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NPL Match Preview: Belper Town vs South Shields

South Shields head to Belper Town on Saturday for another crucial fixture in their battle to win promotion (3pm kick-off).

The Mariners hold a seven-point lead at the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League heading into their trip to Derbyshire.

This is the first game in a run of four consecutive away matches for Kevin Phillips' side as the season reaches a critical stage.

Newly-promoted Belper have significant motivation of their own as they seek to avoid relegation.

The Nailers are bottom of the standings, but earned a creditable 2-2 draw with Gainsborough Trinity last time out and were spirited in a 2-1 loss to Shields at 1st Cloud Arena in November.

Manager's views

Shields manager Phillips is expecting Belper to provide a stern test.

He said: “They had a good result last week against Gainsborough and it will be difficult.

“We've got four tough away games coming up, but the beauty ahead of this one is that we’ve had a full week to recover.

"The lads needed to recover because we had a tough six games in three weeks.

“It has allowed us to nurse a few knocks and get some players closer to their full fitness levels, and we’re ready to go.”

On the challenges of the weeks ahead, Phillips added: "We're seven points clear with two games in hand, so there are worse positions to be in.

"This is the start of a run of four away games and of course we'd love maximum points.

"We're unbeaten in a good few games now and if we take it into Belper and start the match well, we've got an opportunity to win."

Team news

Shields are hoping to have a near to full-strength squad available for the game.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at The Silver X Stadium, which has a post code of DE56 1BA, is at 3pm.

Admission prices are £11 for adults, £7 for under-16s, students and those aged 60 and over, and free for children aged under 11 who are accompanied by an adult.

Supporters can pay for entry at the turnstiles or purchase a ticket in advance by clicking here.

Those unable to make it to the game can listen to live commentary on the Mariners Live Mixlr channel by clicking here. Commentary will be provided by Chris May and Geoff Main.

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