Match Preview: South Shields vs Newton Aycliffe (Durham CC semi-final)
South Shields face arguably one of their biggest games in recent years on Tuesday as Newton Aycliffe visit Mariners Park in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup (7.30pm kick-off).
The Mariners will be up against an in-form Aycliffe side which sits third in Ebac Northern League Division One, and the winners will take on either West Auckland Town or Whickham in the final.
Shields go into the game in good spirits after Saturday’s 2-0 league victory over Chester-le-Street Town, but are now eyeing cup success.
They reached this stage of the competition with victories over Crook Town, Chester-le-Street Town, Consett and Gateshead, and they now have just one hurdle to overcome to reach the final.
However, Aycliffe present what many would say is the Mariners’ toughest test so far this season, and they can be sure to be up for the battle.
Shields beat them 4-1 in a pre-season friendly in August, but both teams were very different back then as they tested things out ahead of the new campaign.
Saturday’s crowd of 903 ‘inspired’ the South Shields players, according to left-back John Grey, and another bumper attendance could also be crucial in what is expected to be a tight game. Admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s. Admission is paid for at the turnstiles on the day of the game.
August 1, 2015 – Friendly, Mariners Park
South Shields 4 (Buchanan 36, Foley 47, Scroggins pen 74, Guerin 76) Newton Aycliffe 1 (Laidler 18).
SOUTH SHIELDS: Young, Smith, Heptinstall (Galpin 46), Hall (c) (Heptinstall 75), Buchanan, Ball (Melvin 75), Sakr (Talbot 54), McMahon, Guerin, Phillips, Foley (Kane 57) (Scroggins 67).
Last six games (in all competitions)
South Shields: WLWWWW
Newton Aycliffe: WLWWWW
TOP SCORER (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)
South Shields: Warren Byrne (19).
Newton Aycliffe: John Campbell (18 – including 8 for Jarrow Roofing).
THOUGHTS AHEAD OF THE GAME
Jon King, South Shields manager: “It’s a massive game against one of the best teams in the First Division. Newton Aycliffe have got good players all over their team. We need to be at it, we need to perform well and we need to show a different side to our game, because it will be a really tight and aggressive game. We will need to be men, and we’re looking forward to it. If we ever needed the South Shields public to get behind us, it’s for this game. We had a disappointment in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup against Billingham Synthonia last week, but this is the chance for the club to get to a final. We haven’t been to a final for six seasons, so we really hope that the South Shields public will get behind us yet again and get themselves down to Mariners Park. We’ll certainly need as much support as possible.”
Below is the front cover of the programme for the game, featuring David Foley. The programme can be bought just inside the turnstiles on matchday.