Match Preview: South Shields vs Lancaster City, BetVictor Northern Premier Division
League leaders South Shields face in-form Lancaster City on Saturday in an intriguing top-of-the-table encounter.
Lancaster are the BetVictor Northern Premier Division’s form side, having won six of their last seven games in all competitions.
They come to Mariners Park sitting third in the table, five points behind their hosts.
Shields are looking to end a run of two league games without a victory, but they have won their last two matches in cup competitions, winning 2-0 at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion in the Durham Challenge Cup and by the same scoreline at Stalybridge Celtic in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Tuesday.
Captain Jon Shaw is expecting an intriguing match.
He said: “Lancaster are on a great run and it promises to be an exciting game.
“They come here top of the form guide and looking to close the gap on us even more.
“We know that on our day and here at home we can beat anyone, though.
“We’ve shown it time and time again, but that doesn’t mean we are going to have everything our own way.
“We have to give them the respect they deserve for being where they are in the league and on the run they are.”
Many may describe Saturday’s fixture as an early six-pointer, with the two sides separated by just five points at the top of the table.
Shaw does not see it that way, though.
He added: “It’s an important game, but I often try not to get carried away with the game in front of us because there’s always another game coming after it at this stage of the season.
“There is probably a little bit of added pressure because of the last two league matches, and because we had the 10-point gap which could have extended to 13 and now it’s down to five.
“Lancaster are the team that are hunting us at the moment.
“They’re top of the form guide and will come here, I’m sure, really positive and confident they can come and beat us.
“We’re confident ourselves having done a lot of work over the last two weeks and made adjustments which will hopefully see us put in an improved performance.
“We’ve got to take what we did especially on Tuesday into the Lancaster game.
“We can’t even give them time to get off the bus and find their feet.
“We’ve got to get them on the back foot, keep them in their half like we did in the first half at Stalybridge, and we always believe that we’re going to win.”
Shields are expected to have a strong squad to choose from, although Luke Daly remains out with a knee injury.
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm and discounted tickets can be purchased before midnight on Friday by clicking here.
Alternatively, supporters will be able to pay at the turnstiles at the usual prices of £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s.
The usual Happy Hours will be in operation at 12.30pm and 5pm, with the turnstiles to open at 12.30pm.