Match Preview: South Shields vs Warrington Town, The Pitching In Northern Premier League Play-Off Semi-Final

Match Preview: South Shields vs Warrington Town, The Pitching In Northern Premier League Play-Off Semi-Final

South Shields take on Warrington Town on Tuesday in the semi-final of the Pitching In Northern Premier League play-offs (7.45pm kick-off).

The sides finished second and fifth respectively in the regular season, and will now do battle for a place in next Monday’s play-off final.

Both league meetings between the sides ended in entertaining victories for Shields, who secured a 3-2 win at 1st Cloud Arena in September and a 2-1 triumph in the reverse fixture in January in what was Kevin Phillips’ first game in charge of the Mariners.

Manager’s view

Phillips experienced both sides of the play-off coin in his playing days, from the agony of missing out on promotion to the Premier League with Sunderland via a penalty shootout to the ecstasy of scoring the winner as Crystal Palace reached the top flight.

Shields are two wins away from a promotion of their own and have home advantage courtesy of their higher final league position.

Phillips said: “I’ve had plenty of experience of play-offs in my career, good and bad.

“We’ve got home advantage, but in play-offs that doesn’t count for a lot because it’s about who turns up on the night, who is brave and who plays to their gameplan.

“You have to play the game and not the occasion.

“Warrington will fancy their chances but it’s up to us as individuals to get ourselves ready for the challenge.

“We know we can beat anyone on any given day.”

Shields and Warrington have history when it comes to the play-offs.

They met in the Pitching In Northern Premier League play-off final in 2019, when Warrington came from behind to win 2-1.

Due to a league restructuring, that victory did not earn the Yellows promotion to National League North and they were instead forced into a super play-off final against King’s Lynn Town, which they suffered defeat in after extra-time.

A big crowd is expected at 1st Cloud Arena on Tuesday as the two teams look to take a big step towards promotion.

Phillips feels the fans could play a big part.

He added: “We’ve got to stick together, because we all want the same thing and we’ve got a fantastic opportunity in front of us.

“Our destiny is in our own hands, and we know that if we win two matches we’ll be promoted.

“First and foremost, we’ve got to put in a great performance and get the result we need on Tuesday.

“It won’t be easy and they’re huge matches, but I’m sure our supporters will be there in their thousands and get behind us.

“We’ll be looking to put on a show for them.”

Team news

Phillips is set to have a strong squad to choose from, with just long-term absentee Callum Ross expected to be missing.

Matchday information

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 7.45pm and tickets are available in advance by clicking here, while there will also be cash turnstiles. Admission prices – which can be paid at the turnstiles – are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s. The gates will open at 5.30pm.

The other semi-final also takes place on Tuesday, with Scarborough Athletic at home to Matlock Town.

Should either game be level after 90 minutes, the tie will go to extra-time and then penalties.

If you are unable to attend the game, follow live updates on the club’s Twitter channel, www.twitter.com/southshieldsfc.