Preview: Bishop Auckland vs South Shields (FA Vase)
South Shields are set to have a near-full strength squad to choose from for Friday’s FA Vase tie at Bishop Auckland.
Striker Lewis Teasdale is suspended, but Mariners manager Jon King is expected to be able to call upon the rest of his squad for the 7.45pm kick-off at Heritage Park.
Shields will be backed by a large travelling support, with more than 130 fans having signed up for coach travel to the game.
The Mariners will be attempting to bridge a one-division gap, with Bishops currently mid-table in Ebac Northern League Division One, but go into the game in extremely confident mood.
They have won their last 13 games in all competitions, with the most recent victory coming on Tuesday as a last-gasp goal secured a 2-1 Durham Challenge Cup triumph at Chester-le-Street.
Shields manager King said: “Tuesday was a tough game against a good side.
“A few lads hadn’t played for a while, so it was always going to take a little bit of time to get back into the swing of it.
“We rested a few players and still come away with a good result against a good side.
“That has set us up for a big occasion against Bishop Auckland. We’re possibly going into it as underdogs, like we did against Washington.
“The lads will need to raise their game again. We’ve watched Bishop Auckland on a few occasions and they’ve got some very good players, but although it will be tough, if we show anything like we can, we’ll get the result we need.”
King is expecting the large travelling support to make a big difference for the Mariners.
He added: “Even on Tuesday, we must have had between 150 and 200 there on a cold, October night.
“It’s great to have all of those fans travelling down on the buses, and we’ve also got to remember all of those who will be making their own way there. I’m sure we’ll have a massive following.
“Hopefully we’ll get a result, and I’m sure we will do if we play anywhere near like we can.”
David Foley scored twice in Tuesday’s win, and is relishing competing in the FA Vase.
He said: “I think a few of us had our heads on the Friday game on Tuesday. It would be very nice to go far in this competition.
“I didn’t know much about the competition until I came here, but it offers a chance to play at Wembley, so that’s enough motivation for anyone.
“The fans are going to travel in their numbers and they have been brilliant here from the word go. I’m sure we’ll take a lot of supporters down, and they will be a big help.”
Kick-off at Heritage Park is at 7.45pm, while the supporters’ coaches will depart Mariners Park at 5.30pm. For enquiries, please call 0191 454 7800.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.