Team Northumbria Preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields hope to end a three-week run without a game tomorrow (Saturday) when they host Team Northumbria at Peterlee.
The Mariners have not played since their impressive 2-1 win at Darlington RA on January 17, with the weather disrupting the Northern League calendar.
Tomorrow’s game is expected to go ahead, though, with Shields set to take on a Team Northumbria side sitting fourth in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
In the reverse fixture, which was played in October, Team Northumbria won a tight game 1-0, while they have kept in the promotion mix since then.
Shields manager Jon King is expecting a difficult encounter, but is confident in his side’s ability to get a result.
He said: “Team Northumbria are a good side who always try to play good football and are up there on merit, so we know it’s going to be a test for us, but if we play like we know we can, we’re a match for any side on our day.
“We’re looking forward to getting the game on, as we have got a long time without a game and I prefer games to come thick and fast.
“While having some games called off can sometimes keep players fresh, it often goes the other way, so it will be good to get back on the pitch tomorrow.”
Shields have taken confidence from their last game against Team Northumbria, when they played well and perhaps deserved more on a night they were forced to field something of a depleted side.
King added: “We lost at their place in October 1-0, but we played really well that night.
“We were really compact and thoroughly deserved something from the game, but it wasn’t to be.
“We didn’t have a full side that night, either, with three or four important players missing, so it was a really good performance.
“I thought we deserved at least a point from that game, and possibly three.”
Shields will be without a number of players for the 3pm kick-off at Eden Lane.
David Molloy and Craig Roberts have suffered setbacks in their recovery from ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, and are both expected to be out for at least another fortnight.
Niki Lawson, Chris Renshaw and Michael Turner are also unavailable for the game, while Alex Kempster is an injury doubt.