South Shields travel to Warrington Town on Saturday as they bid to extend their stay in this season’s Isuzu FA Trophy (3pm kick-off).
Both sides occupy a place in the top four of the Pitching In Northern Premier League after strong starts to the campaign, but now break from league action for their second outings in the Trophy.
Shields won 2-1 at Stalybridge Celtic in the previous round, while Warrington booked their place in the first round after triumphing by the same scoreline at Hebburn Town.
The Mariners are ahead of Warrington on goal difference in the league standings, although they have played three games fewer than the Yellows.
This is the first meeting between the teams this season.
After next Tuesday’s league trip to Marske United was postponed, this will be Shields’ final fixture before the Emirates FA Cup first round tie at home to Forest Green Rovers.
Manager Kevin Phillips – whose first game in charge was away to Warrington in January – has hinted he may make changes to his team at the Winner Recruitment Stadium.
He said: “This game might give us an opportunity to give minutes to players who haven’t played as much recently, but it’s obviously a tie we want to win.
“I have to be honest when I say the FA Trophy isn’t a huge priority in terms of our season.
“The FA Cup is huge for us the week after, and the league is massive.
“We’re just going to keep ticking the games off, and we’ve got a decent enough squad to cope with the tests we have ahead.
“The lads enjoyed some rest at the start of this week and have prepared well for Saturday, so we’re raring to go.”
Shields are hoping to welcome back striker Lewis Alessandra for the match at Warrington, but fellow forwards Will Russ and Sam Hodgson are unavailable due to being cup-tied and injured respectively.
Information for supporters
Kick-off at the Winner Recruitment Stadium – which has a post code of WA4 2RS – is at 3pm and admission prices are £12 for adults, £8 for concessions and £3 for under-16s.
Supporters are advised that cash is the only method of payment which will be accepted at the turnstiles.
Regular updates will be posted on the club’s Twitter account during the game.
If the match is level after 90 minutes, the tie will be decided by a penalty shootout.