South Shields face latest test in hectic fixture schedule tonight

David Foley and Michael Richardson celebrate one of South Shields' goals in the 4-0 win over Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday. Image by Peter Talbot.

David Foley and Michael Richardson celebrate one of South Shields' goals in the 4-0 win over Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday. Image by Peter Talbot.

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Graham Fenton insists all of South Shields’ players remain under intense pressure to perform – despite being on a club-record run of 27 consecutive wins.

The Mariners travel to Sunderland RCA tonight for their third match of the week.

There’s pressure within the dressing room to perform, because if you don’t, your chances are going to be limited

Graham Fenton

Another victory for the second-placed side would close the gap on leaders North Shields to eight points, and they would still have three games in hand.

Shields made seven changes on Tuesday, but that did not stop them easing to a 4-0 win over Newton Aycliffe.

They are expected to shake things up again tonight as they look to keep the squad fresh in such a hectic period.

Fenton feels the performances of those who have been given a chance over recent weeks means there can be no let-up for any player.

The joint manager said: “The challenge is there for the lads to perform in every single game. There’s pressure within the dressing room to perform, because if you don’t, your chances are going to be limited.

“We’ve got some huge games coming up – league games, cup finals – and everyone is pushing each other to keep churning out these results. They’re doing ever so well at the moment.”

Sunderland RCA are one of just four sides to have avoided defeat against Shields since Fenton and Lee Picton took over as joint managers in September.

The management duo have won 40 of their 44 games in charge, and lost just once.

RCA drew 2-2 at Mariners Park in October, with Shields coming back from two goals down, with 10 men, to salvage a point.

Fenton is expecting another difficult match.

He added: “It will be tough tonight.

“We’ll be making a few changes again, so we’ll keep people guessing on the starting 11 and subs.

“We know that everyone who puts the shirt on will be chomping at the bit to do really well again.”

Shields could be without Robert Briggs and David Foley tonight, with both nursing knocks.

Kick-off at Meadow Park – which has a postcode of SR2 0NZ – is at 7.30pm, and admission can be paid at the gate.