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Newcastle Blue Star 1 - 1 Blyth Town (30/03/24)

Points shared in top of the table clash as Blue Star draw at home to Blyth. 

Blue Star began the day second in the league with only a small gap to third place Bedlington Terriers who were breathing down their necks. In contrast, Blyth came into the game at the summit with a clear gap at the top after an impressing six game winning streak. The three o’clock clash saw four hundred and fifty supporters through the turnstiles with the sunshine beaming down onto the pitch as Blue Star looked to put their previous two-nil loss to Ryton behind them.  

The game began with Blyth on the front foot winning an early corner and drawing some early fouls. After eight minutes the early pressure paid off for the visitors as Blue Star failed to clear the initial cross and striker Dan Wilson lashed the ball across the goalkeeper and into the far corner, not the start Blue Star were after. Just seven minutes later Blyth centre back Ben Fell rose highest from yet another corner, but he saw his header crash of the bar, big let off for the home side. 

Blue Star seemed to be reliving their nightmares from their game against Ryton as they failed to produce much in the final third, other than a few efforts that sailed over the crossbar. However, the hosts continued to hold their own despite Blyth's strong start and their first big chance fell to Cam Cunningham who was found by Dan Lanning, however his effort, again for Newcastle, went over the bar. That turned out to be the last notable action of the half.  

As the second half began Blue Star came out strongly as full back Stephen Forster linked up with Dan Turner down the left-hand side. Blue Star then won a controversial free kick around twenty-five yards out and captain Conor Oliver stepped up to take it. Oliver’s effort from the free kick deflected off the Blyth defender and straight into the path of Dan Lanning who calmly slotted his effort into the corner and just like that Blue Star were level. Following the goal, Blyth’s centre back received a sin bin for his appeal against the referee for giving the foul to begin with, which gave Blue Star a big chance to put the pressure on even further. 

The home side used the sin bin to their advantage as Tom Mcintyre found space on the edge of the box but dragged his shot just wide of the post. Blue Star then continued to cause Blyth problems as McIntyre delivered his cross to the back post which was met by Cam Cunningham who looked as though he had a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead. However, a great save by Blyth's keeper Adam Cameron denied him from close range. 

The seventy-minute mark sparked changes for Blue Star with a double substitution as they looked to build on their great start to the half. With little left to play, manager Marc Nash’s substitutions almost looked to have paid off as Regan Patterson was played in behind however, he was denied by a good stop by Blyth’s goalkeeper as he looked to slide the ball low into the corner. Only minutes later the Blue Star substitute found himself in again, as Paterson was one on one with the goalkeeper but again a brilliant save high to the right of the goal managed to keep the forward out for the second time. That proved to be the last attack of the game as the full-time whistle went and Blyth shared the points for the first time this season. Blue Star will have felt as though they should have had all three. 

Captain Conor Oliver mentioned after the game that Blue Star were ‘disappointed they didn't take all three points’ and that today was realisation that ‘they haven't been doing enough recently.’ The Star travel to Ryton next where both sides will be familiar with each other after playing just one week prior. A chance to put the reverse fixture right and boost their chances of confirming their place in the play offs.  

Written by Alex Waters.


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