Police reassurance for supporters ahead of South Shields' trip to North Shields
Police are working with both clubs to ensure this weekend's crunch derby between North Shields and South Shields FC passes without incident.
The hotly-anticipated Northern League clash is set to be watched by about 1,500 supporters at Daren Persson Stadium, in North Shields.
Well over 400 fans are expected to make the trip from South Tyneside, as the top two in the league go head-to-head.
Officers have moved to reassure those attending the fixture that precautions are being made to ensure there are no flashpoints off the pitch.
North Shields Neighbourhood Acting Inspector Guy Morgan said: “We are aware that some members of the community have raised concerns about the potential for tensions between supporters of the two sides.
“Police are working with the clubs to ensure the safety of people attending the game and to minimise any disruption for people living in the area.
“This is a good local sporting event which is enjoyed by the vast majority of supporters who are looking forward to the fixture between two currently successful teams.”
The Mariners – who have reached three cup finals this season, including the FA Vase at Wembley – are competing for the league title.
With five games left, they are second, three points behind North Shields.
Should they win on Saturday, the Mariners will go top of the league on goal difference, with two games in hand.
South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton will be returning to face his old club, having moved across the Tyne last September.
He and fellow joint boss Lee Picton have since led the Mariners on a stunning run of form and into contention for four trophies.
Should they win on Saturday, it would be their 31st in a row.