Paddy's Up For The Cup
Written by Newcastle Utd
Northern Irish midfielder Patrick McLaughlin is hoping to win the Sage Northumberland Senior Cup for first time
By Dan King
Injury ruled Patrick McLaughlin out of Newcastle's last two Northumberland Senior Cup successes, so the Northern Ireland under-21 midfielder is determined to lift the trophy when United face Blyth on Wednesday night.
The 20-year-old has been with the club since 2007, but missed out on the final wins over Blyth in 2008 and Ashington a year later. But, having played every minute of their run to the final at St. James' Park, he now has the chance to pick up a medal.
Kick-off is 7pm and admission is £5 for adults and £2 concessions, with the 126-year-old trophy up for grabs if Peter Beardsley's side can overcome their Blue Square North neighbours, and McLaughlin admits that cup fever has hit the club's second-string players this week.
"That's what you're playing for - to win trophies and do as well as you can," the tough-tackling left-footer told nufc.co.uk. "I'm really looking forward to it and it's been a while since I played in a cup final.
"I missed the final of this competition through injury in 2008 and 2009. In both years, I played a few games in the run-up to the final and then missed the final with a couple of little injuries so it's an elusive bit of silverware for me, this one.
"Last season we were beaten in the semis by (eventual winners) Whitley Bay, so hopefully we can get our hands on it this year."
The Magpies have beaten Northern League outfits Bedlington Terriers and Ashington to reach the final, with the scoreline being 2-0 on both occasions, while Blyth beat North Shields (4-0) and Newcastle Benfield (2-0) on their way.
McLaughlin said: "We've played some good stuff and been patient, and eventually the goals have came for us. We've kept clean sheets in both games and if you keep clean sheets, we'll always back ourselves to score.
"It's been a fairly smooth passage and now we have the big occasion. It'll be nice to play at St. James' and hopefully there's a decent crowd there, so it should be great.
"All the lads are really looking forward to it. There was a good little buzz in training this morning and we can't wait for Wednesday night, just to get started and have a crack at it.
"It's our last game of the season so we want to finish off with a trophy. You can't finish better than that and it would be good to go out on a high."