The Robins take a break from league action tomorrow as they travel to Ryhope CW for the First Qualifying Round of the FA Vase.
Fresh off the back of a frustrating 2-2 home draw against Seaham Red Star in the league, a game in which the Robins lead twice through Kyle Patton, a tripe to Ryhope Recreation Park presents the opportunity for a welcome distraction.
So far this season, the Robins have experienced mixed fortunes, both in the FA Cup and in the league. Having lost in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup to Guisborough Town, a tie which needed a replay, Shields have started their league campaign reasonably well; responding to an opening day defeat to Sunderland RCA with wins against Whickham and Shildon, plus draws against Seaham Red Star and West Auckland Town.
Amongst the host of new signings that manager Marc Nash has brought into the team, Kyle Patton has been the standout after four goals from only five league appearances.
However, the Robins have struggled to keep the goals out at the other end and have let late leads slip against Guisborough Town and twice against Seaham Red Star this past Wednesday.
The Robins enjoyed plenty success against tomorrow’s hosts last season, picking up a 1-0 win at the Daren Persson Stadium before winning 3-0 in the reverse fixture.
On top of that, we saw the standout goal of the season from midfielder Paul Robinson, who capped off a fine performance with a spectacular shot from the half way line, which looped over the keeper and into the back of the net.
Ryhope have themselves enjoyed mixed fortunes this season and currently find themselves 14th in the Northern League Division One table, three places below the Robins.
The Colliery Welfare followed a 2-2 draw at West Auckland Town on the opening day with a heavy 5-1 defeat at the hands of Shildon. Like the Robins, Ryhope also fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup after suffering a 2-1 defeat to near rivals Sunderland RCA in a replay of their 0-0 draw in the same competition.
Tomorrow’s hosts enjoyed a good run of form after their cup defeat, beating Whitley Bay and Consett before they came crashing back down to earth with defeats to Bishop Auckland and Hebburn Town.
Their top scorers so far this season are James Ellis and Jack Devlin, both of whom have two league goals a piece.
Marc and his team travel to Ryhope in the knowledge that the victors of this tie will face a trip to either Garforth Town or Northern League Division Two side Chester-le-Street Town.