Newbiggin spot on for their second NFA Minor Cup victory

Newbiggin were spot on to win the NFA Minor Cup on Friday.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 25th April 2022, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 12:00 pm
Champions - Newbiggin celebrate their NFA Minor Cup win on Friday.
Champions - Newbiggin celebrate their NFA Minor Cup win on Friday.

The Northumberland side, who play in the Northern Alliance League, went into the final against fellow Division 1 side Newcastle East End at Whitley Bay on the back of a 12-match winning run.

The game was always expected to be a close affair, and so it proved.

The teams turned around at 0-0 after a goalless first half, but after the break, Bradley Higgins gave Newbiggin the lead on the hour mark.

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But Higgins missed a glorious opportunity to double his side’s advantage when he missed a penalty a few minutes later.

It looked as if the game was destined to end 1-0, but in stoppage time, Newcastle East End equalised when Jack McNally pounced on a rebound to score.

The same player then missed a golden chance immediately after to win it, meaning the game would be decided on penalties.

The shoot-out was a nerve-racking affair, but Newbiggin eventually won it 12-11,;sparking scenes of celebration amongst the players and their supporters.

It was the second time in their history that Newbiggin had won the NFA Minor Cup, the biggest knockout competition run in the area, having previously lifted the trophy in 2014.

On their way to the final, Newbiggin beat: North Sunderland (A) 3-0; Blyth Town U23s (h) 3-2; Hazelrigg Victory (h) 4-3; Wideopen (h) 4-2 and in the semi-finals West Moor & Jesmond (h) 2-1.

Newbiggin are currently sitting third in zDivision 1 of the Northern Alluance and are looking to win promotion back into the Premier Division after an absence of five years.

A club spokesman said: “We made a poor start to the season and we were in a relegation battle. But hats off to the team, the lads, the management, they have battled back magnificently - to win the NFA Minor Cup is a major achievement, and it would be tremendous if we could follow it up with promotion back to the Premier League as well.”

With six games to play Newbiggin currently trail leaders Cramlington United by 14 points, but have five matches in hand, Cramlington, who won 3-2 at West Moor & Jesmond on Saturday, only having one game left to play.