Fourth time lucky? That will be the hopes of those involved with Newcastle Blue Star. Although seven league encounters were scheduled for the month of January, three in succession have fallen foul of the recent inclement weather.
Be it frost, rain or high winds, this current round of meteorological bingo has had the lot – that is apart from anything resembling dry and pleasant conditions and as a consequence, the enforced period of inactivity has only increased further.
Inactivity that means Blue Star have slid off the top of the table after title rivals Blyth Town were one of the few teams to kick a ball in anger at the weekend. Their 1-0 win at Redcar Town on Saturday proving just enough to regain the current status quo in the Northern League Division Two.
A league where the fixture computer is going to be working overtime over the next few weeks and perhaps even months – uniformity out of the window in terms of games played. Some clubs are already dreaming of being on the beach, others will be having no time off in March or April.
Still a long way away but time is ever decreasing within the circles of this season’s non-league campaign. For context Blue Star still have 17 league encounters to now squeeze in, relegation-threatened Washington have 23.
Had January’s conditions behaved themselves, Marc Nash’s men could have taken to the field more often than not, an opportunity to really build a head of steam was there for the taking – now that opportunity has been cooled.
With that being said, Blue Star have won each of their last three league outings and perhaps more importantly, they have kept clean sheets in each. The required level of input and output if you are to be in the promotion mix at the end of the season.
A mix that Saturday’s visitors Esh Winning are unlikely to be in but with 20 games of their own season remaining, there is still plenty of football to be played and after beating Chester-le-Street Town in their last outing, they are more than capable of beating teams higher up the table.
Something which sets up this upcoming clash rather nicely. A warm welcome goes out to the visiting Esh Winning team and support and for those who lend their voice to the home team, make sure to bring the noise throughout.