Match Preview: Stratford Town vs South Shields, Buildbase FA Trophy
South Shields are bidding for a place in the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday when they take on Stratford Town.
Shields are making their longest trip of the season for the game, and will stay overnight in the West Midlands ahead of the third qualifying round tie.
They are looking for a seventh consecutive win in all competitions and to keep their dream of a return visit to Wembley alive.
The Mariners are unlikely to find it easy, though, against a Stratford side which recently enjoyed a 13-match unbeaten run.
Town are 15th in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Central Division, but their recent form marks them as a dangerous opponent.
Shields joint manager Graham Fenton is expecting a difficult encounter.
He said: “It will be another test.
“I’m sure they’ll have done their homework like we have on them.
“Hopefully we can have a good game of football.
“We’ve said on numerous occasions this season that the FA Trophy is a competition we want to go deep into.
“We’ll go into the game with real enthusiasm, belief and confidence that we can win it, but it’ll be tough.”
Fenton is pleased with the momentum the Mariners take into the game.
He said: “We’ve got momentum now and have hopefully seen the back of the poor run we had.
“The lads are together and have shown some real spirit, particularly in the Whitby and Mickleover games recently.
“We’re delighted with the group.”
Shields are expected to have a close to full strength squad to select from, but remain without long-term absentees Anthony Callaghan and Barrie Smith.
Kick-off at the Arden Garages Stadium – which has a post code of CV37 7BZ – is at 3pm.
Admission prices are £10 for adults, £6 for concessions, £2 for under-18s and free for under-12s.