Darius Osei fired South Shields to victory in the inaugural CEFO CFS Challenge Trophy match at Blyth Spartans on Saturday.

Osei scored a goal in each half to take his pre-season tally to four goals and steer the Mariners to a 2-1 win against the National League North side.

It continued Shields’ 100% start to pre-season and was their most notable victory of the summer to date.

Full report to follow.

Pre-season silverware is up for grabs when South Shields travel to neighbours Blyth Spartans for a friendly match full of intrigue on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Croft Park will play host to the inaugural CEFO CFS Challenge Trophy tie between two sides which are heading into the season with plenty of optimism.

Shields have won all four of their friendly games to date, with Blyth also boasting a 100% record courtesy of victories over Middlesbrough’s Under-23s and North Shields.

It could be argued that both teams are facing their strongest test of the summer so far this weekend as they step up their preparations for the league campaign.

The Mariners are readying themselves for a bid for promotion from the Northern Premier League while Blyth are in the National League North – one tier higher than their visitors – and looking to make their mark after significantly strengthening their squad.

Shields manager Graham Fenton spent time with Spartans as a player and coach, and believes Michael Nelson’s men will provide his side with a valuable test.

He is looking for the Mariners to step up following Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Consett, when they created a host of opportunities but had just one Darius Osei goal to show for it.

Fenton said: “Blyth is always a tough place to go, so we’re looking forward to it.

“I was there for a long time myself so it will be good to see some familiar faces from a few years ago.

“They’ve made some good signings over the summer so it will be another step up for us.

“If we’re going to win that game we’ll have to be more clinical than we were on Tuesday.”

Both clubs recently announced partnerships with CFS and CEFO Group, signalling the group of companies’ tremendous and continued commitment to supporting non-league football in the North East.

The CFS logo is featuring on all South Shields first-team and replica shirts this season as part of an exciting link-up between the club and CEFO Group, which is also Blyth’s main sponsor.

Kick-off at Croft Park is at 3pm and admission prices are £8 for adults, £5 for over-65s and £3 for under-16s.

Supporters are strongly advised to purchase tickets in advance from Blyth’s website by clicking here.

The CEFO CFS Challenge Trophy will be on the line when Blyth Spartans host South Shields in pre-season this month.

Both clubs recently announced partnerships with CFS and CEFO Group, signalling the group of companies’ tremendous and continued commitment to supporting non-league football in the North East.

The CFS logo will be featured on all South Shields first-team and replica shirts for the 2021-22 season as part of an exciting link-up between the club and CEFO Group, which is also Blyth’s main sponsor.

The match between the sides will take place on Saturday, July 24 at Croft Park and it has now been confirmed they will be competing for silverware as the support of CFS and CEFO Group for both sides is further strengthened.

CEFO Group chief executive officer John Wood said: “What an exciting prelude to the new season for both clubs!

“Our whole reason for sponsoring both clubs is to invest in, and bring together, the community of the North East.

“What better way to do this than a pre-season challenge match between two of the region’s most popular clubs? Good luck to both Spartans and South Shields!”

South Shields FC Head of Business Development Colin Docherty said: “The support CFS and CEFO Group are showing for non-league football in our region is remarkable.

“I’m sure both clubs are united in their gratitude for the backing the companies have provided during what has been and continues to be a hugely uncertain time for sides at our level, and this game provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate our thanks.

“It is sure to be as competitive a pre-season friendly as you can get between two well-supported clubs looking to fine-tune their preparations for the new campaign and with a trophy on the line, the occasion is one to truly look forward to.”

Blyth Spartans chairman Tony Platten said: “Blyth, like South Shields, look forward to at last playing a game in front of our enthusiastic supporters and hope that the lifting of some Covid restrictions will allow this to happen.

“We know the team from CEFO and CFS from previous seasons and we hope that we can now help to give them the exposure they deserve for their support of local football.”

CFS is CEFO Group’s dedicated engineering and fabrication division, providing advanced services for multiple sectors including the global oil and gas, marine and renewables industries.

With an extensive fabrication facility based on the River Tyne, CFS also operates from strategic quayside and port locations throughout the UK.

A client-focused and innovative approach to delivering successful projects ensures that CFS remains ahead of the curve in meeting the operational needs of its clients.

CEFO Group is an independent private equity investment company that specialises in the acquisition and development of existing market-leading businesses, as well as the creation of new enterprises in sectors with high growth potential.

The group’s portfolio encompasses highly entrepreneurial companies driven by strong leadership across multiple sectors including engineering, fabrication, offshore, maritime, automotive, construction and cybersecurity.

Further exciting details regarding CEFO Group’s support for South Shields FC will be announced in the coming weeks.