Seaham Red Star Preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields travel to free-scoring Seaham Red Star tomorrow (Saturday) as they look to return to winning ways in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Amid a difficult run of fixtures, Shields have gone five games without a win, and they are set to be strongly tested again tomorrow.
Seaham are fifth in the table, and have recorded wins by margins of 8-4, 6-0, 5-1 and 12-1 over the last month and a half.
Shields manager Jon King believes Mark Collingwood’s side should be classed as one of the favourites for promotion this season, but says he has full faith in his team’s ability to come away with three points.
King said: “It’s going to be a tough game against Seaham, because in my eyes, they are one of the favourites to go up.
“They have got a lot of good players, especially up-front, and Colly has done an excellent job there.
“The main reason they didn’t go up last year was because they had points deducted for fielding an ineligible player, which I don’t even think was their fault.
“We’ll be going there with a few lads missing and I’m sure no-one will be expecting us to win, except for me and the lads in the dressing room.”
Jake Cunningham will come into contention for Shields after completing his return to the club on Thursday. He is expected to replace Steven Hubery in goal, with the goalkeeper ruled out for around a month with a broken toe.
Shields will also be without suspended captain Barrie Smith, as well as Aron Burn, Adam Sharp, James Pickering and David Halliday, for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off at Seaham Town Park.
King added: “The squad is being tested, but it gives lads who haven’t had a lot of game-time recently a chance to prove why they should play more often.
“Seaham are top of the form table, and although they had a slow start, they are now scoring goals for fun.
“The pitch there is fantastic. It’s a carpet of a football pitch, so I’ll be telling the lads to play to their strengths.
“We like to get it down and play, so the pitch should suit us.”
Shields also face a league trip to Team Northumbria on Monday, while they host Norton and Stockton Ancients at Peterlee next Saturday.