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Match Preview: Norton Ladies vs SSFC Women

South Shields Women take on Norton Ladies at the Norton Sports Complex on Sunday in what will be Matt Gatiss’ first test against higher-division opposition as head coach (2pm kick-off).

Shields have so far brushed past neighbours Gateshead Ladies as well as Birtley Ladies, but Sunday is expected to prove a step up.

Norton hosted a resurgent Newcastle United Women side just two weeks ago, which saw the Magpies edge a 1-0 win thanks to an Anna Soulsby header.

New signing Zoe Norton is in line to make her first appearance for the Mariners at the weekend.

Head coach’s thoughts

Head coach Gatiss is excited by the prospect of playing against fourth-tier opponents for the first time, which will offer the lasses a fresh challenge off the back of two resounding victories.

He said: “It’s the first game against higher-league opposition so it’ll be much more of a real test of where we’re at, especially squad-wise and preparation for the Spennymoor game after that.

“That will, again, be a different challenge completely but we’re taking a strong side across.

“It’s just about getting the last chance to get minutes into the legs, little tweaks to the shape we’re working on, trying new things just before we hit the ground running going forward.”

Information for supporters

Sunday’s game is taking place at the Norton Sports Complex (TS20 1PE) at 2pm.

Any support is appreciated as the lasses head out for their biggest challenge so far this pre-season.

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