South Shields aim for FA Vase last eight – backed by more than 300 away fans in Southampton

Gavin Cogdon celebrates one of his two goals against Morpeth Town which helped Shields to a 4-0 win in the last round. Image by Peter Talbot.
Gavin Cogdon celebrates one of his two goals against Morpeth Town which helped Shields to a 4-0 win in the last round. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields are set to be backed by well over 300 away fans on Saturday when they make the long journey to Team Solent in the FA Vase.

The 660-mile round trip to Southampton will be the longest in the Mariners’ modern history.

I think the big crowds that are travelling to our games are part of the reason we’re putting on such good performances away from home

Gavin Cogdon

However, that has not put off supporters, with Shields having sold more than 300 tickets for the fifth round tie.

A 14th consecutive victory for the Mariners would see them progress to the quarter-finals, and in-form striker Gavin Cogdon feels the big travelling support could play a major role.

He said: “The turnout from our fans at Jarrow Roofing on Saturday was incredible. It felt like a home game, and it’s really good to see how many people are travelling to games.

“To see how many have bought tickets for the Team Solent match is unbelievable, really, and hopefully we can provide the result they all want.

“The fans definitely make a big impact for us.

“I think the big crowds that are travelling to our games are part of the reason we’re putting on such good performances away from home.”

The last time Shields failed to win an away game was on September 13 – with 12 consecutive victories on the road since then.

Cogdon has been a hugely influential figure since joining from Spennymoor Town last summer.

He has already hit 18 goals this season, despite having lengthy spells out with hamstring and groin injuries.

Over recent games, he has struck up a deadly strike partnership with David Foley, who himself has 18 goals in his last 11 starts.

However, Cogdon feels those in the supply line deserve just as much praise.

He added: “You’re only as good as the players around you. We’ve got great quality and strength in depth, and when people come in, they’re not weakening the team.”

Shields are expecting a tough test on Saturday against a team made up of students from Southampton Solent University.

Team Solent eased past Croydon 3-0 in the last round, with the talented Jesse Waller Lassen – formerly of Tottenham Hotspur – among their key players.

Cogdon, who won the Vase with Spennymoor in 2013, said: “We know how important Saturday is and that it’s going to be a difficult game. They will be just as up for it as we are, as this is the cup everyone wants to win.

“We’re just treating every game the same, though, and will approach this one no different to any other.”

Shields still have tickets available for the game. To buy, call 0191 454 7800 or visit Mariners Park.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have been handed an away tie against Newcastle Benfield in the quarter-final of the League Cup.