'It’s massive' - South Shields defender relishing FA Cup tie in front of HUGE record 3,500-strong crowd
South Shields defender Blair Adams is relishing the prospect of facing Forest Green Rovers in front of a record crowd at the 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday lunchtime.
The Mariners made their way into the first round of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history with a stunning 1-0 win over National League side Scunthorpe United last month as their reward is a lucrative home tie against the League One strugglers.
The game will be broadcast live on BBC One as over 3,500 supporters witness a historic moment for the Mariners. The mood will be a complete contrast to their last visit to the first round when Covid-19 restrictions meant a tie at League Two side Cheltenham Town was held behind closed doors.
Adams believes there is ‘a real buzz’ around his hometown ahead of Saturday’s tie and paid tribute to Mariners supporters as they prepare to get behind their side in a bid to pull off what would be a major shock.
He told The Gazette: “I think it’s massive and we did so well to get there. It was the first time to get to the first round at Cheltenham and I think we would have taken a huge amount of supporters down there and who knows on the day with a crowd behind us, it might have been different.
“We are really pleased we were drawn at home. It shows the fanbase we have that we are selling out and that new stand will probably be full with more people queuing to get in when the game kicks off.
“It’s a reward for us really. We did so well two years ago but we didn’t get the full experience. Around the town, there’s been a real buzz about the place and there has been within the group. We are really looking forward to it,” he added.
The previous record attendance of 3,464 at the 1st Cloud Arena was set during the second leg of the FA Vase semi-final against Coalshill Town in 2017 - but that figure was officially surpassed on Thursday afternoon.