Match Preview: Whitby Town vs South Shields, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

Match Preview: Whitby Town vs South Shields, The Pitching In Northern Premier League

South Shields travel to Whitby Town on Monday for an eagerly-awaited post-Christmas fixture which is set to see the Mariners take to the field for just the second time since mid-November.

Shields have been hit by a host of postponements since their 3-1 win over Gainsborough Trinity on November 20th, and their only outing since then was the 2-1 defeat to Hyde United on December 11th.

Hundreds of supporters are expected to make the journey to North Yorkshire on Monday for a meeting of two of the Northern Premier League’s top five.

Graham Fenton’s fourth-placed Mariners go into the game a point and a place above their opponents, and five points behind leaders Buxton having played one match fewer.

The stakes are therefore high at the Turnbull Ground, with Whitby having won four and drawn one of their last five games in the league.

Shields manager Fenton said: “We’re really looking forward to playing a game of football, as there has been so little played over the past few weeks for different reasons.

“We have been massively impressed with the levels the boys have shown in training and are really looking forward to seeing that translate into a positive performance.

“Whitby are having an extremely strong season, which is no surprise as they have some talented players.

“Myself and Bri (Smith, joint assistant manager) went to watch them a few weeks ago against FC United, and were impressed with them as a team, and particularly their front three, so we have to be very good defensively and cause them lots of problems at the other end.”

Shields are without the suspended Darius Osei and injured Jordan Hunter, but are hopeful Dillon Morse will be available.

Fenton has paid tribute to the big travelling support set to follow the team to Whitby.

He added: “A huge thanks go to everyone who is travelling to the game to offer their support.

“I know everyone looks forward to their football over the festive period, but the commitment our fans continue to show to support the team is massively appreciated and we’ll be trying our best to repay that with our performance.”

Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground – which has a post code of YO21 3HZ – is at 3pm, and admission is £11 for adults, £7 for students and ver-65s, £3 for under-18s and free for under-16s with a paying adult. Tickets can be bought in advance by clicking here.