Why should I watch..?

To see if Witton Albion can follow an impressive victory at leaders Nantwich on New Year’s Day with another when South Shields arrive in town.

That won’t be easy; the Mariners are unbeaten in their past 10 Northern Premier League fixtures, winning eight of those.

There are signs too that they’re improving on their travels – a current four-match run without losing is their longest in the Premier Division this season.

However Albion have held their own in the past 10 days in meetings with the table’s top-three teams and that success against the Dabbers has restored belief at Wincham Park.

They will be keen as well to improve a disappointing record in front of their own supporters that has seen them record only two wins.

What they’ve said

“The other clubs at the top of the table might say that we’ve done them a favour by beating Nantwich, but I’d prefer to say that it’s more evidence that we’re a tough opponent for anybody.

“There are only small margins between teams in this league; look at what happened last week when we played two other sides in the play-offs positions – they both needed late goals to beat us.”

Carl Macauley, Witton Albion manager

“Not only have Witton won away to Nantwich recently, but they knocked Spennymoor out of the FA Cup this season.

“We know that on their day they are a side that are capable of producing a result in any game.”

Lee Picton, South Shields co-manager

Numbers game

Only back-markers North Ferriby United have a worse home record than Witton in the Northern Premier League’s top-flight this season

It’s an important afternoon for…

Will Booth

The young midfielder delivered his best individual performance in a Witton shirt during a 1-0 win at Nantwich on New Year’s Day.

He will want to reach high standard again.

Witton team news

Danny McKenna is unavailable, but Albion boss Carl Macauley has everybody else to pick from this weekend except for long-term injury absentee Nick Ryan.

Form guide (past six league games)

Witton W L L W W D

South Shields W W W D W W


Witton Y45 R2

South Shields Y32 R4

This season’s previous meeting

South Shields 2-1 Witton: match report

Remember when…

Witton hosted South Shields last season in an FA Cup first qualifying round encounter?

Albion were left to rue not making the most of the chances they created to take the lead when substitute Jamie Holmes scored twice in the closing stages to send South Shields, then playing at a lower level in the Northern Premier League’s First Division North, through to the next round.

The Guardian was there, and this is how we reported it: Witton 0-2 South Shields: match report

Odds (SKY Bet)

Witton 7/4

Draw 14/5

South Shields 21/20

Essential information

When Saturday, January 5

Kick-off 3pm                                         

Address Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Wincham, Northwich CW9 6DA

Admission Adults £10, Concessions £7, Under 21s £5, Under 16s £2

Parking Available for free at the ground