By Andrew McDonnell
Blyth AFC have won their opening three league games and will be determined to continue that run of form against North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium.
The Braves have quite a few ex-Shields players in their ranks, while on the management team, Jon McDonald and Dale Walker go back to their old stomping ground.
Despite never meeting in a competitive fixture before, the two sides have faced as the Robins edged past Blyth, 6-5, in an 11-goal thriller in a friendly halfway through last season.
McDonald and Ian Skinner’s side come into the game full of confidence after an impressive 2-1 victory over West Auckland Town, where captain David Robinson scored a 93rd-minute winner at Woodhorn Lane.
Northern League Division One
Venue: Daren Persson Stadium, Ralph Gardner Park, West Percy Road, Chirton, North Shields, NE29 6UA
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018
Shields have lost all three of their competitive fixtures so far this season and will be welcoming back some familiar faces this weekend.
Manager Marc Nash had recruited well this summer, the group of player are very young, but also has experienced players such as Kevin Hughes, Gareth Bainbridge and Paul Robinson among the squad.
Nash’s side were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup this time last week, against Consett, and conceded late against Ashington through the week.
The 2015 FA Vase winners will be keen to notch up their forst points of the season, sooner rather than later, and will be another stern test in the league for the Braves.
North Shields’ Last Match
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
North Shields 0-1 Ashington
Form: L L L W W W
The Manager’s Views
Joint-Manager Jon McDonald said: “We are delighted with how we’ve started, the lads worked hard during pre-season and, as a result, we’ve hit the ground running.
“Our performance against West Auckland was dogged and we created plenty of goal-scoring opportunities in the game against a very good side.
“I’m looking forward to going up against Shields. It’s always good playing against former clubs.
“I had a successful year there,but that’s in the past and our focus is to go and get another positive result.”