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NPL Match Preview: South Shields vs Radcliffe

A tantalising clash of the Pitching In Northern Premier League's top two awaits on Non-League Day as South Shields take on Radcliffe at 1st Cloud Arena (3pm kick-off).

With Premier League and Championship football on pause due to the international break, non-league is taking centre stage this weekend.

Much attention will be trained on the meeting between table-topping Shields and second-placed Radcliffe, who are separated by 13 points heading into the match.

Both teams are in confident mood, with the Mariners having defeated Hyde United 1-0 in their last outing, while Radcliffe beat Hyde and Marske United in their last two fixtures.

In the reverse fixture, a Jordy Mongoy double guided Shields to a 2-1 victory at Neuven Stadium in November.

Manager's views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips has called on his players to relish the occasion in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd.

He said: “It’s fantastic to be involved in such a big match to fit the occasion of Non-League Day.

“I said to the players before the Hyde game that these are the sort of matches you want to be involved in and why you became footballers.

“They really stood up to the test last weekend and now we have a similar challenge on Saturday, but as I often say, it’s mainly about what we do.

“We’re the home team and the onus is on us to start on the front foot with high intensity levels from minute one until minute 94 or 95.

“If we do that, our quality should always shine through and we will have an opportunity to get a positive result.”

On the importance of the crowd, Phillips added: “Our fans have helped us magnificently all season, home and away, and I’m sure it will be raised to even greater levels on Saturday.

“They make such a difference to the players, and probably don’t even know themselves the kind of impact they make.

“I’d like to urge them to make more noise than ever before to make it an incredible atmosphere for the players to hopefully thrive in.”

Team news

Shields are hoping to have a near full-strength squad to select from and have been bolstered by the arrival of Harry Gardiner on loan from Sunderland.

The 19-year-old striker will spend the remainder of the season with the Mariners after completing his temporary switch.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and the turnstiles will open at 12.30pm.

Supporters can pay for entry at the turnstiles, with tickets priced at £12 for adults, £9 for students and over-65s, £5 for children aged 13 to 16, and £3 for children aged 12 and under. There is an additional £2 charge for a seat.

Tickets can be purchased in advance until 12pm on Saturday by clicking here.

The two sets of supporters will be segregated, with Shields fans able to enter through turnstiles 1, 2, 5 and 6, and Radcliffe supporters allocated turnstiles 3 and 4. Any supporter found to be in the wrong section could be ejected from the ground.

Although this is not an all-ticket match, supporters are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to help ease queuing on matchday, and to avoid the prospect of disappointment in the event capacity is reached.

Supporters can pay at the turnstiles. Turnstile 2 will accept cash, with all other turnstiles to accept card only. If any supporter would like to upgrade to a seat on matchday, they can do so for a £2 charge at the hut next to turnstile 1 and 2.

The club also reminds supporters that the possession and use of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs is strictly prohibited. Further information is available by clicking here.

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 Nantwich Town on April 8th. Check the back of your programme for your lucky number, with the winner to be drawn at half-time.

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