Newcastle Blue Star will have to wait a little a longer to get their hands on the Northern Alliance Premier Division title, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burradon & New Fordley.
In a game where chances came few and far between, it was Blue Star who opened the scoring with Nelson Ogbewe finding the back of the net in the 6th minute with a nice, curled effort. His goal however was cancelled out in the second half with the Fordley number 10 slotting home in the 57th minute.
Prior to kick off, the game was being tipped as the ‘final showdown’ by many, as a win for Blue Star would see them be crowned champions. Matters were made even more tense as both sides were in tremendous form coming into the fixture, with Blue Star having won their last eight games on the bounce while Fordley hadn’t faced defeat for six games.
With a huge amount at stake, you wouldn’t have begrudged both sides being a tad nervy and tense early on – but this was not the case with Blue Star taking the lead in the 6th minute. As Ogbewe opened the scoring with a sublime curled effort into the right-hand side of the net.
Following the opener, Fordley started to grow into the game with number nine coming close in the 22nd minute – drawing a good save out of Sean Mcafferty from a close-range free kick.
McAfferty was then called into action again in the 42nd minute, as a cross from number eleven found number ten at the back post whose header nearly found the bottom corner, only to be denied by the Blue Star shot stopper.
With the referee’s whistle being a common fixture in the first half, Fordley were given a penalty in the 47th minute after Robbie Wilson had fouled Fordley’s number nine, in the process of clearing the ball. It would be number nine who stepped up to, but the striker would see his effort be expertly saved by McAfferty in the Blue Star net.
Fordley would rue those missed chances as they would go into the half-time break 1-0 behind.
The away side started the second half as they ended the first – pinning Blue Star back into their own half. This pressure eventually led to an equaliser in the 57th minute, when number nine smartly slotted number ten in-behind, who dispatched his effort into the bottom left corner.
Blue Star started to grow more and more frustrated as the half wore on – with those frustrations culminating in Ogbewe being sinbinned for desent, in the 69th minute.
Despite being temporarily down to ten men, Blue Star nearly took the lead when Craig McFarlane’s free kick nearly found the bottom corner in the 75th minute.
Fordley would push for a late winner but could not find the magic touch, meaning both sides would go home with a point.