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Match Preview: South Shields vs Gateshead

South Shields bring their pre-season games programme to an end when they welcome Gateshead to 1st Cloud Arena on Friday (7.30pm kick-off).

Julio Arca’s side will be aiming to complete their preparations for the club’s maiden season in Vanarama National League North in positive fashion against the Tynesiders.

Gateshead, who are managed by former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson, ended the 2022-23 season in fine form and will be looking for further progress in next season’s Vanarama National League.

The clubs last met in pre-season ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, when Shields were 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Robert Briggs and Sam Hodgson.

Julio’s thoughts

The Mariners had two pre-season fixtures last weekend, falling to a 6-1 defeat at home to Harrogate Town before a youthful side lifted the Sam Bartram Memorial Trophy with a 3-1 victory at Boldon CA.

Manager Arca is looking for improvements from his team at 1st Cloud Arena, eight days ahead of the league opener against Alfreton Town.

He said: “It’s going to be a difficult game against another team from a higher league.

“They press well, play good football and like Harrogate last week, don’t give you much time on the ball.

“We have to make sure we start this game a lot better.

“I’m very passionate and hate losing, so when things like last Saturday happen, it hurts.

“The good thing with football is that in a matter of days, you get a chance to put things right, and Friday is an opportunity for us to do that.”

Information for supporters

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 7.30pm.

Those booked into Shipley Lounge hospitality or a corporate hospitality box can enter the ground through the hospitality entrance from 5pm.

The two sets of supporters will be segregated, with South Shields fans to enter the ground through turnstiles 1, 2, 5 and 6, and Gateshead supporters permitted to use turnstiles 3 and 4. The turnstiles will open at 5.30pm.

Any supporter found to be in the incorrect section will be ejected from the ground.

Tickets can be bought in advance by clicking here, but admission can be paid for by cash or card at the turnstiles, priced at £10 for adults, £7 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s. There is an additional £2 charge to sit.

Supporters are also advised that, due to a private function, the marquee will be closed throughout the game.

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