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Match Preview: Blyth Spartans vs South Shields

South Shields and Blyth Spartans meet for the second time in four days at Croft Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The final fixture of 2023 sees the Mariners attempt to return to winning ways after a 3-1 loss to Spartans on Boxing Day made it four defeats in a row.

They head north under the interim management of Elliott Dickman and Lee Picton following the departures of Julio Arca and Tommy Miller.

Blyth are also without a permanent manager, with Shields legend Jon Shaw to lead the team after another former Mariners great, Graham Fenton, was relieved of his duties.

There are five points separating the sides, with Shields eighth and Spartans 14th.

Elliott's views

This will be Dickman's first game in temporary charge of the Mariners.

He said: "It’s about what we do and how we react to how the performance was on Boxing Day.

“It’s really important we show what we’re about and what our identity is as a club.

“We know we need to react positively and ensure we’re as prepared as usual.

“It’s such a quick turnaround between the two games and we know what Blyth are like, but from our point of view we have to make sure we have a really positive reaction to the performance on Boxing Day and focus on what we can to do put right what went wrong.”

Team news

Shields remain without Joao Gomes as he continues his recovery from a knee operation.

Defender Tom Broadbent is also expected to remain unavailable due to a groin injury.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at Croft Park - which has a post code of NE24 3JE - is at 3pm.

Admission prices are £15 for adults, £9 for over-65s, £6 for students and children aged 11 to 16, and free for children aged 10 and under who are accompanied by a paying adult or concession.

Tickets can be purchased at the turnstiles by cash or card, but Blyth recommend supporters purchase in advance to minimise queuing. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Segregation will be in place, and Shields fans must use the entrance by Plessey Road and enter the Lennon Properties Stand.

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