Preview: South Shields vs Ryhope CW
South Shields will go in search of a seventh win in a row when they host Ryhope Colliery Welfare on Tuesday.
The Ebac Northern League Division Two fixture at Mariners Park will kick-off at 7.30pm.
The game is rescheduled from August, when it was abandoned after just five minutes of play because of a serious injury picked up by Shields winger Adam Sakr.
It promises to be an interesting match, with second-placed Shields just three points ahead of Ryhope in fifth, who have a game in hand.
Neither side has tasted defeat since September 5, when the Mariners were beaten at home by Easington Colliery and Ryhope lost heavily in the FA Vase against Darlington RA.
Both will therefore go into the fixture with confidence, but Shields manager Jon King has urged his side to stay grounded after Saturday’s terrific FA Vase win over Washington.
He said: “It’s our job to keep the lads’ feet on the ground.
“Everyone was excited after the Washington win and enjoyed their weekend, but we have to keep the players grounded.
“We’ve beaten one of the best sides in the competition, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and we need to take each game as it comes.
“We’ve got another massive game on Tuesday against Ryhope, who will be tough.
“The game against them earlier in the season got abandoned, but we know what to expect.
“They’re big, strong, and will put the ball into areas like Washington did on Saturday.
“We’ll need to defend well, but if we can do that as well as we’ve done and show the same tempo and commitment, our quality will come through.”
With the strong squad King has at his disposal, players know they cannot afford to let their standards slip.
The Shields manager added: “We need to keep our feet on the ground.
“With the squad we’ve got now, if lads don’t maintain those standards, there’s going to be someone who wants to come in and take their place.
“Hopefully there won’t be any complacency whatsoever because of the lads who are waiting and desperate to get that shirt.
“You look at the bench, and lads who couldn’t even get in the squad on Saturday, and it’s absolutely fantastic. We’ve built a strong squad, and it’s taken time.
“Everybody is vying for the shirt, so hopefully there’s no complacency and we’ll do really well with the squad we’ve got.”
Shields will still be without David Foley for the 7.30pm kick-off at Mariners Park, but it is hoped that he will be back in contention for Saturday’s game against Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
Robert Briggs, meanwhile, could be available against Ryhope after missing out recently with a toe injury.
Admission prices for the game are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.