Preview: Chester-le-Street vs South Shields
South Shields are ready to take on arguably their most important league game of the season so far on Tuesday when they travel to Chester-le-Street Town.
The match will see the top two teams in Ebac Northern League Division Two go head-to-head, with the Mariners currently holding a five-point advantage, albeit having played a game more.
They go into the fixture in confident mood, having won their last 10 matches in all competitions.
However, manager Jon King insists nobody at the club is getting carried away.
He said: “It’s a very big game, with both teams going really well at the moment.
“It’s 10 wins in a row for us and things couldn’t be going much better, but we have to guard against complacency.
“Chester-le-Street are a tough team and have proved themselves as one of the best in the division so far this season.
“It’s still very early days in the season, and we aren’t getting carried away with the last few weeks and our current position. We need to keep focused on the games in front of us and not look too far ahead.
“It would be great to get another win against a team around us, as we did against the likes of Team Northumbria and Billingham Synthonia. It would be another big result if we could get the win.”
Chester-le-Street have had a superb start to the season, and lost at home for the first time on Saturday as Tow Law Town came from behind to win 2-1.
King has been impressed with the Cestrians’ form.
He added: “They are doing really well. They haven’t brought in a lot of players since last season, and the nucleus of their team has been together for two or three seasons.
“They have a good work-rate and work hard for each other. They also have a couple of good forwards, and we’ll need to be on top form again to beat them.”
Shields have kept nine clean sheets in their run of 10 wins, and King said: “Our record of clean sheets recently is fantastic, and that is what our form has been built on.
“This has to be up there with the most wins and clean sheets in a row for the club.
“If we keep a clean sheet, we’re always going to be very confident of winning the game. The goals are being shared throughout the team, which is great to see.”
Kick-off at Moor Park is at 7.30pm, and Shields will be without the suspended Barrie Smith.
Ahead of the game, Chester-le-Street have issued some important parking information.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.