we’re looking forward to. The lads love playing at Mariners Park, because the fans get right behind them. We’re looking forward to the game. It’s not about Birtley – it’s about us. If we’re right mentally, and can improve our finishing, I’m sure we should win the game.”

PROGRAMME

Below is the front cover of the programme for the game, featuring Ben Riding. Included within it is an interview with Ben, a feature with the Baku Mariners and a tribute to Don Robson, as well as much more. Programmes can be bought from beside the turnstiles on matchday.

The Mariner 35 Birtley COVER