Preview: South Shields vs Billingham Synthonia
South Shields are set to face a stern test of their credentials on Tuesday night when Billingham Synthonia visit Mariners Park.
If Shields pull off a ninth straight win, they will climb to the top of Ebac Northern League Division Two.
However, Synners’ recent form has been just as impressive, with six consecutive victories in the league without conceding a goal.
They have played four games less than Shields, and have 10 points fewer, so it promises to be an intriguing match at Mariners Park.
The Mariners enjoyed a memorable day on Saturday as they defeated Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 4-0 in front of a crowd of 1,045 – the club’s biggest at home for over 20 years.
The fans are making a huge difference, according to assistant manager Gary Middleton, but he knows the team will have to be at their best to pick up maximum points against Synners.
He said: “The fans keep on coming. We got 700 recently and I thought that would take some beating, but we knew it would be big on Saturday and when we looked around the barriers, it was full all the way round.
“It’s like having a 12th man, and the support they gave at the end when the players came off was terrific. It must be amazing for the players.
“Even in midweek, we’re getting 400 or 500 here on cold nights, so good on them, and long may it continue.
“We’ve got to be aware and keep doing our jobs to keep our run of form going, though.
“I thought at times we were a bit sloppy on Saturday and in second gear. We got through it and we just need to continue the run, keep the good habits up and hopefully it will continue.
“Billingham Synthonia are on a good run themselves, and are up there with games in hand, so we need to be at our very best on Tuesday.”
Shields will hope to welcome back Robert Briggs for the 7.30pm kick-off.
Admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.