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NPL Match Preview: South Shields vs Marske United

South Shields face their first of three consecutive home games on Tuesday when they welcome Marske United to 1st Cloud Arena (7.45pm kick-off).

The Mariners are level on points with Hyde United at the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League, with the Greater Manchester side holding the advantage on goals scored, having played four more games.

Shields won 2-0 at Atherton Collieries on Saturday to strengthen their position, and will follow the meeting with Marske with further home fixtures against Lancaster City and Liversedge.

This is the first time Shields and Marske have faced each other in the league this season, but an Emirates FA Cup tie between the sides ended in a 5-2 victory for the Mariners in October.

Manager's views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips acknowledges his team are in a strong position, but insists it is crucial no complacency is allowed to take hold.

He said: “We’re in a good position but it’s vital that no complacency is allowed to creep in, and if I start to sense that I’ll come down on it.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen, because we’ve got a very professional bunch of players and they know how important it is to keep their feet on the ground.

“There is still an awfully long way to go and a lot of football to be played, but we can’t look beyond the next game.

“Our first job is to take care of Tuesday’s match and then our attention will turn to the next one.”

Marske are third-bottom after a 2-0 loss at Stafford Rangers on Saturday, but they have at least five games in hand on all of the sides immediately above them after a host of postponements.

Phillips added: “We’ve watched Marske recently and they have plenty of players who pose a threat.

“As most teams do, they’re likely to sit in and attempt to hit us on the counter or through set-pieces, and we will probably have most of the possession.

“It’s about how sharp we can be on the ball and remaining patient in our search of a breakthrough.

“It will be a completely different game to the weekend, and we’ve got a lot of respect for Marske, who will see this as a free hit.

“Our main focus is on what we do, because if we play the way we know we can and are clinical in the final third, we will have a great chance of winning.”

Team news

Shields are expecting to have a full-strength squad to choose from for the game at 1st Cloud Arena.

Information for supporters

Kick-off is at 7.45pm, with the turnstiles to open at 5.30pm.

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, and this can be purchased in advance or by turnstile 1 and 2 after entering the ground.

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.

A new set of standardised opening times will be in operation. The opening times are:

New stand bar: 5.30-close

New stand kiosk: 5.30-9.30pm

Shipley Lounge: 5.30-10.30pm

Barbour Lounge: 5.30-9.30pm

Alum Ale House downstairs bar: 5.30-10.30pm

Synergi marquee: 6.45-9.30pm

Burger van: 5.30-9.30pm

Black tin: 5.30-9.30pm

Shop: 5.30-9.30pm

Corporate boxes: 5.30-10.30pm

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 four tickets for our game against Lancaster City on February 4th. Check the back of your programme for your lucky number, with the winner to be drawn at half-time.

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