By Daniel Prince
South Shields and Willington will meet for the third time this season tomorrow (Saturday) when they clash in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
The Mariners will be looking for their first win of 2015 in the game, at Eden Lane.
And they have had mixed fortunes against Willington so far this season, with the County Durham side having won against Shields 2-1 on the opening day of the season.
Jon King’s side avenged that defeat in September with a 1-0 win in the FA Vase at Peterlee, and there is not a lot between the two sides in their league positions.
Shields are 16th, with Willington just one place and five points ahead of them.
That means tomorrow’s game could prove crucial when it comes to final league placings, with the final third of the season about to be entered.
Shields could come up against former player Adam Burnicle at Peterlee.
Burnicle has been in impressive form this season for Willington, with 16 league goals to his name.
Last term, though, he was a Mariner, and was the club’s joint top scorer with Stephen Ramsey.
The forward is sure to provide a major threat to Shields’ back line, as will Liam Whitworth, who scored a brace when the sides met in August.
Mariners assistant manager Lee Bell is expecting a tight game, and thinks the result could come down to how much desire his side shows.
He said: “Willington beat us 2-1 on the opening day of the season, and we’ve beaten them at home since then in the cup.
“Every game in this division is going to be tight.
“We know that Willington have got a couple of strong players. Their left winger was very impressive in that opening game, and he’s a handful.
“As a team, they will come out and give as good as they get, and will work hard.
“I think if we can show half the desire we do have in the camp, we’ll get a result.
“If not, though, we’ll get nothing from the game again.”
Kick-off at Eden Lane is at 3pm.