The club is pleased to announce seven pre-season friendly matches in preparation for the 2022-23 campaign.

Kevin Phillips and his coaches and players will begin pre-season training before kicking off their fixture programme with a trip to the Scottish border to take on Lowland League side Berwick Rangers on Saturday, July 9th.

Next up will be League Two opposition at 1st Cloud Arena, with Barrow to visit South Tyneside for the club’s first home friendly on Saturday, July 16th.

The Mariners will also take on several North East neighbours during pre-season, the first of which will involve a visit to Northern League outfit Ashington on Tuesday, July 19th.

Scarborough Athletic provide the next opponents, with the National League North new boys to travel to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday, July 23rd.

Pitching In Northern Premier League East side Hebburn Town will host Shields on Tuesday, July 26th before the Mariners come up against another high-flying team from that division, Shildon, at home four days later.

The club hopes to announce a further pre-season fixture on Tuesday, August 2nd before completing their set of friendlies with a home match against Dunston on Saturday, August 6th.

Tickets and admission details for all of the above games will be confirmed in the weeks ahead.

The new league season is due to kick-off on Saturday, August 13th.

Here is a recap of the confirmed pre-season fixtures to date:

Saturday, July 9th: Berwick Rangers (A), 2pm kick-off

Saturday, July 16th: Barrow (H), TBC kick-off time

Tuesday, July 19th: Ashington (A), 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday, July 23rd: Scarborough Athletic (H), 3pm kick-off

Tuesday, July 26th: Hebburn Town (A), 7pm kick-off

Saturday, July 30th: Shildon (H), 3pm kick-off

Saturday, August 6th: Dunston (H), 3pm kick-off

South Shields kicked off 2022 with maximum points as a well-worked goal from Will McGowan sealed a 1-0 win over Scarborough Athletic at 1st Cloud Arena.

McGowan struck midway through the first half as the Mariners produced a solid performance and displayed impressive character in front of a crowd of 2,238.

There were some nail-biting moments in the closing stages but Shields saw the game out to climb to third in the Pitching In Northern Premier League and within two points of leaders Matlock Town.

Graham Fenton named an attacking line-up as the hosts aimed to return to winning ways, with Darius Osei reintroduced to the team after serving a three-match suspension.

But it was Scarborough – victorious at promotion-chasing Bamber Bridge and Warrington Town in their previous two away games – who created the first chances, with defender Will Thornton having a powerful drive deflected over and Jacob Day heading over from the resulting corner.

Cedric Main had caught the eye in Shields’ 2-2 draw with Whitby Town five days earlier and he was again prominent here. He signalled his intent with some direct play in the 10th minute as he brought the ball inside from the left before zipping a low effort which Ryan Whitley did well to hold in the Boro goal.

Main was at the heart of what proved to be the only goal, which arrived in the 23rd minute.

The Mariners were rewarded for patient build-up play which began with Myles Boney and concluded when JJ Hooper found Main and he showed impressive control before playing in McGowan, who produced a composed finish into the roof of the net to score for the third home match in succession.

Shields did not have it all their own way, though, and were reminded about Scarborough’s threat as Simon Heslop’s strike was blocked and Thornton fired over from close range with the goal gaping.

At the other end, Dillon Morse headed over from a corner and Main struck a low shot narrowly wide after again coming inside from the left.

The large New Year’s Day crowd in attendance were treated to more excitement before half-time, with Osei stinging the palms of Whitley and Callum Ross denied by a block as Shields searched for a second, and Boney saving comfortably from Ashley Jackson and Ryan Watson to preserve the hosts’ lead.

The second half brought a more controlled performance from the Mariners, who had a good chance to double their advantage on 57 minutes when Main’s scooped pass found Hooper, whose volley cleared the crossbar.

Osei later drew a save from Whitley with a shot from the right of the area which lacked power, but Shields had to be alert defensively as Thornton had a header deflected wide and Boney was forced into a save from Watson.

The home side looked set to see out the remaining minutes with relative ease until Scarborough were presented with a golden opportunity six minutes into stoppage time when Kieran Glynn was played in on goal. There were sighs of relief all round when the forward flicked the ball wide.

Shields’ victory was duly confirmed as they closed the gap at the top. Just three points now separate the top five sides in the division.

The Mariners are back in action next Saturday when they travel to Mickleover, who recorded an impressive 4-1 win at Hyde United this weekend.

South Shields: Boney, Rose, Adams (c), Ross (Jenkins 56), Morse, Bodenham, Osei (Kempster 87), Lowe, Hooper, McGowan, Main (Tee 67). Subs not used: Shaw, Hodgson.

Goal: McGowan (23).

Attendance: 2,238.

Image: Kev Wilson.

South Shields begin 2022 with an exciting-looking clash against Scarborough Athletic at 1st Cloud Arena on New Year’s Day (3pm kick-off).

The match will see Shields enter the second half of their league campaign as they look to build on the positives from Monday’s 2-2 draw at Whitby Town.

That result left Graham Fenton’s side fourth in the Pitching In Northern Premier League, five points behind leaders Buxton and with at least a game in hand on all of those sides above them.

Manager’s view

Fenton was encouraged by his side’s showing at Whitby, when two equalisers denied them maximum points after JJ Hooper had twice put Shields in front.

He has now called on the Mariners to build on the positives from that display and start the new year as they mean to go on.

Fenton said: “There were lots of positives on Monday, and it was streets ahead of the performance in our previous game against Hyde so we showed a good progression.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more from the lads. They fought, scrapped, used their bodies well, tackled when needed and really dug in.

“We were in control but we made a mistake and they punished us with some very good interplay and a very good goal from their point of view for the second equaliser.

“We’ve worked on making further improvements this week and we’re aiming to demonstrate those in what we know will be a difficult game against Scarborough.”

Tough opposition

Scarborough are eighth in the table, seven points behind Shields having played a game more.

They are unbeaten in their last three, with impressive 2-0 victories away to promotion hopefuls Bamber Bridge and Warrington Town among that sequence, and Fenton is well aware of the size of the task which awaits his team.

He said: “It’s always tasty against Scarborough and we don’t expect anything different.

“We just want to put on a performance at home which the fans can go away talking about.

“We want it to be enjoyable for them and hopefully we can turn the point from Monday into three points on Saturday.”

Scarborough and Shields were promoted together to this division in 2017-18 and have met eight times since the beginning of that season. Shields have won six of those meetings, with one draw and one victory for Scarborough.

Team news

Mitch Rose could make his home debut for Shields in the 3pm kick-off, while Darius Osei returns from his suspension.

Jordan Hunter remains out with a broken arm.

Tickets and matchday information

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and the turnstiles will open at 12.30pm.

Admission is £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s. Tickets can be purchased in advance – including seats in either of our seated stands – until 12pm on matchday by clicking here. Cash turnstiles will also be in operation.

Happy Hour pricing will operate in each of our bars from 12.30pm to 2pm and 6pm to 7pm, while there will be karaoke and a DJ in the marquee after the game.

Programmes are priced at £2 and feature an in-depth interview with cover star Will Jenkins, columns from Graham Fenton and Blair Adams, an in-depth look at Scarborough Athletic, a catch-up with former Shields star Paul Thompson, all the latest from our Foundation, Academy and Ladies team, and so much more.

Supporters are reminded that no public transport is operating in South Tyneside on New Year’s Day. Please plan your journey in advance. Club sponsor Richmond Taxis offer one option for fans unable to travel by car or foot.

If you are unable to attend the game, follow live updates on the club’s Twitter channel, www.twitter.com/southshieldsfc.