Northallerton Town Preview

By Daniel Prince

South Shields will go in search of a sixth straight win when they host Northallerton Town at Peterlee tomorrow (Tuesday).

It marks a quick return fixture in Ebac Northern League Division Two, with Northallerton having won 2-1 when the sides met in August.

That night, Shields had just 12 available players, while they pushed Northallerton all the way before falling to defeat.

Manager Jon King has challenged his players to “step up again” at Eden Lane as they look to keep their fine run of form going.

He said: “We need to step up again.

“I wasn’t at the away game against Northallerton, but we only had 12 available players that day.

“We’ll be comfortable going into the game now with the squad we have got, as we certainly didn’t have a full squad the last time we played them.

“Everyone who was at the game seemed to think we deserved a point anyway, and I don’t think Northallerton will be expecting us to be as good as we are.”

Nevertheless, King expects Shields to face a major challenge to their recent unbeaten run tomorrow.

He believes Northallerton will challenge for promotion this season, and insists he is not getting carried away with his own team’s form.

King added: “Northallerton have recently signed a couple of good players, and their manager Peter Mulcaster thinks they will be up there for promotion.

“We aren’t getting carried away with our form, but I think if we play to the best of our ability, we’ll have a great chance of winning. If we don’t play to our best, we’ll lose.

“Hopefully, we’ll keep the run going and get another three points.

“I said beforehand that the three games this week would be a big test, and the lads have passed the first one by beating Chester-le-Street.

“Now we need to try and back that up on Tuesday and Saturday against Heaton Stannington, and it would be brilliant if we could get nine points from the three games.”

Lee Maitland will miss out again for Shields in the 7.30pm kick-off as he is on holiday, while defender David Halliday is unavailable due to work commitments.

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