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Blyth Town vs Newcastle Blue Star (20/04/2024)

The Northern League Division Two title may have been won elsewhere but the season is far from finished – both figuratively and literally when you consider the postponements that are still popping up this late in the campaign and this means Newcastle Blue Star are officially in the playoffs.

A status that was confirmed after a 5-2 win at the expense of Boldon on Tuesday night and with Marc Nash’s men turning in a five-star performance on the synthetic pitches at the Ford Hub in South Hylton, Blue Star’s attacking prowess was taken to the hilt.

Whereas last week’s home win over Billingham Town was a game of two halves, there was no such waiting around in midweek and with an advantage over Boldon being crafted early on, wave after wave of Blue Star attack was crafted thereafter.

Whether a change of surface and not one that has been spoiled by the elements was conducive to a faster brand of football can be argued. At the same time, there is no arguing the increase in confidence this team have been displaying in the past few weeks.

Admittedly that growing confidence did lead to a couple of defensive gifts on Tuesday night and against stronger opposition than Boldon in the playoffs, the magnitude of punishment will only end up being more severe.

Something that would certainly have been addressed in the dressing room come full time and something that will also be reiterated before Saturday’s trip to league champions Blyth Town – a trip that now takes on a rather different complexion.

Although this fixture was earmarked as a potential league decider many months ago, the fact that the silverware has been awarded gives the Blyth Town team one of two avenues to take. They can either wind things down as is their right as champions, or they can show why they are precisely that.

They did show a hint of why they are champions in the recent reverse fixture at Scotswood and with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw, Blue Star supporters would have left the ground the slightly more disappointed in not seeing their team come out on top.

Then again, they have seen their team come out on top in the three league matches that have subsequently followed and with the playoff train now picking up momentum, another win is hopefully scheduled in Blyth this Saturday.

Something which sets up this clash rather nicely indeed. A big thanks to Blyth Town for the upcoming hospitality and for those attending from an away perspective, safe travels both there and back.


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