Jon Shaw issues passionate rallying call to South Shields supporters ahead of crunch play-off semi-final
Captain Jon Shaw has called on South Shields' fans to raise the roof in tonight's crunch play-off semi-final.
The Mariners host Buxton in the semi-finals of the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-offs knowing they are three wins away from earning promotion to National League North.
To go up, they must beat Buxton and then the winner of the tie between Warrington Town and Nantwich Town on Saturday, before overcoming the winners of the Evo-Stik South Premier Division Central play-offs a week later.
Shaw is hoping Shields will be backed by a big crowd at Mariners Park tonight.
He knows the difference the fans could make.
He said: "The support we have been shown throughout this season has been out of this world, and now we need our brilliant supporters again for these play-off games.
"We hope there are three games left and that in a couple of weeks we are celebrating together again.
"First things first, we hope the fans raise the noise levels tonight and repeat the atmospheres of the great cup games we have had at Mariners Park over the last few years and together we will get over the line."
Shields finished second in the table, missing out on the title by three points.
They were beaten just once at Mariners Park in the league all season, so will go into the play-offs with confidence.
Buxton are one of the few sides they failed to beat in the league, though, losing 2-0 in Derbyshire in October before a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in March.
Shaw, though, is confident Shields can get the right result.
He added: "Buxton are one of the few sides to have had the better of us this season, beating us at their place and getting a draw here in the league.
"However, this is a one-off cup game and we have to go out and play like we did in the 1-1 draw but take our chances.
"That day in the league we were excellent.
"We didn’t only knock, but banged on the door all day only to be turned away by a fantastic goalkeeper and defensive display.
"The two results show how dangerous this fixture is but our home form over the last three years is second to none and the confidence and form we take into this game must show from the first whistle."
Shields have no major injury concerns heading into tonight's 7.45pm kick-off at Mariners Park.
Season tickets are not valid for this match and admission prices - which can be paid at the turnstiles - are £10 for adults, £8 for students and over-65s, and £3 for under-16s.