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Match Preview: South Shields vs Blyth Spartans


The traditional Boxing Day fixture sees South Shields take on Blyth Spartans in an eagerly-awaited North East derby at 1st Cloud Arena.


It is the first of two meetings in four days between the sides, with the reverse fixture to take place at Croft Park on Saturday.


Both teams are aiming to return to winning ways, with Shields having not tasted victory in their last five outings in all competitions, and Spartans winless in three.


The match will see a number of familiar faces return to 1st Cloud Arena, including a pair of Mariners legends in the Blyth dugout.


Graham Fenton won five trophies in a five-and-a-half-year spell as joint manager and later sole manager between September 2016 and January 2022, while his assistant Jon Shaw won the same number of trophies with Shields as a player, and also served as the club's assistant manager and head of professional development.


They are joined by a number of former Shields players including Jack Bodenham, Will McGowan, Cedric Main and JJ Hooper.


Julio's thoughts


Shields manager Julio Arca has called for a big improvement from his side after Saturday's 2-0 loss at Rushall Olympic.


He said: "Football gives you opportunities to bounce back quickly, and that's what we're looking to do on Tuesday.


"We know there's going to be a big crowd and we need to put a strong, solid performance in.


"Regardless of how we play, we need to show how much we want to win the game and demonstrate the desire and commitment I know we have."


On the test expected against Blyth, Arca added: "Blyth will present a good challenge and it will be good to see some familiar faces, including their manager Graham Fenton. He’s someone I worked with for most of my time as a player here, and he was an excellent manager for this club. 


"I learned from him and have been looking forward to seeing him, Jon Shaw and plenty of the players again.


"It will be interesting to see how they set up and I know they’ll want to win just as much as we do, so it should be an entertaining match."


Team news


Shields expect to welcome back Mackenzie Heaney after he missed the trip to Rushall through illness.


There are doubts over Tom Broadbent (groin) and Paul Blackett (calf) after both players limped off in the second half of Saturday's game.


Information for supporters


Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and the turnstiles will open at 12.30pm.


Tickets are available to purchase until 12pm on Boxing Day by clicking here, with online tickets priced at £14 for adults, £9 for students and over-65s, £5 for children aged 13 to 16 and £3 for children aged 12 and under. There is an additional £2 charge to sit.


Tickets are available to purchase at the turnstiles on matchday, when standing prices will increase to £15 for adults and £10 for students and over-65s. Cash and card will be accepted.


Segregation is in place for this match. Shields fans are able to enter through turnstiles 1, 2, 5 and 6, with Blyth supporters allocated turnstiles 3 and 4.

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BlazeHarvey
26 thg 12, 2023

I was also there as a fan and I can say that we were warmly welcomed and fed, the hospitality was at the highest level. Of the food, my favorite was the low carb pepperoni, which I ate so quickly that I didn’t even notice :) It’s cool that there was a low-carb meal, because I watch my figure!

Thích

Adam Stephens
Adam Stephens
26 thg 12, 2023

It was impressive how they treated us to lunch! This was an incredible event for the football fans of our club. Hosting a lunch for fans is an amazing gesture from the team. This created an unforgettable atmosphere of unity and joy. I hope that such initiatives will continue, leaving warm memories in the hearts of fans.

Thích
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