Newcastle Blue Star’s automatic promotion hopes were dealt a hammer blow yesterday, as they were thumped 5-0 at home by Easington Colliery.
Blue Star sat third in the Northern League Division Two heading into the fixture, two points behind league leaders Blyth Town. Easington visited Scotswood looking to continue their impressive run of form, sat eighth just outside the playoff spots.
Despite there being numerous changes off and on the pitch in recent weeks, Blue Star only made one change from their 4-0 win at Redcar Town last weekend, with Paul Robinson replacing Shaun Ryder. Easington meanwhile, fresh from their boxing day 2-1 win over Horden CW, made a sole change with Ryan Taylor replacing Brad Forster
The away team started the quickest of the two sides, racing into an early lead in the 5th minute, with James Fairley’s cross finding Matty Weirs five yards out from goal and the forward tapped home.
Easington would not stop there, however, doubling their lead in the 19th minute thanks to yet another quick-counterattack goal, with Weirs perfectly squaring the ball to Luke Pearn, who slotted home the second.
Shellshocked from going 2-0 down, Blue Star looked to get themselves back into the game, with ex-North Shields star Connor Oliver nearly getting a goal back in the 22nd minute, when his looping free kick skimmed over the crossbar.
Just as it seemed the first half would peter out at 2-0, the away side very nearly added a third on the stroke of half-time, hitting the woodwork in the 47th minute after a goal-line scramble.
Despite the away side nearly grabbing a third before the break, the score would remain 2-0 at the halftime interval.
The second half started in a similar fashion, with ‘The Star’ pushing to get themselves back into the game. They would, however, be the masters of their own downfall as a mix-up in their backline handed the ball straight to Danny Tapping, who squared it to Weirs for his second of the afternoon, in the 54th minute.
Blue Star however would go in search of a consolation goal, nearly getting one back in the 56th minute, when Dan Lanning’s low driven shot was smartly saved from the Easington keeper. Shaun Ryder would also go close, with his long-range effort skimming past the post in the 64th minute.
In what became a running theme throughout the game, Marc Nash’s side would once again be caught on the break, with Easington scoring a fourth in the 75th minute. Pearn would grab his second of the game, ending off a brilliant team move, with a cool left-footed finish into the bottom corner.
With the game etching into injury time, it seemed as if the game would peter out for a 4-0 win for Easington, they would have other ideas however, with Weirs grabbing his hattrick in the 93rd minute with a calm finish into the bottom left corner.
The referee would soon then blow the final whistle and confirm Olly Hotchkiss’ side as shock 5-0 victors.