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Emirates FA Cup Match Preview: South Shields vs Marske United

A place in the final qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup is at stake when South Shields take on Marske United at 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Both sides were without a fixture in midweek after their Pitching In Northern Premier League meeting was postponed due to damage to the floodlights at Marske’s Mount Pleasant.

The Mariners – unbeaten in all competitions so far this season – defeated Workington and Shildon to reach this stage of the competition, and now face the side which knocked them out in the second qualifying round last year.

Marske, meanwhile, eliminated Runcorn Linnets and Whitby Town in previous rounds, and sit eighth in the NPL with at least a game in hand on most of the teams above them.

The Seasiders have adapted well to life in the Northern Premier League Premier Division after winning promotion through the play-offs last term, and boast the FA Cup’s top goalscorer from last season, Adam Boyes, among their ranks.

Manager’s views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips says his players are raring to go on their return to 1st Cloud Arena, but a tough tie is expected against Marske.

Phillips said: “We want to keep winning matches and this is a massive competition, so our motivation is high going into the game.

“We are well aware that our unbeaten record will end at some stage, but we want to stretch it for as long as possible.

“Our home form in particular is key for us, and we’ve turned 1st Cloud Arena into a bit of a fortress, which has been a big goal for us since I joined in January.

“It’s our job to continue our strong form there on Saturday and we know the prize which awaits us if we win this tie and then one more, but I’m certainly not thinking about the prospect of reaching the first round because that would be disrespectful to Marske.”

The Mariners’ exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Marske was one of their big disappointments of last season, and Phillips is expecting another tough tie.

He added: “It will be a very difficult game, and I’m sure Marske will be as desperate to win as we are.

“We may need to mix it up again to give certain players some game-time who need it, because we need to keep everyone happy and maintain a good balance.

“We’ve had a good, long think about it, and will select a team we feel can win the match.

“Marske have a number of threats and we know they are a physical and direct side, but as the home team we need to largely concentrate on ourselves and playing our game on a fantastic playing surface.”

Team news

Shields are hoping to have Josh Doherty, Darius Osei and Joao Gomes available after all were doubts for the ultimately postponed match against Marske in midweek, but remain without the injured JJ Hooper.

Information for supporters

Should the game be level after 90 minutes, the tie will go to a replay at Marske’s Mount Pleasant. The club’s league fixture away to FC United of Manchester on Tuesday would also be postponed in that instance.

Season tickets are not valid for this match, but tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking here.

Tickets are available to purchase at the turnstiles at a price of £10 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s, and £4 for under-16s. Card payments will be accepted at all turnstiles, with cash to be taken at turnstile 2 only.

The turnstiles will open at 12.30pm and happy hour pricing will apply in all bars between 12.30pm and 2pm, and from the final whistle until 6pm.

With Sky Sports available in all bars, the match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will be screened at 12.30pm, with West Ham United versus Wolverhampton Wanderers to follow at 5.30pm.

A match programme, packed with content, is available to purchase for £3 and also acts as a raffle ticket, with one lucky programme holder to win a football signed by the SSFC men’s team. Check the back of your programme for your lucky number, with the winner to be drawn at half-time.

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