Rained off but still a busy month ahead for North Shields

North Shields were sidelined by the rain on Saturday, with their encounter with Bishop Auckland called off, but they still face a testing November.

Still involved in three knockout competitions, the Robins compete in all in the coming weeks.

It is a trip to Willington’s Hall Lane Ground on Wednesday in the Northern League Cup - the Shieldsmen edging past Sunderland RCA in the last round courtesy of a penalty shoot out success and a heroic display by keeper Sean McCafferty.

Graham Fenton’s lads begin the first defence of their FA Vase memorable win when they entertain Ashington at the Daren Persson Stadium on Saturday, November 21 and only four days later the Colliers travel in the Northumberland Senior Cup.

Incidentally on the 20 November - one day before the Vase tie - it will be the 33rd anniversary of that fantastic afternoon at the Shay when that spectacular Bede McCaffrey strike saw Peter Flaherty’s team defeat Halifax Town - the only time the Robins in their history have beaten a Football League side.

Shields are hoping for an upturn in fortunes as their league form has suffered due to a combination of suspect decisions from the men in the middle and also on the line, while the lack of a finishing touch to promising approach play has also cost them dearly.

Just how much the Shieldsmen miss the strikes of Denver Morris - ruled out for much of the season afrer that injury at Bridlington in the FA Cup - and of course those of the predatory Gareth Bainbridge who is just itching for that golden goal touch to return.

He’s only managed a couple this campaign after a quite staggering century plus in the last two seasons.

North Shields take on Consett at the Daren Persson Stadium on Sarurday (3pm) with league points at stake.

The sides met three times in 2014/5 with the Robins winning both matches on home soil.

It was 3-0 in September with those men Bainbridge (2) and Morris on the scoresheet.

Then on route to Wembley Shields triumphed 4-1 in the Vase and again Bainbridge bagged a brace,Morris another with James Luccock also on the mark.

Late in the campaign it ended 2-2 at Belle Vue (Morris Gary Day).

On Saturday Shields look likely again to be without the injured trio of Adam Forster, Dean Holmes and John Grey, while Jordan Summerly is suspended.

On the plus side, midfield maestro Michael McKeown and striker Dan Wilson could return alongside Peter Glen-Ravenhill who made three substitute appearances last season - scoring against West Allotment - before being sidelined through injury.