South Shields travel to Marske United on Saturday as the sides battle for a place in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Marske are the only team to have beaten the Mariners since the start of pre-season after emerging with a 3-2 victory in a friendly at 1st Cloud Arena in July.
Both outfits have gone on to have impressive starts in their respective league campaigns, with Shields top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division and Marske second in the tier below, having won six of their seven league matches.
They will be competing for a place in the third qualifying round on Saturday, which would put them just two further wins away from a spot in the first round of the prestigious competition.
The Mariners reached that stage for the first time since the club’s reformation in 1974 last season, and motivation is high to achieve a similar run this year.
Manager Graham Fenton, though, knows that to keep those hopes alive his team will need to overcome a fine opponent at Mount Pleasant.
He said: “We know Marske are a good side and they were impressive when we came up against them in pre-season.
“They’ve started well in the league and there are no surprises there.
“A lot of our fans who watched our friendly against them will have probably tipped them to win their league.
“They’ve got some really good players if you give them space to play in, they’ve got some pace up top and a bit of physicality.
“They’ve got a bit of everything and we know it’s going to be tough, but if we turn up like we did on Tuesday we’re going to cause them problems as well.”
Shields won 4-0 at Radcliffe on Tuesday as they moved two points clear at the top of the league.
It was a performance full of promise, with their first half display particularly eye-catching.
Fenton was pleased with what he saw in Greater Manchester, but further improvements are being targeted.
He added: “We felt we should have been two or three goals up before we scored the first one because we were playing some great stuff and creating some good opportunities.
“We had been a little wasteful in front of goal but then we just seemed to click and showed some ruthlessness.
“We took our chances really well in that period to effectively kill the game off before half-time.
“We’ve just got to tidy up a little bit because if we had shown a little more quality and composure, the scoreline could have been even more comfortable.”
Shields go into Saturday’s game without Nathan Lowe (hamstring), Jordan Hunter (arm) and Joao Gomes (knee).
Kick-off at Mount Pleasant – which has a post code of TS11 7BW – is at 3pm and admission prices are £10 for adults, £5 for over-65s, 16-18-year-olds and students, and £3 for under-16s.
Tickets can be bought in advance by clicking here. Although this is not an all-ticket game, Marske are strongly advising supporters to purchase tickets before the day.
Entry into the ground for those with advance tickets will be via the yellow gate, where your ticket (either on your phone or printed) will be scanned.
For those paying on the day, there will be two turnstiles in operation – one taking cash only and one accepting cash and card. Stewards will be present to direct supporters to the correct turnstile.
The turnstiles will be open from 1.30pm.
Car parking within the main Marske United car park will be strictly limited to players, management, club officials, match officials and those requiring disabled parking.
There will be overflow car parking in the old tennis courts, which are available to anyone. In addition, there is free parking in the village in the car park opposite the doctor’s surgery and at the Co-op.
There will also be parking available within Errington School, at a cost of £3 per car. Money raised will go towards school funds.
Supporters are advised that there is a good possibility that parking attendants may be patrolling the area around the ground. Therefore, it is strongly advisable to park responsibly and legally.
Coaches can allow supporters to alight near to Errington School/Southfield Road. The coaches will then be directed to park at H Jarvis, which is about half a mile away.
Within the ground
As well as the normal can bar (accepting cash or card) and Neil’s Kabin (accepting cash or card), there will also be marquees at the Southfield Road end of the ground (to the left as you enter the ground), which will contain a further can bar, a stall selling hot and cold food and cold drinks plus a stall selling curry and rice. These facilities will be cash only.
The clubhouse will be open from 1pm to 6pm, serving draught Carling and Caffreys as well as a wide selection of bottled lagers plus cans of cider and Guinness.
Marske railway station is approximately 250 yards from Mount Pleasant. There are trains every half hour from Darlington to Marske.
Please note that due to the Northern Athletics Road Relays, the Coast Road from Redcar to Marske will be closed from 11am to 5pm.
Tickets for the Emirates FA Cup trip to Marske United on Saturday, September 18 are on general sale.
The first qualifying round tie is not expected to be an all-ticket fixture, but Marske are strongly advising those planning to attend to purchase a ticket in advance to ease queuing on matchday with a large crowd expected.
Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for under-16s, with the match at Mount Pleasant set to kick-off at 3pm.
To order your ticket, please visit http://marskeunitedfc.ktckts.com.
South Shields have been drawn away to Marske United in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The trip to Teesside is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 18th.
Shields progressed to this stage of the competition with a 3-1 win at Marske’s Pitching In Northern Premier League East rivals Shildon on Saturday.
Marske, meanwhile, were 6-0 winners over Seaham Red Star at their Mount Pleasant home as they continued their impressive start to the season, having won three and lost one of their four league games so far.
Shields and Marske last met in pre-season, with the Teesside outfit winning by the odd goal in five after an entertaining encounter.