Preview: Whitby Town vs South Shields
The Mariners will complete their pre-season programme on Saturday when they take a trip to the seaside to take on Whitby Town.
The Mariners have won one, lost one and drawn three of their friendlies so far this summer.
Saturday’s game is a repeat of last year’s pre-season fixture between the sides, which Shields deservedly won 1-0.
Both teams went on to have impressive campaigns, with the Mariners winning promotion and four trophies, while Whitby finished just outside the play-offs in the EVO-STIK Premier Division.
Among the Blues’ ranks is former Shields midfielder David Carson, and they will be looking to push on this season to mount another promotion bid.
Mariners joint manager Lee Picton is confident it will be another strong test for his side as they complete their preparations for next Saturday’s EVO-STIK North opener at Trafford.
He said: “We went to Whitby last pre-season and it was a tough test for us.
“They had a really good, positive season and just missed out on the play-offs.
“I’m sure it will be a very difficult test for us again.”
Shields go into the game having suffered their first defeat of pre-season on Wednesday, going down 3-1 to a Sunderland AFC XI at Mariners Park.
Despite the result, Picton was pleased with many aspects of the Mariners’ performance.
He added: “I was really impressed with the Sunderland side. They’ve obviously got some very talented young players.
“They tested us in lots of ways, and I’d say that was definitely our toughest test so far in pre-season.
“I was really pleased, and so was Graham, with a lot of aspects of Wednesday’s performance.
“We had talked about a few things since the game four days earlier against Blyth Spartans, and I thought the lads responded really well to some of the things we talked about and worked on.”
Shields will be without Julio Arca and Gavin Cogdon (holiday commitments) for the match at Whitby, while Jordan Blinco is expected to miss out with the injury he sustained in the first half of the Sunderland friendly.
Please note the earlier than usual kick-off time of 1pm. Admission is £6 for adults, £3 for concessions and £2 for under-18s, while under-16s are free with a paying adult.
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