All eyes on South Shields v Morpeth clash tonight

Mariners Park will be busy again tonight. Picture by Peter Talbot
Mariners Park will be busy again tonight. Picture by Peter Talbot
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The eyes of North East non-league football are again set to fall on Mariners Park tonight as Saturday’s abandoned FA Vase tie between South Shields and Morpeth Town is replayed.

The original match between the sides was not concluded at the weekend after the generator which provides power to the floodlights failed, causing them to go out.

The Mariners will have Julio Arca available.

Morpeth were winning 4-2 at the time, with a one-man advantage.

On Monday, the FA ordered that the game should be replayed tonight at Mariners Park.

Shields will be hoping to make the most of the opportunity, but will go into the tie without captain Leepaul Scroggins.

Scroggins suffered a serious leg break on Sunday while attempting to build up match fitness following an injury lay-off by playing for his Sunday league club.

The midfielder is likely to miss the rest of the season.

The Mariners will have Julio Arca available, though.

Arca was sent off in first half stoppage time on Saturday for two bookings, and will still have to serve a one-match ban over the dismissal.

However, the ban will not kick in until January 21, the date Shields are due to travel to Jarrow Roofing in Northern League Division One.

It remains to be seen whether fellow midfielder Andrew Stephenson will be fit enough to play a part tonight.

Stephenson was forced off in the first half on Saturday with a foot injury, and is battling to be fit for the rearranged tie.

Should he miss out, that could mean a place in the starting line-up for Michael Richardson, who netted the Mariners’ second goal at the weekend. Shields remain without left-back Anthony Callaghan, who is cup-tied having played in the competition earlier this season for Washington.

Louis Storey, too, is unavailable, but he continues to make progress in his recovery from a broken leg and could be back on the pitch for the Mariners within a fortnight.

Tonight’s match will kick-off at 7.30pm at Mariners Park, with admission prices costing £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s. As it is a cup game, season tickets, junior and corporate season passes will not be valid.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the match will go to extra-time, and if they still cannot be split after that, there will be a replay at Morpeth.