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NPL Match Preview: South Shields vs Morpeth Town

Morpeth Town are the visitors to 1st Cloud Arena on Monday for a greatly anticipated North East derby between two sides locked on nine points (3pm kick-off).

It is both teams’ second game in three days in a busy bank holiday weekend, with Shields having won 1-0 at Nantwich Town on Saturday while Morpeth beat Hyde United 3-0. The neighbours have both collected nine points from their first five fixtures.

Last season’s meeting between the sides at 1st Cloud Arena ended in a 2-0 victory for the Mariners on a raucous night, with the Highwaymen triumphing w-0 in the reverse match.

Morpeth are managed by former Sunderland AFC youngster Craig Lynch and made several changes to their squad over the summer after a 10th place finish last term.

Long-serving club favourites Sean Taylor, Stephen Forster and Liam Henderson departed, along with former South Shields duo Wayne Phillips and Carl Finnigan. Connor Thomson, Dale Pearson, Josh Scott, Josh Robson, Josh King, Ryan Wombwell and Connor Pani were among their signings in the off-season.

Manager’s views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips shared his thoughts on Saturday’s win at Nantwich and looked ahead to the test ahead against Morpeth in his post-match interview, which can be viewed below.

Team news

Shields have a number of injury doubts heading into Tuesday’s match.

They remain without Cedric Main, JJ Hooper, Callum Ross and Tom Broadbent, with Darius Osei and Jordan Hunter also expected to miss out with the injuries which ruled them out of Saturday’s game.

There are also doubts over Michael Woods and Dylan Mottley-Henry after they were forced off during the Nantwich match, but it is expected decisions on the fitness of several players will be made closer to kick-off time.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and tickets for the match cost from £12 for adults, £9 for concessions, £5 for those aged 12 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, which are set to open at 12.30pm. 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 12.30pm and 1.30pm, with a second Happy Hour to begin immediately following the final whistle.

Free live entertainment is available in the new bar between 12.45pm and 2.45pm with singer-guitarist Charlie Whyte, and from 5.30pm and 7.30pm, with the brilliant singer Annabel Pattinson set to perform.

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 signed SSFC shirt. Check the back of your programme for your lucky number, with the winner to be drawn at half-time.

Supporters are also reminded that this is the first fixture at which the club’s new approach to cash and card payments is implemented, and the first game the relocated designated smoking area is used. Please click here for further information.

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