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SSFC Women set for FA Cup test at 1st Cloud Arena

The magic of the FA Cup returns to 1st Cloud Arena on Sunday as South Shields Women take on Alnwick Town in the second qualifying round (2pm kick-off).

An encouraging start to the NERWFL Premier Division season has seen Matt Gatiss’ side go unbeaten in four - with the Mariners having scored the most goals while conceding the fewest in the league. While hopes of an unlikely quadruple were stopped by upcoming Durham FA Women’s Cup opponents Spennymoor Town back in August, the team will be hoping to keep their cup dreams alive in a cup famed for its giant killings. Shields will be hoping to do better against Alnwick Town than last season, as the lasses were beaten twice: a 3-0 defeat away rounded up the 2022-23 campaign while Alnwick came out 4-2 winners at home in March.

Matt’s thoughts Matt spoke to us after the game on Sunday, and he wants even more fans to come along this time round: The head coach said: “We’ve got to keep bringing women’s football to 1st Cloud, getting more and more interest. “Obviously that starts with the FA Cup (this) week. Hopefully people will see the result and think ‘I want to give them a look, gonna have a look down’ and we get maybe double that (this) week. “The thing that I talked about with the club is to grow it, and grow it, and grow it, and not get tired of pushing ourselves as hard as we can. “We’ve got ambitions of moving up the leagues and if we do move up the leagues, we’ve got to have the infrastructure, we’ve got to have the support in place and the finances in place and that comes from getting that support built. “Hopefully they enjoyed it and hopefully they come back and bring a friend each!”

Information for supporters Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena (NE32 3UP) is at 2pm. Admission is £3 for adults while entry is free for under 12s - but supporters can get free tickets to this Sunday’s offering by ordering a Sunday lunch. You can book a table for Sunday lunch through the club’s website: The club would hugely appreciate any support as the lasses navigate a tough FA Cup tie against another high-flying divisional rival. More than 160 Mariners came down last weekend to see the side thrash Hartlepool so it would mean a lot if we could get even more this time round.

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