Stage set for South Shields FC’s BBC debut in FA Cup

South Shields FC joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton on the gantry set up at Mariners Park by the BBC.
South Shields FC joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton on the gantry set up at Mariners Park by the BBC.

Lights, camera, action – the stage is set for South Shields FC’s BBC debut today.

The Mariners’ FA Cup preliminary round tie against Bridlington Town is being shown live by the broadcaster.

The coverage of the game could potentially reach millions of people.

The coverage of the game could potentially reach millions of people.

After the match was selected by the BBC as the tie of the round, the kick-off time was brought forward to 12.30pm so it could be streamed live across the broadcaster’s online platforms.

The action from Mariners Park could potentially reach millions of people, just three months on from the finest day in the club’s history, when they won the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium.

Player Matty Pattison, a former Newcastle United midfielder, says the national media exposure will be hugely beneficial to the club.

He said: “It’s always nice when a lot of people are going to see you.

It’s always nice when a lot of people are going to see you

Matty Pattison

“I think a lot of people have taken note of the club since last season, and there’s a lot of press around the club, which is great for us.

“You want that tag, where everyone wants to play you and try to beat you.

“I’m sure we’re going to get a lot of that this season.”

The BBC have set up their gantry at Mariners Park as they get ready to film the action.

The commentary team, though, will not be coming to the ground, and will instead commentate on the stream from the BBC Sport studio in Salford.

Match of the Day commentator Conor McNamara and former Manchester United striker Danny Webber will talk viewers through the action.

It comes as, for the first time, the BBC broadcasts a game at every stage of the competition.

Today’s tie will be streamed live across BBC Sport’s digital platforms, giving fans the chance to watch on PC, mobile or connected TV.

The match will also be available live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer.

The Mariners will be looking to follow up their incredible success from last season, when they won four trophies.

After securing the Northern League Division One title, they scored a hat-trick of cup successes, triumphing in the Northern League Cup, Durham Challenge Cup and FA Vase.

A crowd of between 1,000 and 2,000 is expected at Mariners Park today, after 1,776 saw Shields win their opening home game of the season 5-0 on Tuesday.

After the game, singer Jonathan Page will perform in the ground’s marquee.