Match Preview: South Shields vs Witton Albion, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

Match Preview: South Shields vs Witton Albion, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

Kevin Phillips takes charge of his first home game as South Shields manager on Tuesday as Witton Albion visit 1st Cloud Arena (7.45pm kick-off).

With tickets selling extremely well, a bumper crowd is expected to be in attendance as the Mariners aim to cut the gap at the top of the table to three points with a win.

Shields made it three victories in a row with a hard-fought 2-1 success at Warrington Town on Saturday and know the importance of picking up maximum points again.

They won the reverse fixture 1-0 in August with a Blair Adams goal, but will certainly not be taking Witton lightly having had a number of extremely competitive encounters with the Cheshire-based side over recent seasons.

The Mariners are second heading into the game, with Witton sitting second from bottom.

Manager’s view

Phillips insists Shields will give full respect to their opponents, who triumphed 2-1 at 1st Cloud Arena in the 2019-20 season.

He knows that league positions will count for nothing.

Phillips said: “We can’t and won’t get complacent, because we know Witton will be highly motivated.

“My attention switched to this game immediately after our win on Saturday, because we have to be ready for the challenge they will pose.

“Every one of our games will be difficult because South Shields is a scalp, especially at our place.

“It’s up to us to match them every step of the way and if we approach it correctly, we’ll be a hard team to beat.”

Team news

JJ Hooper is expected to miss out after limping off in Saturday’s game with a thigh injury, with Callum Ross also out.

Shields are hopeful Jordan Hunter will be available for the first time since September as he readies himself for a return from a broken arm, and Myles Boney could also be in contention after an ankle injury.

Matchday information

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday is at 7.45pm, with the turnstiles set to open at 5.30pm.

Admission prices are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s, and tickets – including seats in the CEFO Group Stand – can be purchased in advance until 3pm on matchday by clicking here. Cash turnstiles will also be in operation.

Happy Hour pricing will be in place at all bars between 5.30pm and 7pm.

Programmes are priced at £2 and feature an in-depth interview with cover star Kevin Phillips, columns from Phillips and Blair Adams, an in-depth look at Witton Albion, a catch-up with former Shields favourite David Graham, all the latest from our Foundation, Academy and Ladies team, and so much more.

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