South Shields take on neighbours Morpeth Town for the second time in just over a week when they meet in the Integro Cup at Mariners Park on Wednesday.
A place in the fourth round is up for grabs in the 7.45pm kick-off, which was postponed for 24 hours because of high winds.
Last Tuesday’s BetVictor Northern Premier Division fixture between the sides ended in a 1-1 draw, with Jason Gilchrist’s opener for the Mariners cancelled out by a goal from Carl Finnigan.
Shields are looking for a return to winning ways in Wednesday’s match, having not won over 90 minutes in each of their last six games in all competitions.
They know the importance of a victory ahead of Saturday’s important league trip to Grantham Town.
Joint manager Lee Picton said: “This game marks an opportunity for us to hopefully get back to winning ways after recent disappointing results.
“From the players’ perspective, it also gives some of the lads the chance to forge their way into our thinking ahead of Saturday’s game, as the door has been left somewhat open in a number of areas of the pitch.
“Games with Morpeth are always tasty affairs and in some respects it’s just the type of match we need after what happened to us on Saturday.
“What we are obviously looking for is for the players, through their actions tonight, to show how disappointed and hurt we are and also prove how much they want to be at this club.”
Shields are hoping to welcome back Phil Turnbull from a chest injury, while Gary Brown and Josh Gillies could both be in contention to start after recent injuries.
The Mariners remain without Blair Adams, Jon Shaw, Luke Daly and Ross Coombe, though.
All those players also missed the trip to Morpeth a week ago, when Shields were left frustrated not to come away with maximum points.
Picton is looking for a similar level of performance tonight.
He added: “I feel that if we perform to the same levels we did last week we’ve got a great opportunity to win.
“We know that if we can stand up to the physical test like we did last week there’s no reason we can’t proceed through to the next round.”
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 7.45pm and admission – which can be paid at the turnstiles – is £8 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.
South Shields take on Morpeth Town for the first time this season as the two sides go head-to-head in an eagerly anticipated clash on Tuesday.
Both clubs have risen to the BetVictor Northern Premier Division from the Northern League over recent years and come into this game highly motivated to strengthen their promotion ambitions.
Shields are a point clear at the top following Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stalybridge Celtic while Morpeth are 14th, 10 points adrift of the play-off places but with a number of games in hand on all those above them.
A large following of Mariners supporters is expected at Craik Park on the club’s first visit to Morpeth since the 2016-17 season, when Shields triumphed 4-0 in Northumberland in both the Northern League and FA Vase.
A stern test is expected against a Morpeth side which returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 3-1 victory against Radcliffe.
Shields are looking to improve on their performance in Saturday’s draw at Stalybridge and joint manager Lee Picton is confident they will turn in an impressive display.
He said: “I think everyone knows what kind of game it will be and we’re ready for it.
“We’ll give a good account of ourselves, I know that.
“It could potentially be a springboard for us to get right back up to where we need to be between now and the end of the season.”
Shields could come up against a number of familiar faces on Tuesday, with Carl Finnigan and Wayne Phillips – both members of their 2016-17 title-winning squad – now among Morpeth’s ranks, along with former Mariners defender Michael Turner.
Wouter Verstraaten is one of the Shields players who haven’t yet tasted this fixture, but he is excited about the prospect of playing a part.
The Dutchman made his first league start for the club in Saturday’s draw and marked it with a goal from midfield.
He said: “Local derbies always bring something extra so I’ve really been looking forward to this one.
“The fans are amazing at every game and I can only imagine that they’re going to be absolutely amazing in this match.
“We feel like we’re in a good position heading into this game after Saturday.
“It didn’t feel like a good result straight afterwards but when we looked at some of the other results a point wasn’t the worst outcome.
“We’re still top of the league and that’s where we want to be at the end of the season.”
Shields will be without the injured Luke Daly and Ross Coombe on Tuesday and there are doubts over the availability of Jon Shaw, Blair Adams and Gary Brown.
Kick-off at Craik Park – which has a postcode of NE61 2YX – is at 7.45pm and admission prices are £8 for adults, £6 for concessions and £2 for children.
South Shields will aim to return to winning ways on Tuesday when they travel to Dunston in the Integro Cup.
The Mariners have suffered consecutive 2-1 home defeats in the last week, to Stockton Town in the Durham Challenge Cup and Witton Albion in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division.
Joint manager Lee Picton says he is looking for a reaction from his players, starting at the UTS Stadium.
He said: “We face a tough local game and we need players to say with their performances that a place in our team really, really means something to them.
“We’re confident that Saturday was a blip for us but we have to learn from it and be tough on ourselves.
“We’re looking for a massive reaction and that’s what the fans should expect.
“It’s up to the players to step up to the mark now and get us back on track.”
The Integro Cup has been decimated by the weather so far this season and Shields have not played in it since a first round victory at Tadcaster Albion in September.
Much has changed personnel-wise since that win – three of the Mariners players involved that night are no longer with the club – but Shields are looking to book a third round tie at home to Morpeth Town or Pickering Town.
The Mariners are without the injured Luke Daly (knee) and Ross Coombe (finger) heading into the 7.45pm kick-off at the UTS Stadium (NE11 9JL).
South Shields squad to face Dunston (from): Boney, Baxter, Brown, Charlton, Hunter, Morse, Verstraaten, Briggs, Gillies, Guy, Ross, Thompson, Gilchrist, Gonzales, Hodgson, Mason.