After an enforced month-long break due to lockdown, South Shields are ready to return to action as they face Ashton United in the first round proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Tuesday.

This will be the third time in three different competitions this season that Shields have played against Ashton.

The Mariners have played one game so far in the Trophy, with Robert Briggs scoring the only goal of the game to beat Colne at home in the third round of qualifying.

Cup fever also gripped South Shields as the first part of this season saw the club make history as they reached the first round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time since reforming in 1974.

Despite eventually being knocked out by Cheltenham last month, the team put in some brilliant performances to get there, including a tense penalty shootout victory against Southport, when Myles Boney made two excellent saves to take his side into the next stage of the competition.

Arguably their finest hour in the competition came against FC Halifax Town in the fourth qualifying round. Although Halifax are two leagues above Shields, the Mariners put in a fantastic shift, and goals from Darius Osei and Briggs knocked the Shaymen out of the Cup.

Elsewhere, Shields are currently sixth in the Pitching In Northern Premier Division table with 15 points, just four off Mickleover, who are sat at the top.

After a mixed start to the season in the league, Shields were beginning to find their rhythm just before the country was placed into a national lockdown.

The opening game of the campaign saw a 3-0 win against the current league leaders, with goals from Nathan Lowe, Jon Shaw and Jason Gilchrist.

However, Shields encountered some tough games afterwards, drawing 0-0 with Hyde United and 3-3 with Ashton before losing 3-1 to Radcliffe.

The Mariners began to change course, and a Gilchrist hat-trick against Bamber Bridge saw them begin to steady the ship. Since then they have won two, drawn one and lost one.

As the season restarts, the team will be looking to continue their consistent approach. Their last two games saw 1-0 wins against FC United of Manchester and Gainsborough Trinity, with goals from Josh Gillies and Briggs respectively.

The Mariners will have to wait until after December 19th to return to league action, though, with the league campaign remaining paused as a result of current restrictions.