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Match Preview: Darlington vs South Shields

South Shields face their first North East derby of the season on Monday when they travel to Darlington in Vanarama National League North (3pm kick-off).

Shields began their bank holiday weekend double-header with a superb 3-0 win over Gloucester City on Saturday to climb to third in the early table.

Darlington, meanwhile, clinched their first victory of the campaign as they won 3-2 at Alfreton Town, with Alun Armstrong's side moving up to 20th.

The clubs last met in competitive action in September 2017, when the Mariners were 3-0 winners at Blackwell Meadows in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Julio's thoughts

Shields manager Julio Arca was part of the side which won on that memorable afternoon six years ago.

He was buoyed by his team's display against Gloucester and will now be faced with a series of selection dilemmas as the Mariners navigate a second game in three days.

Arca said: "It was a great performance on Saturday but we didn't get much time to enjoy it, because we were immediately preparing for Darlington.

"We can't wait to get back out there because it's another big game for us.

"On Saturday, especially in the second half, we looked after the ball very well and played the way we want to play, but we believe the team is capable of playing even better.

"Now we've got a lot of decisions to make because we've got 18 or 19 strong players, so if we need to do it, we can change five, six or seven of them.

"We know what the players are capable of doing, regardless of who is playing, and we'll pick the team we feel gives us the best chance of winning the game."

Team news

Shields are hoping to again have a full-strength squad to choose from on Monday.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at Blackwell Meadows - which has a post code of DL1 5NR - is at 3pm.

The two sets of supporters will be segregated, and there will be no tickets sold at the ground to away fans. Shields supporters who would like to attend must purchase a ticket in advance, and can do so by clicking here.

Ahead of the game, Darlington have reiterated their zero tolerance approach to examples of discrimination. The club's action plan can be read by clicking here.

The turnstiles will open at 1.30pm and there will be a catering truck in the away end to provide hot and cold drinks, plus food. Access to the clubhouse bar is not permitted for Shields supporters.

The Mariners have been allocated the open end at Blackwell Meadows and fans should access the ground at the away end turnstiles, which are to the right of the clubhouse. Please follow the "away fans" signs.

A full guide to Blackwell Meadows can be read by clicking here.

Meanwhile, any supporter unable to make it to the game can tune in to a live stream on National League TV, priced at £9.50. When signing up, please state that you are a South Shields fan when prompted. The stream will be accessible via this link.

Live commentary will also be provided on the Mariners Live Mixlr page, and can be accessed here.

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