South Shields face a home tie against Colne in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The match will be played at Mariners Park on Saturday, September 7 as the Mariners begin their involvement in the competition for the season.

Colne have picked up four points from their first three games in the Northern Premier League North West Division, which is a tier below Shields.

The clubs last met in the 2017-18 season, when the Mariners completed the double over Colne on their way to winning the NPL North Division title.

Shields joint manager Lee Picton is expecting his side to be tested as they bid to qualify for the next round.

The Mariners are looking to emulate the sort of run which saw them reach the fourth qualifying round in the 2017-18 season, when they beat the likes of Darlington and York City before a narrow defeat at home to Hartlepool United.

Picton said: “Colne gave us two difficult games when we met two seasons ago, and we’re expecting very much the same when they come to Mariners Park.

“No game at this level is easy and we won’t be taking anything for granted just because we have a one division advantage.

“We’re sure Colne will be raring to go and we have to make sure we match their endeavour on the day in order to get through to the next round.

“We have great memories of the FA Cup from two seasons ago, when we reached the fourth qualifying round, and we are very much hoping for a similar or better run in the competition this time around.

“First things first, though, we have to beat Colne and get through what I’m sure will be a difficult game.”

Meanwhile, the Mariners’ league trip to Morpeth Town on Tuesday, September 3 has been postponed.

The Highwaymen are instead involved in an FA Cup replay on the same night.

A new date for the fixture will be announced in due course.

South Shields bring their pre-season preparations to an end on Saturday when they travel to Yorkshire to take on Ossett United.

The Mariners have won their last two matches, scoring four goals against both Hebburn Town and Dunston.

But joint manager Lee Picton wants them to step up their level of performance against Ossett.

Shields will kick-off their Northern Premier League Premier Division campaign away to Radcliffe next Saturday.

Picton feels Saturday’s game will be a “relevant” test for his side.

He said: “There have been some mitigating circumstances with some of the things which have been disappointing for us in pre-season.

“I’ve never known a pre-season period where we’ve not been able to put anywhere near our strongest side out at any stage, which has been beyond our control.

“There’s no use crying or moaning about it, though.

“That situation has brought opportunities for some other players, which is great.

“Some players have taken their opportunities and some players haven’t.

“We’ve now got a week to fully prepare for game day number one on August 17.

“Those shirts are up for grabs, and I’m really looking forward to going to Ossett.

“It will be a really relevant test for us away from home and hopefully a few players will be back available for us.”

Shields were 2-1 behind at home to Dunston at half-time last Saturday before a second half turnaround saw them come out 4-2 winners, with Jason Gilchrist netting a hat-trick.

Picton wants his side to pick up where they left off on Saturday.

He added: “We were bitterly disappointed with the first half last Saturday.

“We’ve tried to put a positive spin on a lot of stuff over pre-season, but we have been disappointed with some things that have happened as well.

“We let people know about it at half-time last week and reminded people again after the game.

“The reaction we got in the second half was brilliant and hopefully that’s the start of us regaining that identity on the pitch.

“We’ve talked about building a culture a lot and sometimes you need something to spark that appreciation of what it is to be here at the club again.”

Shields are expected to welcome back goalkeeper Liam Connell on Saturday after he missed the previous three games while on holiday.

Craig Baxter remains missing as he recovers from a hernia operation, with Phil Turnbull also set to miss out because of holiday commitments.

Jon Shaw, Blair Adams, Josh Gillies, Myles Boney, Callum Guy and Lee Mason could all return in the 3pm kick-off.

SSFC Academy graduates Arron Thompson and Callum Guy have continued their progression by signing first-team contracts for the 2019-20 season.

The deals will see them stay with the club for at least another year as they bid to build on an extremely positive last 12 months.

Thompson joined the Academy a year ago and went on to make three senior appearances last season, most notably in the Durham Challenge Cup final against Shildon when he produced a polished and composed display in midfield.

Guy linked up with the club when the Academy was formed two years ago and has made a significant impact since then, consistently impressing at Academy level and also when called upon by the first-team. He currently has nine senior appearances and two goals to his name.

Both players have now graduated from the Academy set-up to the first-team squad, and joint manager Graham Fenton is pleased they have committed their future to the club.

He said: “We’re delighted that Arron and Callum have agreed to sign for the club for at least the next year.

“Both players have thoroughly deserved their opportunity to join the first-team squad through their performances over the course of their time with the Academy.

“We feel both have progressed excellently over the last 12 months and we have high hopes that over the next year they will be really pushing towards first-team places.”

Thompson and Guy were part of the Shields team which won the National League Under-19 Alliance League Cup last season, beating Basford United on penalties at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium.

Thompson scored in what was a 2-2 draw while both netted in the penalty shoot-out, with Guy dispatching the winning kick.

Fenton insists that the work has only just begun for the midfield pair, though.

He added: “They both know they’ve still got work to do to get there but they have the attitude and mentality to put the effort in to get their rewards.

“They will further boost the competition for places in midfield areas and they know that the players who are ahead of them at the moment are very, very good players, but I’m sure they will give it everything they’ve got to progress and earn their right to play in the first-team.”