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NPL Match Preview: Ashton United vs South Shields

South Shields face their first away fixture of the 2022-23 season on Tuesday when they travel to Ashton United (7.45pm kick-off).

The match pits two sides which enjoyed a winning start to the campaign on Saturday against each other, with the Mariners having beaten Stalybridge Celtic 2-0 while Ashton triumphed 1-0 at newly-promoted Liversedge.

Michael Clegg’s Robins finished 14th in the Pitching In Northern Premier League last season and will be looking to make more progress in the months ahead.

Last term’s meetings between the teams finished 1-1 at 1st Cloud Arena, with Ashton winning the reverse fixture 1-0 in March.

Manager’s views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips has earmarked the game as a key early test of his new-look side’s credentials.

A run of four consecutive midweek away losses proved pivotal last season as the Mariners missed out on the title and with it, promotion.

Phillips is determined that history does not repeat itself over the next eight months.

He said: “The four away games we lost in succession is probably what cost us the championship last season.

“We didn’t cope very well on those occasions and we’re looking for big improvements this season, starting at Ashton.

“They won on Saturday so they’re off to a good start and will be full of confidence, but we’re focusing on what we do and I believe with the quality we’ve got, we’re a match for anyone when we do it right.

“I’m looking forward to it because it’ll be a tough test for us on a different pitch.

“We might have to play a bit differently depending on the conditions.”

Team news

Shields striker Louis Alessandra is pushing to make his debut at Ashton, with Tom Broadbent also hoping to be in contention after missing out with a slight injury on Saturday.

Dillon Morse, JJ Hooper, Cedric Main and Callum Ross are all expected to remain unavailable for the match, though.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at Hurst Cross – which has a post code of OL6 8DY – is at 7.45pm.

Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or at the turnstiles, priced at £10 for adults, £6 for over-65s, students and those aged 12 to 15, and £1 for under-12s.

Those not able to attend can listen to live commentary from Chris May and Ronnie Peet, which will be available by clicking here.

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