Match Preview: South Shields vs Stockton Town, Durham Challenge Cup

Match Preview: South Shields vs Stockton Town, Durham Challenge Cup

South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton has told of his respect for Stockton Town ahead of Tuesday’s Durham Challenge Cup meeting between the sides at Mariners Park.

A semi-final place is at stake as the leaders of the Northern Premier League and Northern League respectively go head-to-head.

The Anchors have impressed Fenton and he is expecting a difficult encounter for his team at Mariners Park.

He said: “We know Tuesday is going to be another tough test for us.

“Stockton are having a hugely impressive season themselves and have only lost once in the league, which shows what a capable side they are.

“Myself and (head of academy and recruitment) Wess Brown watched them earlier in the season and were hugely impressed with not just the way they approached the game in terms of trying to play football the right way, but also their willingness to work hard for each other.

“It’s no surprise they are comfortably ahead in the Northern League and they’ll give us a difficult match.”

Fenton and fellow joint manager Lee Picton recorded their 150th win in 201 games in charge of the Mariners with a 2-1 success at second-placed Lancaster City on Saturday.

It was Shields’ fifth successive victory in all competitions but Fenton insists no one is getting carried away.

He added: “Myself and Lee were obviously delighted to rack up our 150th win since we have been together at the club on Saturday.

“Those kind of things can only be achieved when you work with such good players and characters, and hopefully we can rack up the next milestone of 200 wins as soon as possible.

“Everyone at the club just loves winning games of football and we will continue to try to to this as effectively as we can, but we have to keep going with the same mindset.

“Tuesday’s game is another chance for some of our young players to get more experience against that level of opposition and we’re looking forward to seeing how they cope with the higher demands that I’m sure will be placed upon them in this match.”

Shields will be without the injured Luke Daly (knee), Ross Coombe (finger), Dillon Morse (back) and Wouter Verstraaten (cup-tied) in Tuesday’s 7.30pm kick-off at Mariners Park.

Admission prices – which can be paid at the turnstiles – are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.

South Shields squad (from): Boney, Adams, Baxter, Brown, Charlton, Errington, Hunter, Wade, Gillies, Guy, Jenkins, Ross, Thompson, Alli, Hodgson, Mason.