South Shields joint-boss relishing another 'landmark' game ahead of historic FA Cup clash with Cheltenham Town

Lee Picton is relishing another “landmark occasion” in the rise of South Shields as they prepare to take on League Two club Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup first round.
Lee PictonLee Picton
Lee Picton

Since chairman Geoff Thompson took control of the then-Northern League Division Two club in 2015, the Mariners have secured three promotions and won both the Durham Challenge Cup and the Brooks Mileson Northern League Cup.

Possibly the biggest day in the club’s history came in May 2017 when more than 15,000 supporters made their way to Wembley to see their side claim the FA Vase with a 4-0 win over Cleethorpes Town.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Saturday’s historic trip to Cheltenham marks another high point as South Shields are represented in the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since a 2-0 defeat at Rochdale in 1972.

Ahead of the trip to Gloucestershire, Picton revealed that he is keen to keep experiencing historical moments as his side look to secure a famous win at Whaddon Road.

He told The Gazette: “This one is a bit special for me and, more importantly, it’s special for the club as a whole.

“Much like the club, I have never been involved in a first round proper tie, so it’s a new one for me.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We have been involved in some big games in the last few years, and you think back to the Vase final and everything that came with that - but this is something a little bit different.

“You do dream about what could potentially come next or even about what could lie in wait if you get to the third round.

“Hopefully, it’s not the last landmark occasion for the football club this season, or in seasons to come because we want to enjoy more moments like this as we try to progress.”

Both sides will go into Saturday’s eagerly anticipated tie in good form after making positives starts to the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

South Shields will hope to stretch their unbeaten run to six games with a surprise result against a Robins side that are currently sat in the League Two play-off places.

Picton revealed that the Mariners squad are travelling with confidence and stressed that they will have no inferiority complex as they prepare to take on Michael Duff’s side.

“We fully respect that Cheltenham are three tiers higher, they are in good form and they are a top end League Two club for a very good reason.

“But, we will not have an inferiority complex, and we will not show them too much respect.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We know that to have a chance to win the game, we have to be at the top end of our game throughout the entire 90 minutes.

“There is no pressure on us, they are expected to win and maybe a little bit of pressure comes with that expectation.

“We have to make the most of that.”