Match Preview: South Shields vs Hednesford Town, Evo-Stik Premier Division
Hednesford Town are the visitors to Mariners Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off) as South Shields aim for a fifth successive victory.
The Mariners go into the match a point behind Evo-Stik Premier Division leaders Farsley Celtic with six games to go.
Shields have tasted defeat just twice in the league since mid-October but still have much to do if they are to make it four consecutive league titles, and joint manager Graham Fenton knows how costly any complacency could prove to be.
He insists his side are relishing the task ahead of them over the coming weeks.
Fenton said: “With six games to go, we all know what’s at stake.
“It’s safe to say that everyone in the playing and support staff is really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead in these six matches.
“We know we’re going to have to go close to winning all of them to be in with a chance of automatic promotion, as Farsley Celtic are in good form themselves and Warrington aren’t dropping too many points behind us either.
“We’ll try our utmost to provide performances with entertaining and attacking football and we are going to need everyone’s support to help us gain the advantage we need in the home games especially.”
Shields were beaten 2-1 in the reverse fixture in October, midway through a run of six defeats in seven matches.
They have been greatly improved since then and go into Saturday’s game hoping for help from elsewhere, with Farsley Celtic facing a tough trip to Buxton and Warrington away to Matlock Town.
Fenton is refusing to focus on anything other than Shields, though, and is expecting a difficult game against Hednesford.
He added: “Hednesford beat us at their place and now they’ve got to experience the same long journey we did that day.
“They’ve done well recently and are into the top 12, so we’re expecting a tough afternoon.
“For us, it’s just the same challenge as always.
“It’s going to be tight right until the end so we just have to keep our foot on the gas and continue to ask questions of the two teams up there with us.
“We’re on our home patch and we’ve got a great record at our place, so hopefully we can keep it that way on Saturday.”
Shields are expected to welcome back David Foley after he missed out on last week’s trip to Marine through illness.
Gary Brown remains a doubt, with Carl Finnigan and Barrie Smith still out with their long-term injuries.
Ben Harmison serves the final match of his three-game suspension.
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm and admission prices – which can be paid at the turnstiles – are £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s.
Discounted tickets can be bought before midnight on Friday by clicking here.