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Newcastle Blue Star 2 - 1 Horden CW FC (03/05/2024)

With the so called ‘never ending’ season coming to a close, two games stood between Blue Star and their much desired promotion. The first game, a play off semifinal at scotswood against Hordon Community Welfare. 

When the two sides met earlier in the season, Blue Star came out on top, with a 1-0 win and in the other fixture it ended in a stalemate. But as everybody knows, head to head, form and league position mean nothing in the play offs and it’s anyone’s game to win. 

1061 fans piled into Scotswood to see the semi final, and a black and white army flag display really began to create an atmosphere in the build up to kick off. 

With all focus then onto the game, Blue Star got it underway and they came sharply out of the blocks. 

with just four minutes on the clock Blue Star swiftly moved the ball down the right hand side towards forward Regan Patterson. Patterson took the ball to the byline, before firing a cross into the box, where his delivery was met by the misfortune of the recovering Hordon defender, who turned it into his own net. An unbelievable start to the game, to the delight of Marc Nash and the Blue Star bench. 

After Blue Star took the lead, the challenges began to fly in and expectations of a feisty affair were starting to be met. After just fifteen minutes a high challenge from Blue Star full back Stephen Forster, resulted in an early yellow. It may have been harsh so early on, but ultimately it did mean he had a long time to go while on a caution. 

On the 20-minute mark Blue Star found themselves in behind again with Dan Turner bearing down on goal. His volley was well saved by the Hordon keeper, however, it only went as far as in form striker Dan Lanning but his left footed shot went straight into the keepers' arms from 12 yards. A huge chance for The Star to go 2-0 up and one that could prove costly. 

Hordon had reacted well enough to going behind as they looked to play direct from back to front with a few long balls from the centre half. But, after 30 minutes came a yellow card for a bad challenge on Stars’ winger Dan Turner. 

Just before half time, the score remained 1-0 and Blue Star were looking to get into half time with the lead. However, with just minutes to go, the ball broke for Hordon’s forward on the left hand side of the box, but a brilliant save from goalkeeper Phil Mills denied the visitors an equaliser. Mills got down low, to tip the left footed shot around the post and out for a corner. Blue Star just managed to get into half time with their lead.

Hordon began the second half in the same fashion as they ended the first, as they came out looking dangerous. 

With just five minutes of the second half played, Blue Star thought they had cleared the ball from a Hordon attack, however the away sides’ midfielder managed to slip the ball back in behind the Blue Star defence, before their forward smashed a left footed shot into the corner of the goal. Nothing Mills could do about it, and an equaliser for Hordon. Not the start The Star wanted to the second half, 1-1.

Just minutes after their equaliser Hordon came forward again, but an outstanding stop by Mills denied them a second. The game looked like it had been turned on its head and Hordon deserved to be in front.

A flurry of corners for Blue Star started to build momentum for the home side after 60 minutes, but they failed to do much with them as the Hordon keeper claimed the ball numerous times. 

With tensions beginning to rise as the game went on, after 70 minutes came another late challenge on winger Dan Turner. However, the offender of the foul had already been booked and the referee reached into his pocket to pull out both a yellow and a red card as Hordon were reduced to ten. With twenty minutes to play it was a massive chance for Blue Star to get a grip of the game and put themselves into the final. 

With the extra man, Blue Star continued to come forward with defenders even getting high into the away sides' half. Stephen Forster saw himself cutting inside on the edge of the Hordon box with ten minutes to go, however his shot was saved comfortably by the goalkeeper. 

With 82 minutes played it was Blue Star centre back, Shaun Ryders’ turn to come forward as he picked the ball up and drove at the Hordon defence. He then smashed a strike from the edge of the box and into the corner of the goal, to put Blue Star 2-1 up. Ryder ran away in celebration closely followed by his teammates as they celebrated in front of the home fans. 

In the closing stages, hard work from Tom Potter, managed to keep the ball in the corner for Blue Star as they ran the clock down. Winning corners and throw ins Blue Star managed to nullify any late attacking threat from Hordon and after what felt like a lifetime the referees whistle finally blew for full time. 

A brilliant, hard fought, 2-1 win for Blue Star despite Hordon having a lot of the ball. It may not have been Blue Stars finest performance but Nash’s men won’t care as they now face Easington colliery in the play off final, for a chance at promotion. 

Thank-you to all who attended and we hope to see all of you and more, again on Wednesday for one final push over the line. 

Written by Alex Waters.


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