South Shields vs Buxton: A look at Tuesday’s opponents
South Shields take on Buxton on Tuesday as the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-offs get underway.
The two clubs met twice in the league this season, with Buxton winning at their Silverlands home in October before a 1-1 draw at Mariners Park in March.
Founded in the autumn of 1877, Buxton FC – otherwise known as The Bucks – are based in Derbyshire.
The club plays at the Silverlands, which has a capacity of 4,000 – including 490 seated.
Current manager Paul Phillips took over the club alongside Steve Halford last year, although Halford left his role earlier this year, leaving Phillips to take sole responsibility for the team.
Buxton enjoyed a strong ending to the season with Phillips at the helm, finishing fifth in the table on 66 points.
They secured a play-off place by ending the season with a tremendous 6-0 win at Matlock Town and a home draw with third-placed Warrington Town.
The Bucks enjoyed an improvement this season, having finished ninth on 64 points last time out.
They are now three wins away from securing promotion, although all connected to South Shields will be hoping that dream ends tonight.
If Tuesday’s game ends level, the two teams will face the nerve-shredding drama of extra-time and, potentially, a penalty shootout.
Shields know they are in for a difficult task against a side they are yet to beat this season.
The teams faced each other at Buxton’s Silverlands ground in October, with the Bucks winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Liam Hardy and Greg Young.
It was a disappointing result for Shields, who were enduring a tough spell. That was one of six defeats in seven games in all competitions.
The sides did not meet again until March, by which time Shields had enjoyed a tremendous run and Buxton were pushing for a play-off place.
Lee Mason handed the Mariners an early lead which was cancelled out by a Nico De Girolamo header.
Shields dominated much of the rest of the game but were unable to find a way past inspired Buxton goalkeeper Theo Roberts.
He made a string of excellent saves to thwart the Mariners and ultimately earn his side a point which helped them qualify for the play-offs.
At the time Phillips was made sole manager they were nine points adrift of the play-off places with 14 games left, but he led the team to a superb end to the campaign as they pipped the likes of Gainsborough Trinity, Basford United and Scarborough Athletic to the final play-off place.