Once a team goes top of the table, the objective is to stay there. Newcastle Blue Star would achieve the first half of that statement last Tuesday, they would subsequently go on to complete it just four days later.
Because after eventually getting the better of Chester-le-Street United some 10 days ago, the focus quickly pivoted towards a trip to Horden Community Welfare – not only an away day, but a clash between the top two at the same time.
A clash that was certainly hard fought by both outfits, no quarter asked and no quarter given. A fantastic advert for the Northern League and one that saw Blue Star’s Nelson Ogbewe cast as the lead role.
After soaking up a first half of home pressure, it was Blue Star and by extension Ogbewe who were quickest out of the blocks after the interval. While that same pace would be responsible for putting Brian Smith’s men ahead soon after the restart.
Once ahead, it was one of those afternoons where every ball that was headed on the pitch was also headed by those that made up the visiting support. The clock ticked down; the pressure only built up further and it was only released after the referee finally blew his whistle to signal the end.
A signal could not come soon enough but one that was celebrated with some voice. A victory that was by far Blue Star’s best performance of the season so far and a victory that puts the slightest of daylight between themselves and the promotion chasing pack.
Now top of the table, the role has switched from hunter to hunted and it is FC Hartlepool that will be looking to claim a scalp on Friday night in Scotswood. The upcoming visitors find themselves in the bottom half of the table and will look to bounce back after a weekend defeat at home to Boldon.
Something which sets up this upcoming clash rather nicely. A warm welcome goes out to the traveling FC Hartlepool team and support and for those who lend their voice to the home team, make sure to bring the noise throughout.