It was one of those very rare nights at Kingston Park where football wasn’t the priority and things were put into perspective for everyone associated with Newcastle United Women.
Even before a ball was kicked there was a sombre tone around Kingston Park as a minute’s applause rippled around from Newcastle United fans in memory of Michele Guy, midfield maestro Beth Guy’s mother.
Beth Guy put in a Player of the Match performance that her Mam would’ve been proud of and she’s admitted winning is the only option for her and the Newcastle squad.
You wouldn’t have known what Guy had been going through behind the scenes by her faultless display last night which helped Newcastle close the gap at the top of the National League Division One North to just one point.
Beth Guy playing for more than three
Despite picking up three points and bragging rights in the Tyne-Tees derby, Guy knew there was no time to celebrate and rest on their laurels as she spoke post-victory.
She said: ‘Eight games to go we’ve got to take each game as it comes and take the three points and not get too high with the wins.
We have to come back down to earth because next week we’ve got a big game against Leeds we have to win.’
The three points were indeed crucial for Newcastle’s season and now all focus on next week’s home clash against Leeds United, but Guy was playing for a lot more than just a victory.
A picture of Guy’s Mam was on the big screen at Kingston Park pre-match and the ever-present under Becky Langley spoke about her increased drive to achieve success for more than just herself.
‘Now more than ever I said to the girls and Becky it’s a must that we win this league. Last year we fell short and I think everything happens for a reason in that sense.
I think we’ve got the experience now to know what that feels like and nobody wants to feel like that at the end of the season again.
Winning the league would be the perfect reward
Hopefully, that experience from last year can push us on for a better season but now more than ever I want to win, it’s a must.’
Given Newcastle are now everyone’s cup final and will be content to frustrate and take a point, Langley’s side will need all the grit and determination to achieve their goal of earning promotion.
Guy will certainly be a key cog in their promotion drive as well as returnees such as Rachel Lee – who’s recently returned from an ACL injury – is someone Guy has a great relationship with she admitted.
‘The depth of our squad now with players coming back is huge, Shorty [Rachel Lee] is a world-class player, she doesn’t do anything special in a game but she knows how to win and grind out games.’