Pre-Season Match Preview: South Shields vs Pontefract Collieries
South Shields face their penultimate test of pre-season on Saturday when Pontefract Collieries visit 1st Cloud Arena (3pm kick-off).
The Mariners turned on the style in securing their fourth victory of the summer away to Hebburn Town on Tuesday, and now face the Hornets’ divisional rivals.
Shields had originally been due to come up against Shildon on this date, but the Railwaymen were forced to withdraw from the fixture and were quickly replaced by the Colls.
The Pitching In Northern Premier League East side, founded in 1958, finished 12th last season and are managed by Craig Rouse.
Shields manager Kevin Phillips praised his side after Tuesday’s 4-0 win at Hebburn, which was their third victory in succession.
He is delighted with the competition for places which has emerged during pre-season, and feels the players can step it up further this weekend.
He said: “There’s huge competition in the squad now with the experience and quality we have.
“Everyone is competing for a place and even the young players are coming in and doing very well.
“The biggest thing for me is keeping everyone fit, so we have to get the balance of training and match minutes right for players.
“We’ve got a game behind closed doors against Sunderland on Friday as well as Saturday’s match, so there will be an opportunity for players to get 90 minutes under their belts.
“Everyone is giving me a welcome selection headache at the moment because we’re scoring plenty of goals and keeping clean sheets, which is all I can ask for.”
Shields remain without the injured JJ Hooper, Dillon Morse, Cedric Main and Callum Ross, with Will Jenkins also expected to miss out after picking up a knock in Tuesday’s game.
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 seat. 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 can be bought from the club shop within the main stand, which will open at 12.30pm. After a hugely successful launch event on Friday, there is currently no availability in adult XL or adult 2XL, with stock also now very low in the children’s XS size.
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.