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Thornaby vs Newcastle Blue Star (27/04/2024)

As the mist of the Northern League Division Two playoff schedule finally starts to become clearer, there is one thing that is now beyond confusion. Newcastle Blue Star have been confirmed as the runners-up for 2023/24.

A position that was rubber-stamped on Wednesday evening and as Marc Nash’s men were putting in a professional performance at Chester-le-Street United, their 2-0 win was taking place on the same evening as Bedlington Terriers were being beaten by Chester-le-Street Town.

This combination of results means that even with the Terriers still having a number of games in hand over Blue Star, they can now only finish as high as third in the final table and now Nash and his players can start to properly plan their playoff push.

Before they do get those plans in place, there is still one piece of regular season business to attend to and that is a trip to Thornaby on Saturday. For the travelling supporters it should resemble a relaxed party atmosphere, for the players they are watching they cannot relax just yet.

While with the fixture taking on nothing more than dead rubber status, it also poses a problem for Blue Star’s management team – albeit a nice one due to completing their first objective a week earlier than planned.

This trip to Thornaby does offer the opportunity to rest and rotate players before the hosting of Horden Community Welfare but at the same time, the last thing you want to do is derail the momentum that has been growing by the week.

Especially as Blue Star stay at the top of the current form table and that form has seen the club go unbeaten in each of their last seven league outings. Then again, if there are to be changes to personnel, those coming in will certainly have a point to prove before next weekend.

What better way to prove a point then by ending the regular season with another three. There may not be much in the way of intensity from either side come Saturday, but that does not suggest it will be a drab affair either.

Something which sets up this clash rather nicely indeed. A big thanks to Thornaby for the upcoming hospitality and for those attending from an away perspective, safe travels both there and back.


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