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Newcastle Blue Star v Gateshead Rutherford (19/11/2022)

Although knockout football was the weekend plan, that plan has been changed at short notice. Instead of aiming for a place in the Challenge Cup final, the local fixture computer has been rebooted with the league in mind.

Then again, whatever the competition in recent weeks, it does little to derail the Blue Star juggernaut and after eventually earning maximum points last Friday, it means their eight-point gap at the top is still intact.

Eventually being the operative word, as they first had to claw themselves back from a goal down. With Winlaton Community managing to silence the home support, their breaking off the deadlock certainly added some unexpected jeopardy to proceedings.

However, a goal down would soon be converted into a goal ahead instead. With Dan Lannning’s second half double restoring recent order, Blue Star’s lengthy unbeaten run would be extended in the best possible fashion.

Now the task is as simple as extending it even further and with the halfway point of their season arriving by the weekend’s close, maintenance of that eight-point gap would serve as the perfect marker.

Standing in the way of another three points is none other than Gateshead Rutherford – a team that Brian Smith’s men have already dealt with this season. A 2-0 win is lodged in the history books, on another day it could have been three or four.

A lack of ruthlessness perhaps but still enough to earn the outcome that matters the most and if the same result is recorded on enemy territory in just a few hours, there are likely to be few complaints from the management team and fans alike.

Coming into this fixture, Gateshead Rutherford finds themselves lying 10th in the Northern Alliance table and after suffering a loss to Seaton Delaval this time last week, they will be keen to return to winning ways.

Something sets up Saturday’s clash rather nicely indeed. A big thanks to Gateshead Rutherford for the upcoming hospitality and for those who will be attendance from an away perspective, safe travels both there and back.


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