Record crowd expected at Mariners Park for South Shields derby with North Shields

Jon Shaw. Image by Peter Talbot.

Jon Shaw. Image by Peter Talbot.

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The Mariners Park attendance record is expected to be smashed on Saturday as South Shields take on North Shields in an eagerly-awaited, table-topping derby.

Tickets have been selling extremely well for the match, which will see the top two in Northern League Division One go head-to-head.

Already, the projected crowd figure is higher than the record at the ground, which was set in April when 1,827 watched Shields defeat Hebburn Town 2-0.

Tickets remain available, although they must now be collected in person from Mariners Park, while it is at this stage uncertain whether there will be a cash turnstile on matchday.

The match has been talked about for some time, with both Shields sides having started the season excellently.

North Shields are top of the table, five points ahead of the Mariners having played a game more.

They travel to Morpeth Town tonight as they take on another title contender, while South Shields have a free midweek without a game.

The prospect of playing in front of such a bumper crowd is exciting the Mariners players, according to Jon Shaw.

The former Gateshead player said: “We know the gate is going to be big.

“The place is going to be rocking and they’re going to come here fancying themselves.

“We’re full of confidence as well, having not been beaten for so long, so it’s going to be a good one.

“We don’t fear anybody, because you know you need to beat good sides if you want to win the league.

“We’ve just got to keep believing in what we’re doing, and we believe that we’re good enough to beat anybody.”

The Mariners go into the match having won their last eight, while North Shields have lost just once so far this season, which was in South Tyneside against Jarrow Roofing last month.

Tickets for Saturday’s game cost £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s. They can be bought by calling 0191 454 7800 or visiting Mariners Park, but availability is increasingly limited.