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FC Hartlepool vs Newcastle Blue Star (15/03/2024)

After a run of consecutive home matches, Newcastle Blue Star find themselves on the road again and after being held to a draw in their last outing at Scotswood, a change of scenery may be beneficial to manager Marc Nash and his players.

Last Saturday saw Blue Star open their doors to another outfit that is currently within the playoff positions and with Dan Lanning’s powerful strike putting the hosts ahead halfway through the first half, it was Nash’s men who would take that advantage into the interval.

However, that advantage would eventually be nullified by Horden Community Welfare and after benefitting from a rather questionable penalty decision, they were never going to turn down the opportunity to level the encounter from 12 yards.

A niggly encounter to put things lightly, even if some of the tackles on Blue Star personnel were far from light themselves. However, such qualms about officiating can be nothing more than hot air as the conditions struggle to warm up in the first half of March.

A point a piece for Blue Star and Horden Community Welfare. A point that keeps the former second and the latter fourth and in fairness, a result that does neither team any real favours within the last quarter of the campaign.

With Blyth Town extending the gap at the top to 15 points, the champagne may already be on ice at the South Newsham Playing Fields. With that said, there is still plenty to play for and although second to fifth offers entry to the playoffs, second and third offer a home first leg.

Therefore, even if the title talk has been dialled down after last Saturday’s draw, the run between now and mid-April is just as important as it was seven days before. Next up is a trip to FC Hartlepool and with these two already meeting in league and cup this season, they are familiar foes.

Not only that, but FC Hartlepool managed a cup win on penalties to go alongside a league draw in NE15. An unbeaten run that they will be keen to extend and one that their visitors will be keen to finally end.

Something which sets up Friday’s clash rather nicely indeed. A big thanks to FC Hartlepool for the upcoming hospitality and for those attending from an away perspective, safe travels both there and back.


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