FSOA Benevolent Bowl Final Preview
NFA FOOTBALL SAFETY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION BENEVOLENT BOWL FINAL
Newcastle Blue Star v. Newcastle Independent
While Newcastle Blue Star’s long journey back to the top of the North East non-league football scene is well underway, the relative newcomers at Newcastle Independent have had an instant impact on the game.
Blue Star reached the heights of the Northern Premier League before off-the-field problems led to the club folding in 2009. Reformed in 2018, the club have impressed in the Northern Alliance and are on course for a glittering haul of silverware this term.
Although playing in minor local Leagues from around 1930 the club rose into the Wearside League and were playing there when they famously lifted the FA Vase in 1978. Other honours include the Northern League Division One and Two trophies, the Northern League Cup on two occasions and the Wearside League championship five times.
Blue Star have been impressive in the NFA competitions and were finalists in the 1975, 1979, 1981, 1987, 1994 and 2000 NFA Senior Cups and won it in 1977, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1993. They also lifted the NFA Minor Cup in 1965.
“As the season heads to its exciting conclusion and we move our focus from the highly important league games, we are very excited to be participating in the NFA Football Safety Officers Association Benevolent Bowl Final,” said secretary John Graham.
“This game will be the second cup final of an already busy season for Newcastle BlueStar FC, where we will face a very good Newcastle Independent side. However, we are training well, playing well and ready for the challenge.”
Newcastle Independent beat Blyth Rangers 4-0 in the 2020/21 NFA Minor Cup final at Whitley Park so their visit to the NFA headquarters will hold no surprises.
“To reach the Football Safety Officers Association Benevolent Bowl final at the first time of asking is a great achievement for us and we will hopefully put in a performance in the final to win the trophy,” said secretary Daniel Webster.
‘The semi-final win against Fordley was a classic for the neutral but nerve wracking for us - we really had to grind out the win against a tough, tough team and to win the final we have to work harder still.”
NFA Vice President Derek Booth extended a warm welcome to both of the Northern Alliance Premier Division sides along with the officials, supporters and the sponsors.
“Newcastle Blue Star are having an excellent season and remain in the running for a quadruple -the Premier Division title, Challenge Cup, of which they play Seaton Delaval FC in the Final, the George Dobbins League Cup and, of course, the Football Safety Officers Association Benevolent Bowl. The Club have also applied for promotion to the Northern League,” said Derek.
“Newcastle Independent have been members of the Northern Football Alliance League for three seasons making rapid rises through the Covid affected seasons and this is their first season in the Premier Division. Everyone is looking forward to an excellent final.”
ROUTE TO THE FINAL
Newcastle Blue Star
First Round Newcastle Blue Star 0 Alnwick Town 0 (Blue Star won 4-3 on penalties)
Quarter-Final Haltwhistle Jubilee 0 Newcastle Blue Star 5
Semi-Final Wallington 1 Newcastle Blue Star 2
First Round Newcastle Chemfica 1 Newcastle Independent 2
Quarter-Final Seaton Delaval 1 Newcastle Independent 5
Semi-Final Burradon & New Fordley 3 Newcastle Independent 4
Final at Whitley Park (Headquarters of the Northumberland FA) on Friday 28th April 2023, kick-off 7.00pm.