Team Northumbria Preview
By Daniel Prince. Image by Peter Talbot.
South Shields will look to beat Team Northumbria for the second time in a week on Saturday when the two sides meet in Ebac Northern League Division Two at Mariners Park.
Leepaul Scroggins’ 43rd-minute header separated the sides on Tuesday as Shields won the League Cup tie 1-0.
Manager Jon King was not overly pleased with his side’s performance, but was delighted with the result, and is hoping his players will show improvement on Saturday.
He said: “We didn’t play anywhere near like we could on Tuesday, but we still managed to win the game against a very good team, which was very pleasing.
“The clean sheet was very pleasing, as it was our third in a row. We were dogged, dug in and defended well.
“With a few players coming back into contention on Saturday, we’ve got some selection headaches, which is good for us.
“Andrew Bulford will hopefully be able to make his debut, and he’s a massive signing for us.
“He has got pace and gets in behind. He’s aggressive and never stops running, but the biggest thing is that he scores goals. He just loves to score goals.”
For King, Saturday’s game is the most important of the week.
He added: “I asked the lads to make a statement this week, and that has to include winning three points on Saturday.
“This is the biggest game of the week, because they’re top of the league and we want to turn them over.
“The league and promotion is not going to be won in September, but it would go a long way mentally to get one over on opposition who are at the top of the table.
“If we win the game, we’ll go a point behind them with a game in hand, so it’s a big game.
“I’m hoping we can show the other side of our game, which is fluency, as I didn’t think that was great on Tuesday.”
Shields were backed by a crowd of 351 on Tuesday, and King has thanked the fans ahead of another home fixture.
He said: “The crowd was unbelievable on a Tuesday night with Sunderland playing at home at the same time.
“To have over 350 was unbelievable. I’m pleased that we got them another win.
“The players are over the moon with the support they’re getting from the fans, and long may it continue.”
Shields hope to welcome back Julio Arca, Daryll Hall and Gilberto Chapim for Saturday’s match after all missed the midweek win, while Andrew Bulford is hopeful of making his debut, subject to receiving FA clearance. David Foley remains out injured for the 3pm kick-off.
Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for over-65s and students, and £1 for under-16s. You can join the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/458835037654505/
The programme for the game (cover below) features interviews with Daryll Hall and Andrew Bulford, a look back at the career of club legend Charlie Thomas, an update on the club shop and the Mariners’ Under-16s side and much more.