Match Preview: South Shields vs Morpeth Town, Integro Cup
South Shields take on neighbours Morpeth Town for the second time in just over a week when they meet in the Integro Cup at Mariners Park on Wednesday.
A place in the fourth round is up for grabs in the 7.45pm kick-off, which was postponed for 24 hours because of high winds.
Last Tuesday’s BetVictor Northern Premier Division fixture between the sides ended in a 1-1 draw, with Jason Gilchrist’s opener for the Mariners cancelled out by a goal from Carl Finnigan.
Shields are looking for a return to winning ways in Wednesday’s match, having not won over 90 minutes in each of their last six games in all competitions.
They know the importance of a victory ahead of Saturday’s important league trip to Grantham Town.
Joint manager Lee Picton said: “This game marks an opportunity for us to hopefully get back to winning ways after recent disappointing results.
“From the players’ perspective, it also gives some of the lads the chance to forge their way into our thinking ahead of Saturday’s game, as the door has been left somewhat open in a number of areas of the pitch.
“Games with Morpeth are always tasty affairs and in some respects it’s just the type of match we need after what happened to us on Saturday.
“What we are obviously looking for is for the players, through their actions tonight, to show how disappointed and hurt we are and also prove how much they want to be at this club.”
Shields are hoping to welcome back Phil Turnbull from a chest injury, while Gary Brown and Josh Gillies could both be in contention to start after recent injuries.
The Mariners remain without Blair Adams, Jon Shaw, Luke Daly and Ross Coombe, though.
All those players also missed the trip to Morpeth a week ago, when Shields were left frustrated not to come away with maximum points.
Picton is looking for a similar level of performance tonight.
He added: “I feel that if we perform to the same levels we did last week we’ve got a great opportunity to win.
“We know that if we can stand up to the physical test like we did last week there’s no reason we can’t proceed through to the next round.”
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 7.45pm and admission – which can be paid at the turnstiles – is £8 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.