Sunderland AFC Ladies play their first competitive game at Mariners Park tonight when they take on champions Chelsea in the FA Women’s Super League.

The Lady Black Cats kicked-off their season last weekend with a 1-0 win against Reading, but tonight’s match promises to be a big test.

Chelsea beat Bristol City 6-0 on the opening days and look in ominous form as they search for a third title.

Among their ranks are England internationals Karen Carney, Fran Kirby, Carly Telford and Eniola Aluko, who will be looking to put on a big performance for the fans at Mariners Park.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm, and supporters who are attending the Mariners’ game against York City are welcome to stay in the ground and also take in the Women’s Super League fixture.

Otherwise, admission will be £5 for adults, £2.50 for concessions, £6.50 for a family of one adult and one child, and £12 for a family of two adults and two children.

Head coach Melanie Reay said: “We are all very much looking forward to our opening home game at our new ground at Mariners Park.

“We have started the season in a positive way – it’s always good to get points on the board early on.

“We are under no illusion that Saturday night is going to be tough, but we are looking forward to the challenge.

“We have reviewed our performance against Reading and reflected and are always working hard to be a better team.”

All available home tickets for South Shields’ Emirates FA Cup third qualifying round tie with York City on Saturday have been sold.

The club would like to thank all fans for their magnificent support ahead of one of the biggest-ever games held at Mariners Park.

The match will kick-off at 3pm, with the turnstiles and bars at the ground to open at 12.30pm.

SSFC supporters will enter Mariners Park via the first two turnstiles, with York fans to come into the ground through turnstiles three and four, which are near the entrance to the 3G pitch.

Meanwhile, Sunderland AFC Ladies will also play their first competitive game at Mariners Park on Saturday.

Kick-off in their Women’s Super League match against Chelsea is at 7.30pm. Supporters who watch the Shields-York game are welcome to stay at no additional cost.

For those who are only attending the women’s match, admission will be £5 for adults, £2.50 for concessions, £6.50 for a family of one adult and one child, and £12 for a family of two adults and two children.

IMAGE: Kev Wilson.

The club is delighted to announce that Sunderland AFC Ladies will play their home games at Mariners Park in the upcoming Women’s Super League (WSL 1) season.

The Lady Black Cats will play their first game at Mariners Park on Saturday, September 30, with champions Chelsea due to visit for a 6pm kick-off.

South Shields FC season ticket holders will be able to gain half-price entry for the Chelsea fixture. Usual admission prices are £5 for adults, and £2.50 for under-18s and over-65s.

The SAFC Ladies team had been paying at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground (Hetton Centre), and opted to move after the moving of the WSL to a winter league highlighted some scheduling conflicts with other fixtures at the Hetton Centre.

South Shields FC Commercial Director David Mitchell said: “We are delighted to welcome the Sunderland Ladies team to Mariners Park.

“It is a great honour for South Shields Football Club to be able to host their matches here, hopefully for a long time to come.

“We have invested heavily in our playing surface and our facilities over the summer and it shows how far we have come when a team of this level wants to use our venue.”

Sunderland Ladies general manager Sonia Kulkarni, said: “Mariners Park is a great venue and we are very much looking forward to our new season at South Shields.

“Our fans have given us such tremendous support over the last few seasons and the move to Mariners Park will open up a whole new audience to women’s football, which is a huge positive for us.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground. We had some memorable matches there and would like to thank everyone at the Hetton Centre for their support.”


SAFC Ladies season ticket prices for the new FA Women’s Super League campaign have been held for the third consecutive year, priced at £40 for adults and £15 for under-18s and over-65s. A family ticket for one adult and one child is £50, and two adults and two children is £95.

Season tickets will go on sale this week and can be purchased by emailing