Your heart might go with the county town team turning over the League full time, professional, league leaders. but if you take a more pragmatic look at the game. Shields are top, Stafford 9th. Shields have won 19 out of their 32 games this season, 7 away from home and Stafford won only 12 of their 31, and have a dismal record at home winning only FOUR out of 15! Surely a comfortable North East teams win; get your money on it, quids in!
However let us look at their last games, on Tuesday night, Shields lost away at Ashton Utd; they are 13th, nine points behind Stafford, and they have only won ten out of 31this year. Stafford won 2.0 against Stalybridge Celtic, their first home win since September. So it might not be as simple for the Northeast team as it looked a few weeks ago!
Yes, a dry day is forecast, I can also guarantee a raucous, and good humoured, away following, who have travelled in numbers in previous seasons. A great win on Saturday, along with another clean sheet and the return of hard working front man Jake Charles, should boost the crowd over 4 figures. There were 679 at Stafford on Saturday, and I doubt many of them travelled from Stalybridge; however if last few seasons are anything to go by, Shields will bring a good following. So if we can add to the (perhaps) 600 Rangers supporters from Saturday, with a few curious football fans; unfortunately Stoke and Wolves are at home so we might not be able to tempt any league football diehards away from their usual weekend haunts, but I am optimistic for over 1K, through the turnstile, and we may even top the 1076 who watched Boro' vs Nantwich on Boxing day.
So if you find yourself at a loose end on Saturday afternoon, you could do much worse than come down to Marston Road to watch the Mighty Boro'. You will get a warm welcome, see an improving local team, who certainly aren't over paid Premia donnas. They are are semi-pro's, have other jobs, meet teammates for training, a couple of times a week. Very few are on contracts, so if they get injured and can't play, they don't get paid. When they win they celebrate big style with the fans, often coming into the clubhouse at the end of the game to mingle. If you have had enough of Multi Million pound teams, their management and there over paid players, get a taste of reality, invest a tenner and join me and over a thousand others (hopefully), at Marston Road, on Saturday at 3.00!