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Newcastle Blue Star v Seaton Delaval (29/03/2023)

After being previously delayed for three weeks, Blue Star will make a second attempt at playing in this season’s Challenge Cup final. The snow may have thwarted attempts to take to the field at the start of the month but thankfully Mr.

Freeze is nowhere to be seen at the end.

This means Brian Smith’s men will make the journey to the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday and after suffering cup disappointment last Friday night, a meeting with Seaton Delaval will hopefully prove to be the perfect tonic.

Not only will it hopefully act as the perfect tonic for the previous reverse, but it also provides the club with the first piece of silverware of the season. The dream of quadruple may have faded away at Alnwick Town last weekend but hopes of the treble are still very much on.

A dream that expired after a 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park and suddenly Alnwick’s best have become something of a bogey side. In addition to being just one of two teams to have got Blue Star’s number this season, they have also called it twice.

Obvious disappointment for all that were involved in Blue Star’s bid for League Cup honours at the back end of last week. Now that disappointment must be converted to positive thoughts before this upcoming showpiece event.

As incredible as a quadruple would have been, there is perhaps a lingering sense that the fixture list is already going to be brutal next month and maybe just maybe, a sacrifice would have to be made along the way.

Not a willing sacrifice before the trip to Alnwick it must be clarified but one that has been all made the same. Sometimes a defeat can inadvertently turn into a greater good for the rest of the campaign, the management team and players will certainly hope this proves to be the case.

Looking at league form, there are currently 13 positions and 33 points between the table toppers and the team that they face in midweek. On that basis alone, you would make Blue Star the overwhelming favourites.

However, the form guide is usually scrubbed out before occasions such as this and with Seaton Delaval looking for their moment in the sun, they would love nothing more than to play the role of party poopers.  

A role that Smith and his coaching cohorts will be wary of, as they conclude their preparations for the game itself. Any team which reaches a cup final has to be respected and everyone connected with our club will certainly display that attribute to the opposition.

Something which sets up Wednesday’s clash rather nicely indeed. A big thanks to North Shields for the upcoming hospitality and for those who will be attending, safe travels both there and back on cup final night.



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