Preview: Whickham away
South Shields will go in search of a fifth consecutive victory on Tuesday when they travel to Whickham.
Saturday’s 2-0 win over Team Northumbria at Mariners Park made it four clean sheets in a row for Shields, with goalkeeper Scott Pocklington having not conceded a goal in the last 373 minutes of play.
The third-placed Mariners face a tough test at Whickham, though, who are 10th, but just six points behind Shields with a game in hand.
First-team coach David Hall said: “Even when I was a player, Whickham was a hard place to go to.
“It’s just the surroundings and the pitch there. It slopes off from goal to goal and from side to side.
“It’s always a tough place to go, and Whickham have always had a tough team. They’ve had some good footballing sides up there as well, and they won the Vase playing in the Wearside League.
“It’ll be a hard game, as they all will. We won’t get an easy game this season.
“Teams aren’t going to play against us and roll over and die. They’re going to be rolling their sleeves up and getting about us.
“It’s nice to see now that we’re starting to put that into our game as well.
“We were good on Saturday against a team that likes to get it down and play from the back.
“We showed the other side of our football, and the bonus was we played some nice football as well. We mixed and matched it really well, and it was a really good performance.”
Striker Andrew Bulford – who marked his Shields debut with a goal against Team Northumbria on Saturday – insists the Mariners need to keep focused in the weeks ahead after beating the then-league leaders.
He said: “It’s the Northern League. You can beat the top of the league one week and lose to the bottom of the week the next, as there are no easy games.
“The lads have got to keep their heads on the job at hand, and treat every game the same as a top of the table clash. We need to keep consistent and get the wins.
“I know a lot of the lads from Whickham, as I don’t live too far from there. It’s a bit of a fortress for them, but I’ve had a bit of luck with goals there over the years, so hopefully I can continue that.”
Kick-off is at 7.30pm at the Glebe, with Shields hoping to welcome back Gilberto Chapim and Michael Turner. They remain without the injured David Foley, however.
Whickham play at Glebe Sports Ground, in Rectory Lane, which has a post code of NE16 4PF.
The journey from South Shields is about 15 miles.
Supporters looking to make the journey by car should follow the A194 through Newcastle Road and Leam Lane, before taking the A182/B1288 exit towards Washington, Birtley, Newcastle and Gateshead.
At the roundabout, take the third exit onto the B1288, before taking the second exit at the next exit onto the A1231 and then the A1 ramp to the A69, which leads to Hexham, Newcastle Airport and Gateshead.
Continue onto the A1 and take the exit towards Team Valley, and then the second exit at Lamesley Roundabout onto Banesley Lane.
Turn left to stay on Banesley Lane, and then turn right at Ouslaw Lane before continuing onto Pennyfine Road.
To complete the journey to the ground, turn left onto Gateshead Road (A692) and then right onto Sunniside Road (B6316), and if you follow that road, the ground should appear on the right.
To go by public transport, take the Metro to Central Station, and then get the 98 bus towards Whickham from Stand D in Neville Street.
There is then a two-minute walk to the ground after departing the bus at Whaggs Lane/Oakfield Road.
The main image attached to this article was captured by Peter Talbot.