South Shields welcome Workington to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday as the Mariners begin their participation in this season’s Emirates FA Cup.
The first qualifying round tie will kick-off at 3pm and season tickets are not valid for this fixture.
Shields go into the game with an unbeaten record so far this campaign and on the back of an impressive bank holiday weekend which saw them seal 1-0 victories over Nantwich Town and Morpeth Town.
Workington have had a more mixed start to their season in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division, having recorded one win, one draw and three defeats in their opening five league matches.
The Reds narrowly missed out on promotion last season – finishing second before being beaten in the play-off semi-final – and are again under the management of Danny Grainger, who returned for a second spell in charge during the summer.
They made it into the preliminary round with an eye-catching 7-0 victory at West Allotment Celtic a fortnight ago.
Kevin Phillips is set for his first experience of the FA Cup as a manager, and it is a prospect the Shields boss is excited about.
He said: “We’re expecting a difficult match against Workington but we feel well-prepared, because we’ve had them watched and have had a match report on them.
“They’ll try to make life difficult for us, but we have to be positive about what we do as our record at home has been very positive.
“This is my first experience of the FA Cup as a manager, although I have fond memories of it from my years as a player.
“We’re all very excited, because it’s a special competition and our ambition is to go as far in it as we possibly can.”
Phillips reached the semi-final of the FA Cup in 2008 as a West Bromwich Albion player before the Baggies were beaten at Wembley by a Portsmouth side which went on to win the competition.
His motivation to progress in the competition is clear, although he has not ruled out making changes to his starting XI.
He said: “I’ve always got decisions to make and that has been no different leading into this tie. That’s the beauty of having a big squad.
“We have a few niggles and injuries that we’re still dealing with, so we need to be careful with them to ensure we don’t lose players for a longer period.
“Our intention is to field a team which is strong enough to get through to the next round because we want to go on a run.”
Shields remain without the injured Jordan Hunter, Blair Adams, Tom Broadbent, Darius Osei, Dylan Mottley-Henry, Callum Ross and JJ Hooper heading into the tie.
Information for supporters
Should the game be level after 90 minutes, the tie will go to a replay at Workington’s Borough Park. The club’s league fixture at home to Guiseley 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.
If you purchase a ticket in advance for this game and the following two league fixtures against Guiseley and Atherton Collieries, you will be entered into a draw to win a £500 holiday voucher from our friends at Westoe Travel. Season tickets need just a Workington ticket to enter.
Tickets are available to purchase at the turnstiles at a price of £8 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s, and £3 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 Everton and Liverpool will be screened at 12.30pm, with Aston Villa versus Manchester City 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 women’s team. Check the back of your programme for your lucky number, with the winner to be drawn at half-time.