Whitley Bay Preview
By Daniel Prince
South Shields will go in search of an FA Vase upset tomorrow (Saturday) when they take on Whitley Bay at Hillheads Park.
The Bay have won the competition four times in the last 12 years, and currently sit sixth in Ebac Northern League Division One, a tier above Shields.
The Mariners will go into the game without suspended quartet Barrie Smith, Stephen Ramsey, Chris Feasey and Colin White, meaning their task has been made all the harder.
However, they gave a good account of themselves when they faced Division One side Penrith last month in the League Cup, with only a late equaliser and an extra-time defeat costing them progression into the next round.
Shields manager Jon King insists there will be “no pressure” on his team at Whitley Bay, and has asked Mariners supporters to turn out in their numbers to support their club.
He said: “It’s going to be difficult without four key players, but we’ve brought Dan Hall in and he will help us.
“We prepared the lads for the game on Thursday, and everyone is looking forward to the game.
“It’s a big game for the lads because there will be a very good gate, and it’s a derby, so they can just go there and enjoy themselves with the pressure off.
“Who would have thought we would get a draw at Ryhope with 10 men? You never know in football, but we’re under no illusions as to how difficult it’s going to be.
“We would have liked a home draw against weaker opposition, but that didn’t happen.
“Now we just need to embrace this game, and it would be great to see a good number of Shields fans there.
“We’re not asking them to travel all the way down to Peterlee this weekend – it’s just a case of travelling through the Tyne Tunnel – and we’d love them there to hopefully cheer us on to a famous victory.”
Shields will be without the aforementioned quartet, but should be boosted by the return of midfielder Lee Maitland.
Kick-off at Hillheads Park is at 3pm.