There may be a certain Coronation taking place this Saturday, but as far as Blue Star are concerned theirs took place on Monday. With the league title finally being clinched just days before, it was time for a party atmosphere in Scotswood.
Not quite the culmination of a long and arduous season but the reaching of a milestone all the same. Becoming Northern Alliance Premier Division champions is now in the history books and there is also the silverware to go alongside it.
While the party atmosphere came not only after Monday’s home game with Ponteland United, but also during it. Although earning the status of champions before the final day can lead to a lessening of intensity, it can also give the team involved an extra level of impetus.
Impetus that was certainly on display, as Brian Smith’s men recorded a 2-0 win in front of their own support. Support that has played a huge part in pushing NE15’s finest towards the summit of the table and more importantly, keeping them there.
Now it is time for one last dance as far as the 2022/23 campaign is concerned and it is one that will be staged at Gateshead Rutherford. The two teams met back in October of last year and it was Blue Star who picked up maximum points by virtue of another 2-0 home win.
In terms of the starting eleven, it will be interesting to see what the management team decide for their trip over to Gateshead. The odd niggle has been picked up recently and it may serve as the ideal opportunity to hand out minutes to fringe players.
Then again, even if the deck is shuffled considerably, it is not something that should necessarily derail the overall momentum of the team. When you look at the depth and the versatility of the squad, any starting eleven should be confident of earning maximum points or cup progress.
Although Saturday’s hosts have struggled throughout this season, they will still look to end the campaign on a high. Especially as a win for them and defeat for AFC Newbiggin could see them swap their current 14th and 13th positions in the league ladder.
Something which sets up Saturday’s clash rather nicely indeed. A big thanks to Gateshead Rutherford for the upcoming hospitality. For the final time this season, for those who will be attendance from an away perspective, safe travels both there and back.