Match Preview: South Shields vs Newcastle Benfield
South Shields host Newcastle Benfield on Saturday (3pm kick-off) as they aim to stay top of Northern League Division One.
Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Marske United left the Mariners top of the league on goal difference from North Shields.
They are unbeaten in eight games, and have won their last 19 home league matches.
However, joint manager Lee Picton has warned against complacency as Shields head into the match with Benfield, who have enjoyed some fine results so far this season.
As well as draws with Shildon and Bishop Auckland, they have beaten Morpeth Town and, most recently, Sunderland RCA, who are fifth.
Picton said: “Fingers crossed there will be another really big crowd at Mariners Park on Saturday.
“We’ve been pretty dominant at home so far this season, and we’ve just got to be careful that it doesn’t turn into complacency.
“We need to keep focussing on the things that we’re doing well and keep progressing with the things we need to work on.
“We’re confident against any side – at home especially – so we’ll be looking to pick up maximum points.”
In Paul Brayson, Benfield have one of the Northern League’s deadliest strikers.
The former Newcastle United, Swansea City and Cardiff City frontman, now aged 39, is consistently among the league’s top scorers.
Shields captain Leepaul Scroggins says the team will need to be wary of him, in particular.
Scroggins said: “Brayson always finishes as one of the league’s top goalscorers and we’ll have to keep him quiet.
“He’s not the youngest any more but he still knows where the goal is. He’s a great forward.
“They’ve picked up some great results so far. They had another great result to beat Sunderland RCA on Tuesday.
“If we turn up and play the way we know we can, though, I’m confident we will beat the vast majority of teams with the quality we have.”
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm, and admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – are £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.
Below is the front cover of the programme for the game.