Under-18s ready for Stockport test in FA Youth Cup first round

Under-18s ready for Stockport test in FA Youth Cup first round

South Shields take on Stockport County in the first round of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday.

It promises to be a huge night for the club’s youngsters at 1st Cloud Arena (kick-off 7pm) after they made it into the competition proper with a nail-biting penalty shootout win over York City in the final qualifying round.

The young Mariners have progressed through four ties to reach this stage, receiving a bye against Guisborough Town before home victories over Pickering Town, Stockton Town and York.

Should they prevail over Stockport, Shields will qualify for the second round of the FA Youth Cup for the third time in four seasons, which would be another monumental achievement for an Academy formed less than five years ago.

SSFC Academy manager Wess Brown is anticipating an entertaining encounter.

He said: “We’ve got a few lads back from sickness and injury, so the squad is looking good and fresh.

“They’ve trained well and had a bit of a rest, and they’ve been looking really vibrant on the training pitch.

“The most important thing for us is that they play in the South Shields way.

“It’s a good learning curve for them and they need to keep remembering to try to play our way, get the ball down and play through the thirds. Then when we get into the attacking third, we need to excite and get a high press on as we go up the pitch.

“We’re expecting a similar test to the one York gave us.

“Stockport are in a full-time programme and we’ve seen some highlights of them.

“They seem to have some really bright players, especially in wide areas, and hopefully it will be a good game because they like to play good football as well.”

Admission prices at 1st Cloud Arena are £4 for adults and £2 for concessions, payable by cash only at the turnstiles. The gates will open at 5.30pm and Happy Hour prices will apply in the bar until the kick-off time of 7pm.