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NPL Match Preview: Lancaster City vs South Shields

South Shields travel to Lancaster City on Tuesday as the Pitching In Northern Premier League season resumes (7.45pm kick-off).

Fixtures were postponed on Saturday as a mark of respect following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Among the games called off was Shields’ trip to FC United of Manchester, but they will return to action with another visit to Lancashire on Tuesday.

Lancaster have won one, drawn four and lost one in the league so far this campaign, and sit 18th heading into their meeting with Kevin Phillips’ side.

Shields, meanwhile, are top of the table having enjoyed an unbeaten start, and their most recent outing was a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Guiseley last Tuesday.

The home team won both meetings between the sides last season, with Shields triumphing 2-1 at 1st Cloud Arena before Lancaster were victorious in the reverse fixture 1-0.

Manager’s views

That narrow defeat at Giant Axe came at a crucial point for the Mariners, who were chasing the league title.

Manager Kevin Phillips hopes his team will show how much they have developed since then in Tuesday’s match.

He said: “We’re looking forward to it.

“Those players who were carrying knocks have had an opportunity to recover, and the squad is fresh and raring to go.

“We’ve had a good build-up and we’re all excited about the game.

“This will be another challenge for us.

“We had a disappointing loss at Lancaster last season and we’re determined to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Phillips is aware of the type of test his side faces at Lancaster.

He added: “We’re expecting a physical battle, as most games are in this league.

“We need to implement our gameplan, stand up for ourselves and play when we get the chance to.

“We know that we’re a match for anyone in this league when we perform to our best levels, and that’s what we’re striving for.

“It may be the case that we need to be patient again, but hopefully we’ll be able to be more clinical in the 18-yard box.”

Team news

Shields remain without injured trio Jordan Hunter, Darius Osei and JJ Hooper, and it remains to be seen whether Callum Ross will be considered for selection, with the midfielder having returned to full training this week.

Defender Tom Broadbent is available to make his debut after recovering from injury, with Blair Adams and Joao Gomes also back in contention.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at Giant Axe – which has a post code of LA1 5PE – is at 7.45pm and admission prices are £10 for adults, £7 for concessions, £5 for those aged 14 to 17 and free for under-14s with a paying adult. Cash turnstiles are in operation.

A minute’s silence will be held before the match in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, and both sides will wear black armbands.

Those who are unable to make it to the game can listen to live commentary from Chris May and Ronnie Peet on the Mariners Live Mixlr page by clicking here.

Live updates will also be posted on the club’s Twitter page.

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