Match Preview: South Shields vs Nantwich Town, The Pitching In Northern Premier League
South Shields welcome Nantwich Town to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday as they aim to maintain their position at the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League (3pm kick-off).
The Mariners defeated Matlock Town 3-1 on Tuesday to take their place at the summit but with several teams close behind them, the importance of following it up with another victory is clear.
A difficult encounter is expected, with Nantwich having won 5-1 at Stalybridge Celtic in their last outing.
The Dabbers come to South Tyneside threatened by relegation and sitting third-bottom, but their away form has been impressive throughout the season and they have among the 10 best records on the road in the division.
The reverse fixture, held at Nantwich’s the Weaver Stadium in October, ended in a 0-0 draw.
The dugout view
First-team coach Wess Brown was delighted with the performance of the Mariners on Tuesday, but has warned the victory’s significance will be diluted if it is not followed up by another win on Saturday.
Brown said: “It was a dominant performance from us from start to finish, and one that had been coming from the lads for a while.
“We had one lapse in concentration which let them in, but we knew what they were going to throw at us and dealt with them really well.
“We’ve set the standard now with that performance, but the lads know that Tuesday’s win is only good if we go again on Saturday and put in another big performance.
“We need to put a good run together to stay at the top.”
Nantwich have provided several difficult tests for the Mariners in their time together in the Pitching In Northern Premier League, and Brown is expecting more of the same this weekend.
He added: “Despite what the overall league table might say, Nantwich are one of the form teams in the division.
“They have been very good away from home in particular, and we’re well aware they have some extremely dangerous players who are capable of causing any team problems.
“We have never had an easy game against Nantwich and we’re not expecting that to change this time.
“They are likely to raise their game against us, but hopefully it will be another great occasion and it is up to us to follow up our performance from Tuesday.”
The Mariners are expecting to have Nathan Lowe available after he limped off in the second half of the midweek win with a shin injury.
However, they anticipate again being without Cedric Main as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, and will definitely have midfielder Callum Ross (knee) missing for the 3pm kick-off.
Shields were backed by their highest crowd of the season on Tuesday when 2,639 supporters packed into 1st Cloud Arena.
Admission prices for Saturday’s game are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s. Cash turnstiles will be in operation but tickets can be purchased in advance until 12pm on matchday by clicking here.
In a change to previous arrangements, turnstiles 1 and 2 will be allocated for supporters who are season ticket holders or have pre-bought tickets or hospitality packages ONLY. Fans will be able to pay for entry at turnstiles 3, 4, 5 and 6, and will be directed as such on matchday. Season tickets and pre-bought tickets can be scanned at any of the turnstiles.
Happy hour pricing will be in place in the downstairs TGS bar between 5pm and 6pm, with all other bars and the marquee to be closed after the final whistle due to private function bookings.