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Match Preview: Southport vs South Shields (Isuzu FA Trophy)

South Shields visit Southport for the second successive Saturday for an Isuzu FA Trophy tie (3pm kick-off).

The teams will battle for a place in the third round of the competition at The Big Help Stadium a week on from their meeting in Vanarama National League North.

Southport were 1-0 winners on that occasion, despite Shields dominating much of the possession and chances.

Jim Bentley's side, who are 12th in National League North, are unbeaten in their last four matches.

The clubs met in this competition in the 2019-20 season, when after a 2-2 draw at 1st Cloud Arena, Southport triumphed 3-1 in a replay.

Shields eliminated the Sandgrounders from the following campaign's Emirates FA Cup on penalties.

Julio's thoughts

Mariners manager Julio Arca declared himself proud of his players after they superbly defeated Spennymoor Town 5-2 in the league in midweek.

It is now full focus on the FA Trophy as Shields aim to win again on the road.

Arca said: “We’re going to go there and play our game.

“We were unlucky to lose there last weekend and we have to take this game as a league fixture.

“We see how the players are after every game and assess them to decide on the best team and squad we feel will give us a chance of winning.

“Our target is to have a good run in this competition so we’ll be giving it everything to get through.”

Paul Blackett scored a hat-trick in Shields’ thumping victory at Spennymoor, with Aaron Martin and Lirak Hasani also on target.

For Arca, the result was vindication for his team’s performances over recent weeks.

He added: “I’ve been saying for weeks that this team deserves it.

“We’ve deserved to get more points than we’ve got recently and on Tuesday, we put out a statement.

“What happened on Tuesday is what we’ve been working on for weeks, and we could have scored even more than five.

“I’m proud of every single one of the players, because apart from doing what we asked of them on the ball, off it they worked really hard as well.”

Team news

Shields will remain without Joao Gomes for Saturday’s game, with Michael Woods doubtful with a knee injury.

Midfielder Lirak Hasani is ineligible due to the terms of his loan arrangement, and Shields are also set to be missing Dillon Morse (illness) and Alfie Marriott (knee).

Information for supporters

Kick-off at The Big Help Stadium – which has a post code of PR8 6JZ – is at 3pm and admission prices are from £13.50 for adults, £10 for those aged 65 and over and full-time students, £5 for children aged 12 to 17 and £1 for children aged under 12 who are accompanied by an adult or concession.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of the game from Southport's club shop by cash or card, or in advance online by clicking here. Online sales will remain open until kick-off and the turnstiles will open at 2pm.

Shields fans will be based in the George Roberts Terrace (Blowick Away Terrace) and the Blowick End (Block 6).

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