South Shields face FC United of Manchester on Tuesday as they bid to maintain their 100% start in the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

The Mariners have won their opening three league fixtures heading into the 7.45pm kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena.

Their latest victory came at Witton Albion on Saturday, with Blair Adams continuing his excellent scoring streak by notching the only goal of the game. It was his third goal in as many matches.

Tuesday’s match will see Shields come up against an FC United side which has begun the campaign with a win, a draw and a defeat in a difficult set of fixtures.

The last meeting between the sides was in October 2020, with Josh Gillies scoring the Mariners’ winner in a 1-0 victory just weeks before the season was curtailed.

They also faced each other in a memorable encounter in March 2020 which Shields won 5-3 in front of a crowd of more than 3,200 at 1st Cloud Arena. It proved to be the final game of the 2019-20 season before the first lockdown forced football to be halted.

Another big attendance is expected on Tuesday as two of the best-supported clubs in the Pitching In Northern Premier League go head-to-head.

Shields manager Graham Fenton feels the fans could play a major part in what is expected to be a closely-fought match.

He said: “Seeing crowds back in such big numbers has been one of the highlights of the start to the season.

“The fans make such a huge impact at all levels of the game and it has been fantastic to welcome ours back because they are always so supportive of the team.

“I’m sure the players will need our supporters’ help on occasions during the game to spur them on to what we hope will be a fourth consecutive victory.”

Fenton is expecting Neil Reynolds’ FC United to provide a stern test for Shields.

However the game goes, though, he is sure it will be an entertaining watch.

He added: “To have three wins out of three is great but we know we’re going to have a very tough game against FC United.

“It will be a different game and we might not dominate the ball as much as we did on Saturday at Witton Albion, but we’re looking to go for another win.

“I’m sure it will be an entertaining spectacle as both teams play football in the right manner.

“We’re fully expecting FC United to play expansive and attractive football.

“They will provide a test that is different to what we’ve faced so far this season and it will be really interesting to see how we deal with their brand of football, and also impose our style and steel to cause issues for their players to deal with.”

Shields are expected to be without defender Jon Shaw after he sustained a groin injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Witton Albion.

Cash turnstiles will be in operation, with admission priced at £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s. Tickets will be available to purchase in advance until 4pm on Tuesday by clicking here.

Supporters are encouraged to make use of turnstiles 3, 4, 5 and 6 to ease queuing at the first turnstiles.

The match will kick-off at 7.45pm and the turnstiles open at 5.30pm.

Match tickets and hospitality packages are now on sale for the upcoming Pitching In Northern Premier League games against FC United of Manchester and Grantham Town at 1st Cloud Arena.

The Mariners will take on FC United on Tuesday, August 24th before welcoming Grantham four days later.

Tickets for both matches are available at prices of £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s. Supporters will not be segregated at either fixture.

Hospitality – which includes your match ticket, a two-course meal, a complimentary drink, a match programme, access to an exclusive pre-match question and answer session, the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive drinks packages and more – is priced at £30.

You can purchase tickets or hospitality packages online here:

If you have any queries regarding hospitality, please send an email to louise.hutchinson@southshieldsfc.co.uk.

The club intends to allow supporters to pay at the turnstiles at both games, but is unable to guarantee that at this stage as it will be dependent on the number of tickets sold.

The match against FC United, which will kick-off at 7.45pm, is sure to provoke memories of the classic meeting between the sides in March 2020. South Shields won 5-3 in front of a crowd of 3,276 and it proved to be the final game before the first coronavirus lockdown forced the 2019-20 season to a premature close. The Mariners also defeated FC United 1-0 at 1st Cloud Arena last season.

The game against Grantham will begin a Bank Holiday weekend and is due to kick-off at 3pm.

The hospitality menus for both matches are available to view below.

A late goal by Josh Gillies saw South Shields edge an entertaining and hard-fought encounter with FC United of Manchester at 1st Cloud Arena.

Gillies struck seven minutes from the end after some great work by fellow substitute Will McCamley as the Mariners secured an important three points which they just about deserved on the balance of play.

The game was not quite the goal-fest which ensued between these sides in March, when Shields emerged 5-3 winners, but it remained a high-quality tussle full of action between two fine teams who will hope to again be battling it out at the top of the table this season.

Although it was a relatively even game it was Shields who created the better opportunities and their first sight of goal came in the ninth minute as Alex Kempster’s drive from distance was deflected wide.

Both sides were intent on playing attractive football and there was some end-to-end action, with the Reds going close on 13 minutes when Jordan Simpson’s powerful low effort from 20 yards went not far past Myles Boney’s post.

Jamie Sterry and Jack Hindle were making their first league appearances for Shields and they linked up well with Jason Gilchrist before Sterry found himself in space on the right of the box, but his dangerous cross was cut out just before Kempster could slide it home.

Gilchrist had netted three times in two appearances against his former club last season but suffered a frustrating night in front of goal on this occasion. His first opportunity came after the Mariners broke well and Callum Ross dinked the ball superbly into his path, but his effort was blocked.

He did force a save from Dan Lavercombe soon after as he fired goalwards from a tight angle, and Blair Adams also forced a good stop from the visiting goalkeeper after some bright play down the Shields left.

Boney was called into action twice in the closing stages of the first half but was not seriously troubled and it was the Mariners back in the ascendancy after the break.

Ross was the first to threaten the FC United goal with a decent run inside from the right which resulted in a left-foot shot which went not far past the post.

Kempster went closer still when, after receiving the ball from Robert Briggs with his back to goal, he flicked it three times before swivelling and hitting an effort which crashed against the post.

It was a lively period of the match which featured chances and half opportunities at both ends, with Shields’ best two openings falling to Gilchrist as he was twice played in on goal. Lavercombe was equal to his first effort and the striker pulled his second chance wide.

The Mariners continued to be frustrated when captain Jon Shaw’s header was cleared off the line and Briggs had two shots saved, while a low ball across the box by Gillies just evaded a touch as time started to slowly slip away.

The vital moment eventually arrived on 83 minutes as McCamley ghosted into some space in the box, turned well and forced a decent reaction stop by Lavercombe only for the ball to break to Gillies, who showed good composure to finish from close range.

Shields saw out the remainder of the 90 minutes well to claim a third consecutive clean sheet as they climbed to eighth in the table.

Next up is a home tie against Colne in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday.

South Shields: Boney, Sterry, Adams, Shaw (c), Morse, Ross, Hindle (Gillies 55), Turnbull (Verstraaten 89), Gilchrist (McCamley 80), Briggs, Kempster. Subs not used: Coombe, Baxter.

Goal: Gillies (83).

Attendance: 300.

Image: Kev Wilson.