South Shields vs FC United of Manchester
South Shields take on FC United of Manchester on Tuesday as both sides look to kickstart their league campaigns.
The pair were the Pitching In Northern Premier League’s top two when the 2019-20 season was brought to a premature conclusion but have saved much of their exploits so far this term for the Emirates FA Cup, with both qualifying for the first round.
They each go into Tuesday’s fixture at 1st Cloud Arena sitting in the bottom half of the table but after morale-boosting victories over higher-league opposition in the cup on Saturday, confidence is not expected to be an issue for either team.
It is a rematch of March’s classic encounter which saw the Mariners win 5-3 in what proved to be the final match of the campaign, in front of an incredible crowd of over 3,000.
Current restrictions mean this game will be played in front of just 300 spectators, with Shields season ticket holders in bubble 2 (those with a surname which starts between M and Z, as well as those who opted out of the Radcliffe fixture earlier this month) eligible to attend, along with FC United supporters who bought tickets from their club’s allocation.
FC United remain unbeaten in the league but have drawn four of their first five fixtures, while Shields are 12th having won two and drawn three of their seven league matches.
It could prove to be an important encounter.
Shields joint manager Lee Picton said: “FC United come here boasting an unbeaten record so far this season and we cannot afford for the match to be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.
“Both sides enjoy playing the game in what I would consider to be the right way, and for the lucky 300 who are in attendance I’m in no doubt that it will be another action-packed encounter with plenty of goalmouth action, hopefully more in their box than ours.
“There was an unbelievable atmosphere at Saturday’s game against FC Halifax Town, despite the fact we were only allowed to admit 300 supporters.
“The energy and passion that they transmitted to the team was incredible and it was hugely appreciated by everyone at the club, and without a doubt the players themselves.
“Hopefully in stages of Tuesday’s game we can give the supporters that are here the encouragement they need to react in exactly the same way and we can bounce off each other to help inspire another victory.”
Kick-off in Tuesday’s game is at 7.45pm and the stream coverage will get started at 7.15pm. This is the link to follow to sign-up for and access the stream: https://bit.ly/2Trmexe