Having expressed his displeasure at the long haul, midweek treks, at the weekend, Blues' boss Neal Bishop has now looked at the game with the steely determination that made him a fierce competitor on the pitch as he and Damon set about preparing their side for the trip to the North East, admitting, "We go there with absolutely no pressure on us. To everyone in this league it’s a guaranteed home win, but we have confidence in our players and we will go there with a plan and a belief we can take something from the game. For our young squad it will be a good experience. There will be a big crowd in and they are going up against full time players. Our season will not be defined by what we do against the likes of South Shields, so I want the players to go there and really relish the test."
And if the players can replicate the heart, togetherness and quality shown in the opening three games, anyone making the monster midweek journey to back the Holy Blues, will not be disappointed with the efforts and endeavours exuded by this emerging group.
Managed by former Premier League Golden Boot Winner, Kevin Phillips, South Shields regularly feature around the top end of the Pitching In Northern Premier League table, with some tight contests between the sides over the years. The first time the Holy Blues will be travelling to the North-East, since the completion and opening of the 1st Cloud Arena’s impressive, new main stand.
The full time Mariners have retained a strong core of the side pipped to the title, and defeated by Warrington Town on penalties, in the play-off semi-final – and they will be eager to go one better this time. Some of the experienced faces appear to have moved on, former assistant Jon Shaw, who departed in the summer, one such player, though Myles Boney, Dillion Morse, Robert Briggs and Darius Osei still provide a strong spine, expertly supported in the wide areas. Trinity will be going to the 1st Cloud Arena though, in good spirits, following a positive start to the campaign.
Cleethorpes Town (H) 1-1
Doncaster Rovers (H) 1-0
Warrington Rylands (A) 0-3
Hyde United (H) 1-1
Stafford Rangers (H) 0-0
Pontefract Collieries (H) 4-1
Dunston (H) 3-0
Stalybridge Celtic (H) 2-0
Ashton United (A) 1-1
Marine (A) 2-2
Tickets can be purchased ahead of the game by clicking here or on the gate, admission priced at (standing) £12 for adults, £9 concessions (65+, students and disabled supporters), £5 for a child 13-16 and £3 for children 12 and under. Seated tickets carry a £2 upgrade on the standing price. Although advanced purchase of tickets in the seated stands is advisable, with tickets regularly expected to sell quickly. Supporters are advised that the club has no on-site parking provision at 1st Cloud Arena, with parking currently only available in public areas around the surrounding industrial estate at the ground.
Supporters are respectfully reminded not to park in private areas belonging to businesses who are operating on matchdays, not to block entrances, take note of signage and please avoid damaging grass verges. There is parking space available across the industrial estate, including on the opposite side of the Metro bridge. We merely request that you are mindful of where you park so as not to restrict access to or affect the operations of businesses in the area.
Elsewhere in the Pitching In Northern Premier League there is a full fixture list scheduled. All games kicking off at 7.45pm. Here are the full list of fixtures to save you looking elsewhere, as first again face third, with Marske hosting Ashton United. Saturday’s opponents are back at Marston Road as they welcome Marine starting the day in seventh.
FC United of Manchester vs Nantwich Town
Guiseley vs Whitby Town
Hyde United vs Belper Town
Lancaster City vs Radcliffe
Liversedge vs Morpeth Town
Marske United vs Ashton United
Matlock Town vs Stalybridge Celtic
Stafford Rangers vs Marine
Warrington Rylands vs Bamber Bridge
Warrington Town vs Atherton Collieries
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Preview written by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)