Preview: Esh Winning vs South Shields
South Shields will look to extend their winning streak to 10 on Saturday when they travel to Esh Winning.
Three points at West Terrace would maintain the Mariners’ position at the top of Ebac Northern League Division Two, where they climbed to after Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Billingham Synthonia.
They will be taking on an Esh Winning side which sits second-bottom on seven points, but assistant manager Gary Middleton insists they will not be taken lightly.
He said: “It’s important that we keep our feet firmly on the ground and take it a game at a time to keep winning.
“That’s what the message is in the dressing room. We’ll be taking Esh Winning very seriously.
“That’s our next challenge, and we need to perform and be at our best.
“We’ve got the squad to rotate things if we need to, so everyone is on their toes.”
Shields have kept clean sheets in eight of their last nine games, and Middleton feels their strength at the back is down to a full team effort.
He added: “The defenders have been outstanding, as has Scott Pocklington in goal, but we defend as a team right from the front.
“We need that work ethic to continue on Saturday.
“They’re a great bunch of lads and they all bounce off each other.
“There are some big players in there, and some young lads as well, and it’s working well at the moment.”
Shields are expected to be backed by a strong travelling support again, including those who have booked a place on a 50-seater coach. It will depart Mariners Park at 1pm, and then start the return journey at 6pm, and tickets on it cost £6. There are a handful of places available – call 0191 454 7800 to book.
For those travelling by car, West Terrace, in Waterhouses, has a post code of DH7 9BQ.
The journey from South Shields is about 24 miles, and should take up to 45 minutes.
Supporters looking to make the journey by car should follow the A194, Al (M), A167 and A691 until reaching Front Street, in Burnhope.
If they then continue on Front Street for a little over five miles, they will reach the destination.
Kick-off is at 3pm, and Shields hope to welcome back Leepaul Scroggins and Robert Briggs after they took a full part in training on Thursday, while Julio Arca is in contention to start the game after coming on as a substitute on Tuesday.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.