Match Preview: South Shields vs Stalybridge Celtic, Evo-Stik Premier Division
Lee Picton has urged South Shields to crank up the pressure on the league leaders by maintaining their 100% home record on Saturday.
The Mariners are hosting Stalybridge Celtic in the Evo-Stik Premier Division on a day when four of the six sides above them are not in action.
They currently sit seventh in the table, nine points behind Nantwich Town with four games in hand.
Shields beat Stalybridge Celtic 1-0 in the reverse fixture in September in what was an extremely hard-fought contest.
Joint manager Picton knows how important it is that Shields make it nine home wins out of nine by picking up maximum points on Saturday.
He said: “It’s imperative that we continue our winning streak at Mariners as a number of teams around us at the top of the table are out of action.
“That gives us an opportunity to close the gap and apply a bit more pressure on the leaders.
“Stalybridge gave us a really stern test at their place earlier in the season though and I have no doubt that we’ll have to be at our best or close to it to get the right result.
“Fingers crossed we can get somewhere near to the levels of performance we showed two weeks ago against Matlock Town, which I felt was one of our best displays of the season.”
The Mariners go into the match on the back of a 0-0 draw at Nantwich last Saturday, which followed an impressive 5-0 home win over in-form Matlock Town.
Shields will be without long-term injured duo Anthony Callaghan and Barrie Smith, but should have an otherwise full-strength squad to select from.
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm and admission – to be paid at the turnstiles – are £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s.
The match is the Mariners’ final home game before Christmas, and as a gift to fans, all paying supporters will receive a voucher for a free drink at the turnstiles.
The voucher will entitle them to a pint of Foster’s, John Smith’s, Strongbow, the draught soft drink of their choice or a hot drink.