It’s Day Eight of the SSFC Advent Calendar – and you now have the chance to enter the competition to win a signed 2020-21 home shirt.

Today’s feature is kicked off by Arron Thompson, who delivers his message for supporters in the tweet below.

Between now and Christmas Eve, you will be able to enter a range of competitions to win prizes courtesy of the club and several of its sponsors.

The latest item up for grabs is a signed 2020-21 home shirt.

You have until 9am on Sunday to submit all of your four answers together via email to

The first question, asked by Jason Gilchrist, was: Which club did Jason Gilchrist score his first competitive goal for South Shields against?

The second question, asked by Alex Kempster, was: Which club did Alex Kempster join South Shields from?

The third question, asked by Darius Osei, was: Which club did Darius Osei score his first goal for South Shields against?

Today’s fourth and final question is: Which club did Arron Thompson have a loan spell with earlier this season?

Later on Saturday, we will announce the winner of a voucher for a haircut, deluxe shave and products from club sponsor Stoney’s Barber Shop. We would like to thank Stoney’s for their continued support.

We are also currently highlighting our third charity of the month, Autism Able.

This is a fantastic South Shields-based charity which provides positive educational, social and work experiences for all learners enabling them to develop personally, vocationally and academically within an autism-friendly environment supported by passionate, caring and experienced staff with high standards and expectations.

To find out more about Autism Able, click here. To donate financially, click here.

Over the month, donations will also be encouraged towards the club’s charitable Foundation, which works with hundreds of children each week and does such fantastic work within our community.

To support the Foundation with a donation, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for Day Thirteen – and the launch of another competition – tomorrow!

South Shields survived a spirited Mickleover Sports fightback as a double from Sefton Gonzales helped them to a thrilling 5-2 win at Mariners Park.

First half goals from Arron Thompson and Nathan Lowe were cancelled out in five second half minutes by the visitors, who had won their previous three league matches.

Shields recovered brilliantly from that setback, though, with Gonzales striking his first two goals for the club late on while Jason Gilchrist also got on the scoresheet.

The result ensured the Mariners remained three points clear of Lancaster City at the top.

It was a testing afternoon for both sides in blustery conditions but Shields quickly seized control and thought they had taken the lead in the 13th minute when Gonzales bundled in a right-wing cross from Craig Baxter.

The goal was ruled out, though, after the referee adjudged Gonzales had fouled Mickleover goalkeeper Elias Rouse, much to Shields’ frustration.

The wind meant both goalkeepers had to be on high alert, particularly to the danger of efforts from long range, and Myles Boney showed he was up to the task when he kept out a strike from Ricky Ravenhill.

The Mariners broke the deadlock midway through the first half as Thompson netted his first senior goal for the club.

He drifted in a cross from the right which Gonzales tried to get on the end of before the ball dropped into a dangerous area, with Rouse unable to prevent it finding the bottom corner. Many suspected Gonzales had got a touch on the cross but he later confirmed he hadn’t, leaving Thompson to celebrate his first goal.

Shields were pressing their opponents brilliantly and carved Mickleover open again within two minutes of the restart before Baxter fired well over from the edge of the box.

The second goal arrived in stunning fashion on 32 minutes as Lowe received the ball back from a short corner before curling a fantastic effort into the top corner from the left, leaving Rouse with no chance.

The Mariners thought they had scored a third on the stroke of half-time after some sublime skill by Thompson and a composed finish from Gilchrist, but the flag went up for offside.

Shields appeared in complete control and had opportunities to go three goals up in the early stages of the second half.

Gilchrist flicked the ball wide after a terrific pass from Gonzales and saw a further shot saved by Rouse, who also produced a tremendous fingertip stop to deny Baxter.

Mickleover began to threaten a comeback after that but struggled to breach the Shields backline, with Boney saving a mis-hit effort from Greg Young, Gary Brown denying Stuart Beavon with a superb block and Thompson also blocking from the same player.

Shields’ threat was still there at the other end and they almost put the game to bed when Lowe dinked an effort just wide after impressive link-up with Gilchrist, while Robert Briggs also had a shot blocked.

A six-minute spell from the visitors stunned the Mariners as the scores were levelled heading into the closing stages.

After Andrew Wright had fired just over from the right of the area, Mickleover pulled one back as Patrick Webb headed in from close range following a Boney save from Beavon.

The equaliser came from a left-wing corner which dropped to Wright on the right of the box before he lashed the ball home.

Shields’ response was emphatic, though, as the crowd got fully behind their team.

Substitute Blair Adams delivered a terrific cross from the right and a controlled overhead kick from Gonzales found the bottom corner as he registered his first goal for the club before celebrating with a backflip.

Mariners Park erupted again 12 minutes before the end as Shields restored their two-goal lead when Lowe delivered a magnificent free-kick from deep on the left which was delicately touched home by Gilchrist for his 12th goal in 12 games.

Gonzales put the seal on it in the 89th minute as he headed home at the back post following some superb play on the left by Lowe, who was a menace throughout.

It turned into a terrific win for the Mariners ahead of Tuesday’s Integro Cup trip to Dunston and a vital league fixture at second-placed Lancaster City next Saturday.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Baxter (Adams 66), Shaw (c), Brown, Turnbull (Ross 77), Thompson, Briggs (Verstraaten 66), Gilchrist, Lowe, Gonzales. Subs not used: Morse, Mason.

Goals: Thompson (22), Lowe (32), Gonzales (75, 89), Gilchrist (78).

Attendance: 1,459.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.

SSFC Academy graduates Arron Thompson and Callum Guy have continued their progression by signing first-team contracts for the 2019-20 season.

The deals will see them stay with the club for at least another year as they bid to build on an extremely positive last 12 months.

Thompson joined the Academy a year ago and went on to make three senior appearances last season, most notably in the Durham Challenge Cup final against Shildon when he produced a polished and composed display in midfield.

Guy linked up with the club when the Academy was formed two years ago and has made a significant impact since then, consistently impressing at Academy level and also when called upon by the first-team. He currently has nine senior appearances and two goals to his name.

Both players have now graduated from the Academy set-up to the first-team squad, and joint manager Graham Fenton is pleased they have committed their future to the club.

He said: “We’re delighted that Arron and Callum have agreed to sign for the club for at least the next year.

“Both players have thoroughly deserved their opportunity to join the first-team squad through their performances over the course of their time with the Academy.

“We feel both have progressed excellently over the last 12 months and we have high hopes that over the next year they will be really pushing towards first-team places.”

Thompson and Guy were part of the Shields team which won the National League Under-19 Alliance League Cup last season, beating Basford United on penalties at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium.

Thompson scored in what was a 2-2 draw while both netted in the penalty shoot-out, with Guy dispatching the winning kick.

Fenton insists that the work has only just begun for the midfield pair, though.

He added: “They both know they’ve still got work to do to get there but they have the attitude and mentality to put the effort in to get their rewards.

“They will further boost the competition for places in midfield areas and they know that the players who are ahead of them at the moment are very, very good players, but I’m sure they will give it everything they’ve got to progress and earn their right to play in the first-team.”