Pre-Season Match Preview: South Shields vs Scarborough Athletic
Scarborough Athletic are the familiar visitors to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday as the Mariners take part in their fifth game of pre-season (2pm kick-off).
With just three weeks until the big kick-off in the Pitching In Northern Premier League, this is the latest opportunity for Kevin Phillips and his players to demonstrate progress.
They go into the match in fine shape after scoring four second half goals to seal a 4-1 win away to Northern League side Ashington on Tuesday.
The Mariners are expecting a stern test against Scarborough, who are preparing for life in National League North after earning promotion through the play-offs last season.
Boro are led by Jonathan Greening – a former team-mate of Phillips at West Bromwich Albion – who enjoyed an excellent first campaign in management last time out.
Phillips is satisfied with the progress made in pre-season to date.
He said: “We’ve had a bit of everything in pre-season so far.
“We’ve got a lot of new players bedding in and the lads are getting to know each other and getting to know their different styles.
“It takes time and it’s not going to happen overnight, but you can see the quality we’ve got in the squad. When we turn it on, we’re a force.”
On the challenge posed by Scarborough, Phillips added: “We want to win and we sort of owe them one, although it’s against one of my best mates in football in Jonathan Greening. It will be a good test for us.
“We’ve just had a home game against a League Two side (Barrow) and at times you wouldn’t have known who the League Two team was.
“Scarborough will bring different qualities but I always focus more on what we do while respecting the ability of the opposition.
“If we play like we did in the second half on Tuesday and a bit more, I believe we’re a match for anyone, and we’ll be looking for more progress in the right direction on Saturday.”
The Mariners are expected to remain without JJ Hooper (hamstring), Dillon Morse (groin), Cedric Main (knee) and Callum Ross (knee) for the meeting with Scarborough.
Information for supporters
Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 2pm and the turnstiles will open at 12pm.
Admission prices for those who would like to stand are £8 for adults, £6 for concessions, £4 for those aged 12 to 16 and £3 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 is appealing for supporters to help it create a fun, family-friendly atmosphere which is enjoyed by all.
Segregation will not be in operation, but extra security and procedures will be in place.
Please be respectful of others and ensure our long-standing positive relationship with Scarborough is strengthened.
Any misconduct will not be tolerated and will be swiftly dealt with.
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.