Preview: South Shields vs Thornaby
Thornaby are the visitors to Mariners Park on Saturday as South Shields look to extend their winning run to 12 games.
The Mariners moved eight points clear at the top of Ebac Northern League Division Two with an impressive 3-0 victory at second-placed Chester-le-Street Town on Tuesday.
However, they are expected to face a tough test against Thornaby, who along with Shields are the only team in the league unbeaten away from home.
Because of that, Mariners manager Jon King insists nobody at the club will be complacent heading into the fixture.
He said: “Tuesday was a really important win, because Chester-le-Street have had a fantastic start to the season and are the side closest to us in the table.
“It was a fantastic performance to keep our winning run going, but now we’ve got another difficult one on Saturday.
“We’re just taking it a game at a time. The lads aren’t getting carried away and neither am I.
“The Second Division is a really, really tough league with some good teams in it, and a lot of others are finding their feet as well.
“I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m looking at the next game, which is a big one on Saturday against a good side in Thornaby.
“I’ve seen them on more than one occasion this season and they’ve got some good players.
“I’m sure it’ll be a good match. Everybody wants to beat South Shields, so we have to be on our game every week, which we have been recently and will need to be again on Saturday.”
With Premier League sides Sunderland and Newcastle United not playing until Sunday, there is a prospect of another bumper crowd at Mariners Park.
That comes after an estimated 450 Shields fans made the trip to Chester-le-Street in midweek.
King added: “I was over the moon on Tuesday that we not only got the result, but we also put in a very good performance to send the fans home happy.
“There’s momentum here now. People in the town are getting behind us and telling their friends, and more people are coming.
“To get that many fans following us to an away game is outstanding, and I was over the moon that the lads not only gave them a result, but a top performance as well.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the support we’re getting, and if we could get another big crowd in on Saturday, it would only help us.”
Shields will welcome back Barrie Smith from suspension for the 3pm kick-off at Mariners Park.
Admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.
Meanwhile, there are still places left on the supporters’ coach which will take fans to Friday’s FA Vase match at Bishop Auckland. To book a place, it costs £7 per person, and the coach will depart Mariners Park at 5.30pm before returning from Heritage Park at 10pm. To secure a seat on the bus, please enquire at the merchandise stall on Saturday or call 0191 454 7800.
The matchday programme for tomorrow’s game features defender Ben Riding on the front cover (below) after he made his 100th appearance for South Shields on Tuesday. Get yourself a copy at the ground!
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.