Pre-Season Match Preview: South Shields vs Dunston
Dunston provide the opposition as South Shields bring the curtain down on their preparations for the 2022-23 season at 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
The Mariners are on a four-game winning streak in pre-season and recorded five victories from their seven matches in July.
Just one fixture separates them from the start of the 2022-23 Pitching In Northern Premier League campaign and it is sure to be a keenly-contested one against Chris Swailes’ Dunston.
The NPL East side finished just one place outside the play-off positions in 2021-22 and will be looking to challenge for promotion this time out.
The arrival of Shields legend Jon Shaw, joining fellow former Mariners Craig Baxter, Phil Turnbull and Ursene Mouanda in the squad, is sure to bolster their chances.
Dunston’s most recent outing saw them defeat Newcastle Blue Star 3-0 last Saturday, with a 2-1 victory over Gateshead also catching the eye in early-July.
Match minutes have been spread between the squad in pre-season, with players given the opportunity to build their sharpness ahead of the season opener against Stalybridge Celtic a week on Saturday.
However, with just one preparation game remaining, Shields manager Kevin Phillips is now honing in on the XI which will take to the field on the league’s opening day.
He said: “Everyone has had 90 minutes under their belt at least once and now I need to start focusing around the team and squad that will be lining up against Stalybridge.
“Every manager does that the week before the season starts and that’s just the way it is.
“The players were all excellent last weekend and I’ve got a massive selection headache.
“Of course, I’d rather have that than not have it so that’s a credit to the players.
“I’ll be picking a team against Dunston that I think can win the match because I want to win it and go into the season on the back of another victory and full of confidence.”
Dillon Morse, Callum Ross, Cedric Main and JJ Hooper will all miss out on the final game of pre-season through injury.
Information for supporters
Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and the turnstiles will open at 12.30pm.
Admission prices for those who would like to stand are £6 for adults, £5 for concessions, £3 for those aged 12 to 16 and £2 for Under-12s. A £2 upgrade is available for those wishing to sit. You can pay at the turnstiles by cash or card, or secure a ticket in advance by clicking here.
The Barbour Lounge and balcony will be open to all supporters on a first-come, first-served basis.
The club’s 2022-23 home shirt, as well as lots of other items, can be bought from the club shop within the main stand, which will open at 12.30pm.
A match programme, which covers all four of the club’s home pre-season friendlies, will be available to purchase at a price of £2.
Supporters who have yet to collect their season ticket can do so from the former merchandise hut, which is located next to the players’ tunnel, before the game.