Preview: Consett vs South Shields – Durham Challenge Cup
South Shields make a second trip in seven days to Consett on Tuesday night as they continue their Durham Challenge Cup campaign.
The Mariners will be taking on the Steelmen at Belle View following last Wednesday’s defeat on penalties to Morpeth Town there in the FA Vase.
Tuesday’s game will be Shields’ third at Consett this season, with Jon King’s side having won 1-0 on the 3G surface against the Steelmen in the FA Vase in November.
They go into the match on the back of Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Ryhope CW in the league.
Prior to the double recent disappointment, the Mariners had won 20 games in a row, and King has challenged his side to go on another run of victories, starting at Consett.
The winners of tonight’s tie will host Gateshead in the quarter-finals.
King said: “We’ve been on a fantastic, amazing run, and we need to do it again.
“After the disappointing draw against Stokesley in September, we said to the lads that we needed to go on a big unbeaten run, and we won 20 games on the spin.
“After the game on Saturday, I said to them that we’ve got four competitions to play in, and let’s make sure we try to win all of them if we can, because we’ve got the squad to do it.
“This is just a setback for us. We said at the beginning of the season that we wanted to win promotion.
“We want to win the league and I’m sure we can do. We’ve got the squad to do it, and it’s about how we react now.”
This will be Shields’ third game in seven days, having not played a competitive fixture since December 19 before that.
King added: “The lads haven’t played a lot of football recently and they’ve wanted football. We’ve now got games coming thick and fast. There’s lots and lots of football to be played.
“Saturday was a setback, and that’s all it was. The players are a top, top bunch of lads, and I wouldn’t swap many of those players for anybody in this league. Those lads will get us where we want to be this season.”
King is expecting a tough task against Northern League Division One side Consett, who will be smarting from a 1-0 extra-time defeat to the Mariners in the FA Vase in November.
He said: “Consett are one of the top First Division teams, and the big threat they’ve got is their front three.
“We’ll go there and certainly won’t under-estimate them. They’ll want to get one over on us for knocking them out of the Vase, but our lads will be ready. They’ve had a rest for a couple of days and they’ll all be back and ready for this match.
“I’ve said to the lads, ‘let’s start another good run now’.”
Shields are without the unavailable Ibby Hassan, John Grey and Danny Carson for tonight’s 7.30pm kick-off, but hope to welcome back Julio Arca. The postcode of the ground is DH8 7BF. Admission prices are £6 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for under-16s.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.