Match Preview: Whitby Town vs South Shields, Evo-Stik Premier Division
Joint manager Lee Picton says his South Shields players must show ‘courage’ to end their poor away run in front of a large Mariners following at Whitby Town on Saturday.
The Mariners are set to be backed by hundreds of supporters at the Turnbull Ground, with five coaches having sold out and many more fans planning to make their own way to the game.
Shields have lost six or their eight away fixtures in the Evo-Stik Premier Division so far – including their last four – but are still handily placed in sixth.
They recognise the need to reverse their away form, starting with tomorrow’s eagerly-awaited trip to the seaside.
Picton said: “We’re really looking forward to the game, because certain things are just starting to click into place.
“This is the acid test for us now.
“The disparity between our away form and home form has been talked about a lot, and now we’ve got to treat it like any other game of football, and just go and do our thing.
“Whitby will be there to try to stop us doing our thing and to do their thing, but we’ve got to have the courage and the quality to go and impose our game on them.
“We’re massively looking forward to it because it feels like we’ve got a little bit of momentum now and we’ve got to do everything within our powers to make sure we continue that.”
Shields have won each of their last three games in all competitions – all at home – and scored 16 goals in the process.
It is their home form which has kept them in contention in the league, with Shields having won six out of six at Mariners Park.
Picton insists it is now time to start repaying the club’s superb away following.
He added: “We’re massively fortunate to have this level of support and it’s clear our fanbase is very excited about this game.
“I know everyone within our camp is desperate to give those fans that travel that distance to come and watch us what they deserve.
“We’ll be doing everything in our powers to pick up three points.”
Shields are one point and three places above Whitby going into Saturday’s match, having played two games less.
The Mariners are without the suspended Carl Finnigan as well as injured trio Gavin Cogdon, Barrie Smith and Anthony Callaghan.
Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground – which has a post code of YO21 3HZ – is at 3pm, and admission prices are £10 for adults, £6 for concessions and £3 for children.