Match Preview: South Shields vs Hyde United, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

Match Preview: South Shields vs Hyde United, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

South Shields host Hyde United on a historic day at 1st Cloud Arena as the Mariners make their return to action following an enforced two-week break.

Shields have been left frustrated on each of the last two weekends, with the trips to Stafford Rangers and Ashton United both postponed after the team had set off on its journey.

The new CEFO Group Stand – which will eventually seat more than 900 supporters – will partially open for the first time on Saturday.

Almost 700 fans will be able to take their seats for the game, which kicks off at 3pm.

Those who do so will watch a Shields side aiming to climb to the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League table after a frustrating fortnight.

Graham Fenton’s men are fourth in the table, two points behind leaders Buxton and with a game in hand on the two teams immediately above them.

The players have impressed Fenton with their performances in training since the Mariners’ last outing, a 3-1 win over Gainsborough Trinity three weeks ago.

And he is backing his side to channel the positivity provided by the opening of the new stand into another positive display against Hyde.

He said: “We’re really excited about the opening of the new stand and I’m sure that will only add to the brilliant atmosphere we’re fortunate to play in front of every week.

“It’s going to be great looking across from the dugout and seeing the stand full of South Shields supporters, and we hope it will greatly improve the matchday experience for many of our fans and give us an opportunity to welcome even more people into the ground.

“The players are eager to get back on the pitch after the frustrating last couple of weeks, and I’ve been really pleased with the levels they’ve shown in training.

“It’s looking very tight at the top of the table and we need to make sure that at this critical time of year we get our performance levels right to pick up as many points as we possibly can going into the new year.”

Hyde endured a difficult start to the season but things have started to pick up under former Stockport County boss Jim Gannon, who has led his team to two consecutive victories.

Fenton added: “Hyde will come into the game with confidence and their last two results show they’re in good form themselves.

“I know Jim will have them very well-organised defensively so it will not be easy to score and create goals, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Shields suffered a blow ahead of the game when it was revealed Jordan Hunter had suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken arm which will keep him out until at least mid-January.

The Mariners also remain without the suspended Darius Osei for Saturday’s game at 1st Cloud Arena, but on-loan Brandon Taylor could make his debut.

Admission prices are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s. Fans can pay at the gate or buy tickets in advance before 12pm on Saturday by clicking here.

The usual Happy Hours will be in operation from 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 6pm to 7pm, when the following prices will apply:

Birra Moretti pint: £3

John Smith’s pint: £2

Foster’s pint: £2.50

Strongbow and Dark Fruits pints: £2.50

IPA pint: £2.50

Small bottle of wine: £3

House vodka double with gun mixer: £2.50