Mariners ready for tricky Vase tie against Runcorn Linnets

Wayne Phillips has scored three goals in his last two appearances for South Shields. Image by Peter Talbot.
Wayne Phillips has scored three goals in his last two appearances for South Shields. Image by Peter Talbot.

Lee Picton feels South Shields have been handed one of the trickiest ties possible as they continue their FA Vase bid tomorrow.

The Mariners host Runcorn Linnets at Mariners Park in the first round of the competition.

Out of all the first round ties, it’s one of the trickiest ones we could have had

Lee Picton

Shields go into the game full of confidence, having won their last five games in Northern League Division One, including at title rivals Shildon and Morpeth Town.

However, anyone expecting tomorrow’s North West Counties League Premier Division opponents to be pushovers are in for a rude awakening, according to Picton.

Linnets are in excellent form, and have won 10 of their last 12 games in all competitions. They’re fourth in their league, five points off the top.

Shields joint manager Graham Fenton watched them in person a fortnight ago, and was impressed with what he saw.

The Mariners therefore know they will have to produce some of their best play to triumph tomorrow on an occasion Picton is excited by.

He said: “The FA Vase is always a little bit special, and hopefully this can be one of a number of games for us this season in that competition.

“We’re expecting a really tough game, though.

“We’ve been watching them closely, and Graham has been to watch them.

“Out of all the first round ties, it’s one of the trickiest ones we could have had.

“We’re certainly not going to approach the game lightly.

“We’re ready for a tough challenge and hopefully we can finish on the right side of the line.”

Picton feels a big home support could make a huge difference for Shields tomorrow.

He added: “I’m looking forward to it, and I know the players are certainly looking forward to it, as are Graham and Martin Scott. I’m sure the fans will be.

“We’re really looking forward to a great support, as we always get.

“The fans were excellent again on Tuesday, and we want to say a massive thank you to the supporters who turn out home and away and support us tremendously.”

Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm, with admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – costing £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.

Season tickets and junior passes are not valid for this fixture.