Match Preview: South Shields vs Droylsden, EVO-STIK North
A minute’s applause will be held in memory of Jak Fada ahead of Saturday’s EVO-STIK North fixture between South Shields and Droylsden at Mariners Park.
The 10-year-old Mariners fan tragically passed away on November 6, and a further tribute is also planned in the 10th minute of the game, with another minute’s applause.
The match will see Shields return to league action as they bid to overtake Bamber Bridge at the top of the table.
The Mariners have won 11 of their 12 games in the league so far this season, and are one point behind leaders Bamber Bridge, who have played four more matches.
Joint manager Lee Picton is looking for his team to bounce back from last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Stafford Rangers in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
He said: “Over the last 14 months, we haven’t had to bounce back from defeats very often.
“When we have had to do that, we have done it well.
“That’s what we need to do again, without doubt, on Saturday.”
Picton has been pleased with the Mariners’ results in the league so far this season, but is looking for an improvement in performances.
He added: “We have set targets already this season as to how many points we feel we will need to be successful at the end of the campaign.
“We’re approaching a third of the way through the season now, and if we can replicate the results we’ve had so far across the rest of the campaign, we will be where we want to be at the end of it.
“I’m really looking for us to start putting some performances together as well as results, because there’s still a lot more to come from these players.”
Droylsden are eighth in the table, with 24 points from 13 games.
Picton said: “They pose quite a potent attacking threat, and we’re aware of that.
“We’re going to have to rediscover some more defensive discipline to deal with them.
“We’ll also need to manage the game well on a tactical level.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to combine that with some cutting edge at the top end of the pitch.”
Kick-off is at 3pm and admission – to be paid at the turnstiles – is £8 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.
The mascots for Saturday’s game (pictured below) are Theo Whickham, aged 10 (pictured with close friend Jak Fada) and Nathan Dix, aged 11.