Match Preview: South Shields vs Whitby Town, The Pitching In Northern Premier League
South Shields face their final regular season home league fixture of the season on Monday when they welcome Whitby Town to 1st Cloud Arena (3pm kick-off).
The eagerly-awaited Easter Monday clash could prove pivotal, with Shields going into their penultimate game in the Pitching In Northern Premier League level on points with leaders Buxton, who hold the advantage on goal difference.
The Bucks are hosting Matlock Town at the same time Shields are in action, so the destination of the title – and one automatic promotion spot – could look a lot clearer come 5pm.
The Mariners go into the meeting with Whitby with confidence after JJ Hooper’s 89th minute winner at FC United of Manchester on Saturday.
They are expecting a difficult encounter, though, against a Seasiders team in need of the points themselves as they chase a play-off place.
The reverse fixture was held in December, with Hooper scoring twice for Shields in a 2-2 draw.
Mariners manager Phillips said: “Saturday’s win means nothing unless we follow it up with another one on Monday.
“Whitby will make it difficult for us and are a good team with something to play for, so we’ve got to be on it.
“We recovered well on Sunday and are feeling well-prepared for the game.
“It’s a quick turnaround from Saturday and we’re fortunate to have a squad big enough to give us options to rotate, but you have to consider whether you want to change it too much.
“There are big decisions to make but I’m glad I’ve got them and the players are chomping at the bit to start, because it’s another huge match for us.”
Shields remain without midfielder Callum Ross, but manager Kevin Phillips hopes to have an otherwise full-strength squad to select from.
The turnstiles will open at 12.30pm and admission prices are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s.
Supporters are encouraged to stay behind after the game, with entertainment to be provided in the marquee by karaoke followed by a DJ.
Meanwhile, Happy Hour pricing will be in place in all open bars between 1pm and 2pm, and from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.
If you are unable to attend the game, follow live updates on the club’s Twitter channel, www.twitter.com/southshieldsfc.