The Robins face Newcastle Benfield at the Daren Persson Stadium tomorrow afternoon as they look to extend their impressive run of form.
Monday evening’s 4-3 victory over Newcastle University in the Northern League Cup extended North Shields’ unbeaten run to seven; with the last defeat coming in the league against Stockton Town on September 18.
However, Benfield are on a good run of form themselves and are unbeaten in five, with their last loss against Ashington in the league on September 14.
Benfield also boast having the in-form Dennis Knight in their team after his ten goals so far this season helped the club up to ninth in the Division One table.
Having said that, the Robins will be aware of what their opponents are capable of having faced them three times last season, winning twice and losing one.
There will be some familliar faces in the Benfield squad tomorrow as both Ben Richardson and Peter Glenn-Ravenhill now call Sam Smith’s Park their home.
After starting the 2017/18 season with the Robins, Ben left the club to join Whitley Bay, before leaving Hillheads Park to join Benfield at the start of this season. Peter made a similar swith to Ben as the attacker joined Newcastle Benfield shortly after leaving Whitley Bay in 2018.
One face that will be familliar to tomorrow’s visitors will be that of Scott McCarthy, after the forward made the switch to North Shields from Benfield during the summer. After an injury hit start to the season, Scott has seen more regular first team action, with his first goal for the club coming away at Penrith on September 21.
Shields manager Marc Nash will have an almost entirely fit squad to choose from after Jordan Summerly made his long-awaited return from a knee injury.
However, there will be question marks over the fitness of Wayne Buchanan, Adam Forster and Gaz Bainbridge who are all carrying knocks.
Speaking ahead of the game, Marc explained how his side were now looking at the teams above them.
“We are now well placed in the league but we have to kick on and make a challenge for the top five,” said Nash
“Everyone is pulling together and working hard and we’ve been excellent since the double whammy of defeats against the top two Hebburn and Stockton.”
“We welcomed Jordan Summerly back on Monday night and it looks like he’s had no reaction so its full steam ahead for him and a welcome boost for the squad.”
“However, with Wayne Buchanan, Gaz Bainbridge and Adam Forster struggling we will need to juggle things a little.”
Marc was also quick to point out how happy he was to see his forwards in good scoring form.
“Another positive is the other three forwards are back scoring again with Kyle, Connor and Scotty, who faces his old club today, all keen to keep their form going.”