National League North sides Blyth Spartans and York City will visit 1st Cloud Arena after South Shields added two more fixtures to their pre-season schedule.
Blyth are the Mariners’ next opponents, with the match between the teams to take place at 3pm on Saturday, September 5.
York, meanwhile, will travel to Shields on Tuesday, September 8, with a 7.30pm kick-off.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side will complete their pre-season programme with the previously announced away fixture against another National League North outfit, Gateshead, on Saturday, September 12, with that match having now been brought forward to a 1pm kick-off.
Tickets for the Blyth and York matches will go on sale this week, with both visiting clubs to receive their own allocation of tickets to sell.
Tickets for both games are priced at £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s, although SSFC 2019-20 season ticket holders who waived their right to a partial refund will be able to claim a free ticket for the Blyth match, and priority on ticketing for the York fixture.
This further underlines the club’s gratitude to those who made such a magnificent gesture at a time of great uncertainty, and fulfills our promise of providing the option of a free ticket to two pre-season matches for all those who did so.
Those 2019-20 season ticket holders who waived their right to a partial refund can claim their Blyth tickets and buy their York tickets over the phone only between 9am and 5pm on Tuesday. The offer of free tickets to the Blyth game will expire after 5pm on Tuesday. The number to call on Tuesday is 0191 454 7800, but supporters are asked for patience as a high volume of calls is expected.
From 9am on Wednesday, remaining tickets for both matches will be made available to all other South Shields season ticket holders at a cost of £6 per game for adults, £4 per game for students and over-65s, and £2 per game for under-16s. At that stage, the tickets will be available online as well as over the phone, although the phone lines will only be open between 9am and 5pm and purchasing online will be encouraged.
Any remaining tickets will go on general sale from 9am on Thursday, with a capacity of 600 in place for both matches.
The club has also been approached by supporters regarding potential ticketing arrangements for the trip to Gateshead, but there is nothing to report at this stage. Clubs at step 2 and above in the non-league pyramid are not currently permitted to welcome spectators to games but should this change ahead of the Gateshead match, an announcement will be made.
Thank you for your continued support.
Ursene Mouanda has joined Blyth Spartans on loan for the entirety of the 2019-20 season.
Mouanda, who signed for South Shields a year ago, made 26 appearances last term.
The midfielder will now be given the opportunity to continue his footballing education with Lee Clark’s National League North side.
South Shields joint manager Lee Picton said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for Ursene to get some much-needed experience and game-time at a very good level.
“We will be monitoring his progress throughout the season and he remains very much a South Shields player who we rate very highly.
“We look forward to seeing his development and wish him all the best for his time with Blyth Spartans.”
South Shields and Blyth Spartans played out a 2-2 draw for the third time in succession in an entertaining friendly at Mariners Park on Saturday.
The teams had also shared four goals during their preparations for the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.
They could not be separated again on South Tyneside on Saturday as Blyth came from two goals down in the first half to take a share of the spoils.
Shields joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton were left to reflect on a great deal of positives as their side more than matched their National League North opponents for long spells.
It was Spartans who came out of the blocks the quicker, though, with Dan Maguire finding the net within a minute. Fortunately for the Mariners, the flag was up for offside.
Shields broke the deadlock in the ninth minute after some superb play by the ever-lively Josh Gillies on the right flank.
He ran down the wing before clipping a low ball into the area for a trialist, who took a touch and picked out the bottom corner to delight the home crowd.
The Mariners enjoyed a dominant spell after the goal and went close on a number of occasions.
Former Shields loanee Pete Jameson did a terrific job in the Blyth goal to keep his side’s deficit at one, clawing away a Craig Baxter cross before denying a trialist and then watching a Darren Lough effort whistle past his post.
He could do nothing to prevent the hosts doubling their lead on 20 minutes, though, as the pressure paid off.
Gillies was again at the heart of it as he delivered an impressive cross from the right which Carl Finnigan nodded past Jameson to notch his second goal of pre-season.
Blyth pulled one back in the 33rd minute when the prolific Maguire was played in on goal and made no mistake as he slotted past Liam Connell.
Alun Armstrong’s team enjoyed their best spell after gaining a foothold. Former Shields players Alex Nicholson and Jamie Holmes combined for their next chance, with the latter denied by blocks from Baxter and Phil Turnbull.
Holmes curled a later effort wide and Connell did well to save from Nathan Buddle, but Spartans got back on level terms a minute into first half stoppage time when a Connell parry fell to the feet of Michael Liddle, who blasted the ball into the net.
Shields recovered their composure early in the second half, and went close when Baxter played in Finnigan before the striker saw his effort blocked by Buddle.
Jameson did brilliantly to keep Blyth level just before the hour mark when a trialist was played through on goal and his effort was superbly kicked away by the goalkeeper.
Robert Briggs was introduced at half-time by Fenton and Picton as he made his first appearance of pre-season.
He almost marked it with an early goal of the season contender as he beat two men in midfield before beating Jameson with an audacious chip which just cleared the crossbar.
Opportunities were harder to come by in the closing stages as both teams made a number of changes, but the Mariners almost won it in stoppage time.
Chris Hunter chipped a superb ball over the top for Michael Colquhoun, who fired just over as the sides were forced to settle for a draw.
Shields will hope to build on their positive afternoon when they take on Hebburn Town at Mariners Park on Wednesday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell (Stephenson 76), Baxter (Hunter 61), Lough (Trialist 46), Shaw (c) (Bexton 61), Morse, Turnbull (Trialist 61), Gillies (Judson 76), Trialist (Cowburn 76), Finnigan (M Colquhoun 76), Trialist (Briggs 46), Trialist (Smith 53).
Goals: Trialist (9), Finnigan (20).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.