Shields boss Fenton: We’re ready for anything at Ramsbottom

Striker Gavin Cogdon. Picture by Peter Talbot.
Striker Gavin Cogdon. Picture by Peter Talbot.
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Graham Fenton admits South Shields might have to win ugly at Ramsbottom United tomorrow.

The Mariners are braced for another battle with the elements at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

The weather is expected to wreak havoc on the non-league programme tomorrow as the country is battered with snow, rain and freezing temperatures.

And after Shields had to battle similar conditions in last Saturday’s game at Prescot Cables, joint manager Fenton insists they are ready for whatever is thrown at them tomorrow.

Fenton said: “They had a game on their pitch on Tuesday, so we don’t know what the pitch is going to be like.

“If it’s similar conditions to last Saturday at Prescot, we’ll be ready for it.

“We know we might need to be adapt, and might not be able to play as much as we did on Tuesday, but we’ve got to go into every game with a gameplan to win.”

Shields go into tomorrow’s game sitting three points clear at the top of Evo-Stik North, with three games in hand on second-placed Bamber Bridge.

Ramsbottom, meanwhile, are 14th in the table, though they have won six of their eight home games so far.

It will be another lengthy journey for the Mariners, with Ramsbottom based in Greater Manchester.

Fenton believes they are beginning to grow accustomed to the added travel this season.

He added: “The travelling is new to a few of the players, and they have to get used to the different surfaces and the weather conditions.

“It’s all good experience, and hopefully we’ve learned from last Saturday’s game at Prescot. We’re looking to go there tomorrow and take the three points.”

Shields have doubts over a number of players going into the 3pm kick-off. Julio Arca, Jon Shaw, Barrie Smith, Gavin Cogdon, Alex Nicholson and Anthony Callaghan have all been struggling with injuries over recent weeks.

Fenton, though, insists none of them will be rushed back into action too early.

He said: “We’re going to wait and see with a number of lads going into the game.

“We don’t want to get into a situation of pushing people back into action too early.

“That can turn one-week lay-offs into three or four weeks, which we don’t want.

“We’ve got to be patient and take advice from Andy Morris, our physio.

“It was a very light training session last night and now we’ll make the call on the team.”

The post code for the Harry Williams Stadium is BL0 0BS, and places on supporters’ coaches to the game are still available.

Places on the Westoe Travel coach can be bought by calling 0191 455 2292, while the number for booking with the Simonside Branch is 07706 517010.

Shields go into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over Stocksbridge Park Steels in the Integro Cup on Tuesday, with Michael Richardson and Luke Sullivan on the scoresheet.