Match Preview: South Shields vs Hyde United, Buildbase FA Trophy
South Shields are bidding to keep their dream of a return trip to Wembley alive on Saturday when they host Hyde United in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The Mariners go into the match in good form, having won each of their last four games in all competitions without conceding.
The last time they failed to win was in a league trip to Hyde last month, when they fell to a 4-1 defeat.
Joint manager Graham Fenton says his side are determined to put that right at Mariners Park as they bid for a place in the third qualifying round.
Shields were defeated at this stage of the competition at Stafford Rangers last season.
Fenton said: “It’s no secret that we want to have a decent run in the FA Trophy this season.
“We felt a bit let down last year with the performance at Stafford when we went out quite early in the competition.
“We don’t want to do that again.
“Hyde beat us earlier this season at their place which gives us extra motivation, but the main motivation for us is that we want a really strong run in the Trophy this season.”
The Mariners will be boosted by the return of Carl Finnigan, who received a two-match suspension after being sent off in the league loss at Hyde.
Shields will be confident on the back of their four consecutive victories, and thanks to their superb home form this season.
They won 1-0 at Whitby Town last time out to end a run of four defeats in a row on the road.
Fenton was delighted with the character shown by his team at the Turnbull Ground.
He added: “It was such an important win for us.
“A lot has been made of our away form, but last Saturday was so pleasing.
“We were against a good team in horrible conditions, and managed to show we can dig in for a full 90 minutes.
“The two away wins we had before that this season were slightly different victories, and in this one we had to be patient.
“It was so pleasing to show that side of our game.
“We’ve shown time and time again at Mariners Park when the weather is nice and on a perfect pitch we can really play football.
“That is the side of the game we need to show ourselves and everyone else we can do really well in.”
Gavin Cogdon has returned to training after recovering from a hamstring injury, but it is not clear at this stage if he will be risked tomorrow.
Shields remain without long-term injured duo Barrie Smith and Anthony Callaghan going into the 3pm kick-off.
Admission prices – which can be paid at the turnstiles – are £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s.