South Shields aim to kick-off another cup run

Barrie Smith collects his award after being named South Shields Player of the Month for September from Anne Harrison, of club sponsor Shaun Matthias.
Barrie Smith collects his award after being named South Shields Player of the Month for September from Anne Harrison, of club sponsor Shaun Matthias.

South Shields are up for another cup today – as they play their first game in the FA Trophy since reforming in 1974.

The Mariners are away to EVO-STIK League North rivals Scarborough Athletic in the preliminary round of the competition.

The winner of the tie will be away to Farsley Celtic in the first qualifying round.

Both sides go into the game full of confidence, with both having lost just once in the league this season.

They have also both reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup after superb runs in that competition.

Shields came out on top in the last meeting between the sides in August, winning 3-1 at the Flamingo Land Stadium.

Among their team tomorrow is expected to be long-serving midfielder Barrie Smith, who has been named as the club’s Player of the Month for September.

The award – which is sponsored by Shaun Matthias – was given to Smith after his performances continued to improve throughout the month.

His form has earned much praise from Shields joint manager Lee Picton.

He said: “I would say Barrie has been consistently our best player over the last four or five games.

“I think Barrie would probably be the first person to admit that he’s probably playing as well now as he ever has done in his career.

“That’s testament to him as a person as well as a player, because he wants to take information on board.

“You can tell he’s always listening, and he’s the ultimate team player.

“He epitomises what we’re all about.”

Kick-off in today’s game is at 3pm, with Shields looking to progress in another cup competition after making it through to the final qualifying round of the FA Cup last Saturday.