South Shields bid to strengthen lead in Evo-Stik North
South Shields will aim to strengthen their grip on top spot in the Evo-Stik North Division tonight when they travel to in-form Atherton Collieries.
The Mariners are top of the league on goal difference from Hyde United, with three games in hand.
Tonight’s match is in some doubt following heavy rainfall in the Atherton area over recent weeks, but Shields will hope the pitch is passed fit to play as they bid for a fourth league win in a row.
Their last outing saw them beat Prescot Cables 5-2 on Saturday, with the Mariners twice coming from behind to claim three important points.
Joint manager Lee Picton is hoping they can pick up where they left off.
Picton said: “It was a great three points for us last Saturday and an entertaining game, although it wasn’t the way we scripted it beforehand.
“We responded really well to twice come from behind, and we came on really strongly towards the end.
“Hopefully we can pick up where we left off, because tonight is another massive game.
“We can take another massive step towards where we want to be if we get the win.”
Lee Mason scored twice in the win over Prescot, just two days after netting his first goal for Shields in a League Cup win at Workington.
Picton is delighted with the forward’s form.
He added: “Lee showed people the kind of quality that we brought him to the football club for last Saturday.
“He really stuck his neck out at Workington with what I thought was a really top quality performance.
“That forced our hand in terms of our team selection against Prescot, and he took his two goals, especially the second one, really well.
“I was really, really pleased for Lee.”
Shields will again be without Barrie Smith and Carl Finnigan, with Anthony Callaghan also out for the 7.45pm kick-off.
Admission at the Kensite Stadium – which has a postcode of M46 9EY – is £7 for adults, £4 for concessions and students, and £2 for accompanied under-12s.
Atherton go into the game sitting 12th in the table.