A potential derby clash with North Shields is at stake for South Shields tonight when they resume their FA Vase bid.
However, the Northern League Division Two-leading Mariners must first overcome a Morpeth Town side which sits top of the tier above.
This is a massive game for the players, the club and the supporters, and our fans could make a huge differenceJon King
North Shields, meanwhile, would also have to beat Runcorn Town tomorrow for the Shields derby to come to fruition in round four.
Tonight’s clash between the leaders of the two Northern League divisions at Mariners Park has been much anicipated.
Shields will be looking to make it 20 consecutive wins in all competitions, but manager Jon King insists it will be by far their toughest assignment of the campaign so far.
He said: “Every game is big when you’re top of the table and wanting to keep a winning record going, but everybody knows this is the biggest game so far for us.
“We’ve had some tough draws in the Vase. Every tie that we’ve had, we’ve been asked to go and beat a side from the league above, which we’ve done, but I think this will be the toughest one.
“This is a massive game for the players, the club and the supporters, and our fans could make a huge difference. They have been fantastic this season and we can’t thank them enough. I said a while ago about them being our 12th man, and when I said that I really meant it.
“We’re going to need those supporters more than ever tonight, and I’d like to appeal to the whole South Tyneside public to come along and cheer us on.
“It’s going to be a cracking game, because both teams are top of their leagues. This is the tie of the round.”
Shields hope to welcome back Julio Arca for the 7.45pm kick-off, while Stephen Ramsey and Robert Briggs could also shrug off knocks to play.
The Mariners will be without Lewis Galpin and Lewis Teasdale, but should welcome back Daryll Hall, Adam Sakr and Jonny Wightman. Admission prices – to be paid for at the turnstiles – are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s. Club passes and season tickets are not valid for this fixture.