Match preview: South Shields vs Chester-le-Street Town

Match preview: South Shields vs Chester-le-Street Town

South Shields host promotion rivals Chester-le-Street Town on Saturday in a crucial game at Mariners Park (3pm kick-off).

The Mariners have won their last three games in Ebac Northern League Division Two, scoring 10 goals in the process, to maintain a six-point lead at the top.

However, Ryhope CW are breathing down their necks, and sit in second, just six points behind Shields with a game in hand.

Chester-le-Street, in fourth, are also among the chasing pack, and are 12 points off the Mariners heading into the encounter at Mariners Park.

Both sides suffered disappointment in the quarter-finals of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup in midweek, with the Cestrians beaten 3-1 at home by Northallerton Town while Shields lost 2-1 at Billingham Synthonia.

This will be their fourth meeting this season, with the Mariners having won on all of the previous occasions.

PRE-MATCH

Before the game, the bar at Mariners Park will screen the 12.45pm kick-off in the Premier League between West Ham United and Sunderland. During the match, there will be money off certain drinks, with pints of Foster’s, John Smith’s and Strongbow down to £2, while Birra Moretti will be £2.50.

ADMISSION

The club would be delighted to see yet another strong support at Mariners Park for what is a very important game. 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.

LAST MEETING

November 10, 2015 – League Cup, Mariners Park

South Shields 2 (Byrne 68, Hall 80) Chester-le-Street Town 1 (Heslop 75). Attendance: 747

SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Galpin, Turner, Hall, Riding, Arca, Smith (Wightman 87), Scroggins (c), Byrne (Ramsey 78), Foley, Phillips. Subs not used: Young, Briggs, Bulford.

FORM GUIDE

Last six games (in all competitions)

South Shields: LWWWWW (Overall league position: 1st, 65 points from 27 games)

Chester-le-Street: LWDLWL (Overall league position: 4th, 53 points from 27 games)

TOP SCORER (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)

South Shields: Warren Byrne (19).

Chester-le-Street: Scott Heslop (25).

THOUGHTS AHEAD OF THE GAME

Jon King, South Shields manager: “Chester-le-Street are a direct team who get the ball forward very quickly. That will keep our defenders in the game, because they will have to defend a lot of long balls. It will be tough. They have the league’s top goalscorer in their ranks and are up near the top of the table for a reason. It was extremely disappointing to lose on Wednesday at Billingham Synthonia, and we need to get back to winning ways in this one.”

PROGRAMME

Below is the front cover of the programme for the game, featuring Barrie Smith. The programme can be bought just inside the turnstiles on matchday.

The Mariner 30 Chester-le-Street COVER