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Top-of-the-table clash for SSFC Academy

The young Mariners are back in league action this Wednesday as they welcome Newcastle Benfield Under-19s to Washington Hub for a midday kick-off.

Both sides will be hoping to remain unbeaten in 2023, with Shields coming off the back of a 4-1 away victory at Morpeth Town, and Benfield dominating Farsley Celtic at home with a 5-0 demolition.

A win on Wednesday would keep Shields top of the National League Under-19 Alliance Division I, with a victory for the visitors sending Benfield top.

Despite a recent loan move to Pitching In Northern Premier League East side Shildon, defender Alfie Marriott is still available to play in this fixture and is hoping to help the lads remain top of the pile.

Shields' top goalscorers this season, George McArthur and Alex Thompson, will be hoping to add to their tallies on Wednesday. Both players currently being in double figures so far.

Shields and Benfield are the league's highest scoring sides this season, with a combined total of 61 goals scored.

In the opposition's attack, Jay Barber appears to be the man to most worry about, having scored 10 goals in his 11 appearances so far this campaign, all coming from open play.

The young Mariners have only conceded five goals so far this season in the league.

Full-back Fin Neary will be coming into Wednesday's fixture after being part of Boldon CA’s 6-1 win at Willington in Northern League Division Two at the weekend, where he started the game and played the full 90 minutes. He will be hoping for a similar victory on Wednesday.

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