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NPL Match Preview: Stalybridge Celtic vs South Shields

South Shields travel to Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday as they aim to return to winning ways in the Pitching In Northern Premier League (1pm kick-off).

The match is beginning earlier than usual to allow supporters, players and staff the chance to return home in time to watch England's World Cup quarter-final against France, which kicks off at 7pm.

With cold weather forecast in the North West, fans are advised to monitor the club's social media accounts and website on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning should the game be in any doubt.

Shields are top of the league on goal difference from Hyde United following last Saturday's 3-3 draw with Ashton United, and have played two games fewer than the second-placed side.

Stalybridge are 20th, and the reverse fixture between the sides took place on the opening day of the season, with Shields triumphing 2-0 at 1st Cloud Arena.

Manager's views

Shields manager Kevin Phillips has relished a full week on the training pitch with his players after two late goals denied them maximum points against Ashton.

Phillips said: "We’ve dusted ourselves down and had a good week of training, so we’re well prepared for the game.

“We’re looking to get back to winning ways and keeping clean sheets, because we’ve been excellent at that so far this season.

“We’re just having a bit of a wobbly spell in terms of conceding goals, but we’ve got enough experience to handle that and the pleasing thing is we’re finding the net regularly now.

“We were gutted not to win last Saturday but we’ve remained positive and we’re looking forward to getting back in action.”

Team news

Shields remain without Conor Newton (calf), but are hoping to welcome back Tom Broadbent and Sam Hodgson.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at Bower Fold - which has a post code of SK15 2RT - is at 1pm and admission prices are £12 for adults and £8 for concessions.

Admission can be paid for at the turnstiles, but tickets are also available by clicking here.

Supporters unable to make it to the game can listen to live commentary on the Mariners Live Mixlr page. It can be accessed by clicking here.

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