Preview | South Shields (A) | National League North | 2023/24

Blyth Spartans face the first match of a Christmas double header against local rivals South Shields at the 1st Cloud Arena on Boxing Day.

In their last outing, the Spartans drew 2-2 with Chester FC at Croft Park. 18-year-old, Billy Gordon, made his first competitive start for the Club and scored Spartans second of the afternoon.


You can buy tickets online here. All ticket information is as follows:

  • Adults – £14
  • Concessions (over 65) – £9
  • Child (13-16) – £5
  • Children 12 and under – £3

There is no separate link for Blyth supporters, who should select one of the ‘Standing’ options and then enter the ground through turnstiles 3 and 4. Any Blyth supporters requiring a seat are advised to book in the black section of the Rocket Stand.

Blyth fans are advised that cash will be required for the purchase of food and drink in the away section.


Jordan Hickey made a return to action on Saturday afternoon having faced a lengthy period on the sidelines with a knee injury, handing Graham Fenton’s side a midfield boost heading into the fixture against South Shields.

No clear updates have been issued on Lewis Knight, Alex Mitchell and JJ Hooper, however, Graham Fenton commented post-Chester that he hopes to see a couple ‘return off the treatment table’ going into the double-header against his former side.

Harry Arnison is progressing well towards his own respective return to action, the midfielder suffered a fracture in his foot/ankle and could be ready to grace the pitch again towards the end of January.


After drawing 2-2 with Chester, Graham Fenton said: “I’m pleased with lots of things and obviously disappointed with a couple of things.

“Look we’re playing against a decent team who are full-time, who are in the playoffs for a reason as they’ve got some decent players and we had some tough spells out there today.

“But the pleasing thing was that we stuck together, we stuck at it, we were determined and showed a lot of work ethic and togetherness.”

Graham Fenton’s post-match assessment of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Hereford


The Mariners were promoted to the National League North last season, winning the Northern Premier League Premier Division with 85 points.

South Shields have made a strong impression in the first half of their first National League North campaign, while they are winless in their last five games in all competitions, they have won 10 games and sit in fifth place with 36 points.

Julia Arcas’s side lost 2-0 in their last match to Rushall Olympic.


Following a 2-0 defeat to Rushall Olympic, Julio Arca said: “Really disappointed. We didn’t turn up in the first half.

“A lack of idea, lack of desire, some players if I have to be honest with you didn’t look like they wanted to be there today.

“And they (Rushall Olympic) looked more desired, more hungry to win the game than us. They were pressing with more intensity and that’s the difference.”

Julio Arca’s post-match assessment of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Rushall Olympic


When we met them at Croft Park in July 2021 during a pre-season friendly at Croft Park, South Shields defeated Blyth Spartans 2-1.

Darius Osei scored twice for the Mariners to put them 2-0 up after 48 minutes and Karl Byrne scored just three minutes later, but the Spartans were unable to make a comeback and win the game.


You can follow all of the action on Tuesday afternoon via our social media platforms and BlythLive on Mixlr from 2:45 pm.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot