Newcastle Blue Star suffered late heartbreak as they were beaten 1-0 by Newcastle Independent in the Northumberland FA Benevolent Bowl Final, thanks to a 91st minute winner from Harvey Walsh.
A game in which chances were hard to come by it was 10 men Newcastle Independent who came out on top. A quick counterattack goal led to Harvey Walsh firing home into the bottom corner, to win Independent there first ever Benevolent Bowl – in what is there first ever season playing in the competition.
Having clinched the league title on Wednesday, Newcastle Blue Star headed into the final looking to bag themselves a famous treble – having already won the Team Valley Carpets Challenge final back in March.
In terms of previous meetings, the last game between the two would have been fresh in the minds of both teams, having only played each other twenty days prior - with Newcastle Blue Star coming out on top in a comfortable 5-1 win.
Neither side took control of the final early on, with it being a pretty cagey affair in the early stages. It took till the 30thminute for the first clear cut chance of the game – with Craig Mcfarlane’s mazy run ending with him letting fly from close range, drawing a fantastic save out of the Independent keeper.
With Blue Star growing in confidence, another chance would fall their way six minutes later - with Marc Lancaster’s looping cross finding Mcfarlane at the back post, but the winger headed his effort over the bar.
Despite Blue Star controlling the majority of the first half, they could not find the magic touch needed, meaning both sides headed into the half-time break goalless.
The first significant chance of the second half fell Independent’s way as in the 62nd minute a quick counterattack led to number seven finding himself one on one with Sean Mcafferty.
The Blue Star keeper however would come out on top denying the winger with a fantastic save.
With a number of challenges flying in, temperatures eventually reached boiling in the 80th minute when Independent’s number eight was sent off for a late challenge on Lancaster.
Following the sending off, Blue Star pushed for a winner and came close to scoring the 84th minute, with Freddie Marr firing low at the near post and drawing a superb save out of the Independent keeper.
‘The Star’ nearly then found a late winner in the 88th minute when Mcfarlane’s floated ball found Gary Ormston – who rose highest, only to see his header skim over the bar.
Blue Star hearts were then broken as they were caught on the break in the 91st minute with number seven punishing them in clinical fashion, firing into the far corner – to win his side the cup.