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NPL Match Preview: Liversedge vs South Shields

South Shields travel to Liversedge on Tuesday as they return to Pitching In Northern Premier League action (7.45pm kick-off).

It will be the Mariners’ first visit to the Clayborn Stadium, with Sedge having earned promotion from Division One East as champions last season.

Shields had into the game in buoyant mood after defeating National League side Scunthorpe Town on Saturday to take their place in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup.

They will be taking on a Liversedge team which have lost all seven of their home league matches so far, but their 10 points won on the road have indicated their quality.

Manager’s views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips expressed his pride towards his players after the 1-0 victory over Scunthorpe, but his focus quickly turned back to the league.

The Mariners’ exploits in the Emirates FA Cup have left them playing catch-up in the NPL, seven points behind leaders FC United with four games in hand. Shields are 10th, having played less matches than all but one of the teams above them.

Phillips says Tuesday’s game carries even more importance than cup fixtures for his side as they look to gain momentum in their bid for promotion.

He said: “As soon as Saturday’s game was over, my attention turned immediately to the league and what will be a difficult game against Liversedge.

“Our FA Cup wins have left us with four games in hand on FC United, who are top of the table and ahead of us by seven points, so it’s clear how vital it is we pick up maximum points.

“I made it clear to the players after the game on Saturday that they should enjoy the occasion without going overboard, because this is a huge match.

“I want to win the game on Tuesday and this one is more important than Saturday’s was, because we can’t afford to drop any points at this stage of the season.”

Team news

Forward Will Russ could make his debut for Shields in the match after completing a loan move from Fleetwood Town.

The Mariners are expected to remain without strikers Sam Hodgson (foot) and Lewis Alessandra (groin). JJ Hooper has returned to full training and it remains to be seen whether he will be deemed ready to return to match action on Tuesday.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at the Clayborn Stadium – which has a post code of WF15 8DF – is at 7.45pm.

Cash and card payments will be accepted at the gate, priced at £10 for adults, £5 for over-65s, £3 for under-16s and free for under-fives. A family ticket – for two adults and two under-16s – is priced at £20.

Supporters who are unable to make it to the game can listen to live commentary on the Mariners Live Mixlr page. Chris May will talk through the action and you can click here to tune in.

Regular updates will also be posted on the club’s Twitter account.

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