Preview: South Shields vs Alnwick Town
Alnwick Town are the visitors to Mariners Park on Saturday as South Shields look to hit the mark of 20 victories in a row.
It will be the Mariners’ first fixture in two weeks following a number of postponements, and the club is hopeful the game has a good chance of going ahead following minimal rainfall over recent days. That decision will, of course, lie with the referee.
Shields will be taking on an Alnwick side which twice came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture in August.
Since then, Adam Laidlaw has taken over as manager at the club, which sits 17th in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Mariners manager Jon King insists his side will not be taking their visitors lightly in the 3pm kick-off.
He said: “Alnwick have made a few signings recently, including the young lad Jonathyn Quinn, who was at Newcastle until last year.
“We dropped points to them earlier in the season after we gave two sloppy goals away, so we certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.
“We’re trying to create a gap again between us and the teams below us, because Ryhope and Chester-le-Street are both not far behind us.
“It’s also a chance for us to make it 20 wins in a row, and will be another game under our belt if it is on.
“We’ve gone two weeks without a game, and we really want this to go ahead.”
Ahead of Tuesday’s postponed FA Vase tie with Morpeth Town, a good number of volunteers helped out on the pitch in an attempt to make it playable.
King has paid tribute to them, and said: “We’d like to thank all the fans for their support. We keep on singing their praises, and rightly so.
“A lot of them have given up their time recently to help with the pitch, and that is greatly appreciated. We can’t thank the fans enough.”
First-team coach David Hall has also insisted Shields will show Alnwick lots of respect.
He said: “It’s another opportunity to get another win on the board.
“We won’t treat Alnwick any differently to our other opponents. We’ll treat them with respect, as we do all of our opponents.
“We’ll show them respect and will have to earn the right to beat them.
“I’ve read that Alnwick have made a few signings recently, and they’ve changed manager since we last played them.
“I’m sure they’ll be different to how they were when we played them early in the season. When we played them in August, we should have won.
“We were done with two set-pieces, so we will have to be on our toes in those situations.”
Shields will be without Lewis Galpin and Lewis Teasdale for the 3pm kick-off at Mariners Park, but should welcome back Julio Arca, Daryll Hall, Adam Sakr and Jonny Wightman.
Admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.