The club will play its last pre-season fixture tonight (Tuesday) when Blyth Spartans visit Mariners Park for another friendly.

It will be the Mariners’ ninth game of pre-season, and so far, five victories have been recorded, with one draw and two defeats.

Tonight’s fixture is sure to provide South Shields with one of their sternest tests yet, with Blyth having reached the third round of the FA Cup last season, and having finished just outside the play-offs in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

Mariners manager Jon King said: “Blyth’s manager Tom Wade and his assistant Lee Picton are good friends of mine, and it’s good for us to get really top opposition here.

“The way pre-season has gone, we’ve had really good opposition all of the time and have steadily improved.

“We need to improve even more, though, because Blyth are one of the top non-league teams in the North East and I think Lee has helped to take them onto another level.

“They’ve got some fantastic players, so it’s going to be a really tough test for us, but that’s what we want before the season opener against Northallerton on Saturday.”

– By Daniel Prince

You can buy a programme at tonight’s game for £1.50. It will be first-come, first-served, so make sure you arrive promptly to avoid disappointment! Below is the front cover.

The Mariner 04 Blyth Spartans COVER

The club is delighted to confirm a friendly has been arranged against Blyth Spartans at Mariners Park this coming Tuesday.

The game will be South Shields’ last of pre-season, and will take place at 7.30pm.

It is sure to be a stern test for the Mariners against Blyth, who are established as one of the leading non-league clubs in the North East.

Tom Wade’s side finished sixth in the Northern Premier League Premier Division last season, and enjoyed a tremendous run in the FA Cup, reaching the third round of the competition.

In the second round, they earned a famous win at Hartlepool United live on the BBC, while their match-winner that day, Jarrett Rivers, has since earned a move to League One side Blackpool.

Blyth’s win over Hartlepool secured them a place in the prestigious third round, where they hosted Championship outfit Birmingham City, who they led 2-0 at half-time before eventually succumbing to a 3-2 defeat.

Further updates regarding admission prices for Tuesday’s friendly will be made in due course.

The earlier-arranged friendly against Norton and Stockton Ancients has since been cancelled.