South Shields aim to take important step in top-of-table clash

South Shields are hoping to go further clear at the top of the table tomorrow. Image by Peter Talbot.
South Shields are hoping to go further clear at the top of the table tomorrow. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields are looking to take another important step in their bid for a third successive promotion tomorrow.

The table-topping Mariners are away to Merseysiders Prescot Cables, who sit third in Evo-Stik North.

It’s going to be a hugely difficult task going away from home to a good side like them and trying to pick up three points

Graham Fenton

Four points separate the sides going into the fixture at Volair Park, though Shields have five games in hand.

Graham Fenton and Lee Picton’s side have won 12 of their 13 matches in the league so far, and are two points ahead of second-placed Bamber Bridge, who have played four games more.

Tomorrow’s match therefore gives them an opportunity to strengthen an already commanding position.

However, joint manager Fenton expects a difficult task against a Prescot side who have won their last three games, including victories over high-flying Scarborough Athletic and Glossop North End.

He said: “We’re really hoping to kick on after last week’s 6-1 win against Droylsden, but Prescot Cables are in very good form.

“It’s going to be a hugely difficult task going away from home to a good side like them and trying to pick up three points, but it’s what we’re going to try to do.

“I’d hazard a guess that, with the amount of games they’ve had on their pitch so far, the surface will not be like what it is at Mariners Park.

“We might have to adapt a little bit and come up with a different gameplan and way of playing because of that.

“As long as we go there with the same mentality and application as the lads did last Saturday, we’re going to give them a good test.”

Shields will be without the injured Barrie Smith, who is expected to be out for between two and three weeks with a groin strain.

Jon Shaw is a doubt with a calf injury, while long-term injured duo Stephen Ramsey and Adam Hutchinson will also miss out.

The Mariners are hopeful that Carl Finnigan and Anthony Callaghan will be available to play a part, though, after they trained last night.

Finnigan is hoping to add to his tally of 14 goals so far this season.

He said: “We’ve put ourselves in a fantastic position, but, because we’re a few games behind, the table is a little bit false at the moment.

“To have gone this many games and only lost one is a good feat, and something we want to keep going.

“We have to keep working hard as we did last Saturday and try to get ourselves clear at the top of the table.”

Kick-off is at 3pm, and the post code of the ground is L34 6ND.

Late places on supporters’ coaches to the game are available by contacting Westoe Travel on 0191 455 2292 or the Simonside Branch on 07706 517010.