South Shields switch attention towards AFC Rushden and Diamonds in FA Trophy

South Shields switch their attentions to the FA Trophy tomorrow when they welcome AFC Rushden and Diamonds to Mariners Park.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 5:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 5:24 pm
South Shields in action.

The Mariners are looking to claim a place in the third qualifying round of the competition as they take a short break from league action.

Last Saturday's 1-0 home loss to Lancaster City in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division was Shields' third league match in a row without a win, but joint manager Lee Picton has reiterated the faith he has in his squad.

He said: "I actually thought we played OK last Saturday, and well at times.

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"Football is a funny old game though and sometimes it's just not your day, and that was an example of that.

"I'm not saying we were brilliant by any stretch, but we showed a lot more endeavour and a lot more positivity on the ball than in our previous home game.

"They seemed to get all the bounces and all the deflections, and scored from a set-piece, which was disappointing from our perspective.

"We showed some real positive things and we've just had to dust ourselves down and move on."

AFC Rushden and Diamonds formed in 2011 following the collapse of Rushden and Diamonds FC, a club which had played in the Football League.

Having worked their way through the leagues, they now play at the equivalent level of Shields in the BetVictor Southern Premier Central.

They have had a mixed start to the season and currently sit 13th, but Picton is expecting a difficult match.

He added: "It's a slightly different focus for us and an opportunity to hopefully build some confidence up if we can get our performance right.

"As always, though, we're expecting a tough test against another team which will be determined to come to Mariners and leave with a positive result.

"The last three results in the league have been really disappointing from our perspective but if you had said to us before the start of the season we'd have 32 points after 15 games and be top of the league, I'd have taken that.

"Now we have an opportunity to progress further in the FA Trophy, which is a competition we want to do really well in."

Shields have a doubt over captain Jon Shaw (calf) and remain without Josh Gillies (hernia) and Luke Daly (knee).

They could welcome back Lee Mason after he narrowly missed out on the Lancaster game with a leg injury.

Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 3pm 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.