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NPL Match Preview: South Shields vs Ashton United

South Shields host Ashton United on Saturday as the Mariners bid to maintain their place at the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League (1pm kick-off).

The Mariners were 2-1 winners at Radcliffe on Wednesday as they made it four victories in five games and leapfrogged Gainsborough Trinity into top spot.

The action continues to come thick and fast for Kevin Phillips' side, though, as they take on an Ashton outfit sitting 12th in the table.

The reverse fixture between the teams ended in a 1-1 draw in August, with Michael Woods scoring a second half equaliser for Shields.

Saturday's game will kick-off at the earlier than usual time of 1pm to avoid a clash with World Cup fixtures.

Manager's views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips is respectful of the threat posed by Ashton, the club which Darius Osei recently spent a fruitful 28-day loan spell with.

The Robins would have been outside the play-off places on mere goal difference had it not been for a three-point deduction earlier in the campaign.

Phillips said: "We’re the home team and we know Ashton will be highly motivated to take points from us, which we respect.

“It’s a quick turnaround from Wednesday and we’ve had a very short recovery time, whereas Ashton have had a free week to prepare and will be fresh for the challenge ahead.

“Because of that, we may have to maximise the squad and change things up somewhat to give us the best chance of a positive result, but that’s something we’ve been weighing up since the Radcliffe game.”

Team news

Loanee Jordy Mongoy could make his first home start for the Mariners after netting twice at Radcliffe on his full debut.

His arrival and instant impact has added to the competition for places in forward areas, which will be bolstered further by the return of Sam Hodgson, who is back in training.

Robert Briggs and Michael Woods both missed out with injuries in midweek and Shields are hopeful of their availability on Saturday, but the match is expected to come too soon for Tom Broadbent and Conor Newton.

Information for supporters

As previously stated, the match will kick-off at 1pm, with turnstile 1 to open at 10.30am. All other turnstiles will open at 11am.

Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, £9 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, £5 for those aged 13 to 16 and £3 for under-12s.

A £2 upgrade is available for those wishing to seat – but this is only available for those who purchase tickets in advance.

Supporters can buy tickets in advance by clicking here or pay at the turnstiles. Turnstile 2 will accept cash, with all other turnstiles to accept card only. There is no segregation in place at this fixture.

Happy Hour pricing will be in operation in all bars between 10.30am and 12pm, with a second Happy Hour to begin immediately following the final whistle and last until 4pm.

A match programme, packed with content, is available to purchase for £3 and also acts as a raffle ticket, with one lucky programme holder to win a Sunday lunch for two people at SSFC. Check the back of your programme for your lucky number, with the winner to be drawn at half-time.

Supporters are also reminded that the Tyne and Wear Metro line remains suspended between South Shields and Pelaw. Alternative public transport options are available and are outlined here. This is expected to be the last fixture affected by the closure.

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