All white now as non-league suffers

Avenue staff Neil Cairns and Mick Couzens try to clear the Horsfall pitch

Avenue staff Neil Cairns and Mick Couzens try to clear the Horsfall pitch

First published in Sport by

There was a total whiteout for the area’s non-league soccer clubs as the blanket of snow that covered most of the country earlier in the week hung around due to severely low temperatures.

Bradford Park Avenue’s home game against Buxton in the UniBond League Premier Division was finally called off late on Saturday morning. It is the second time the fixture has suffered a postponement.

The original date of September 6 was called off in controversial circumstances as the pitch was declared waterlogged by the match referee at 2.45pm.

Many of the supporters had been working on the pitch alongside then manager Dave Cameron and some of the club’s directors through the day.

This Saturday was a much easier call to make but once again fans had been asked to volunteer to help clear the snow. Ultimately there was no need because the game had no chance of beating the weather.

Avenue were strongly criticised by some of their supporters after it became known that the Buxton website had confirmed the game was off and the official UniBond League website had the fixture listed as postponed before the Bradford public had been informed.

The fans’ forum website is often a more reliable source than the club’s own official site, which was not even updated after kick-off time.

It was a game that was always in doubt because of the weather and could have been called off on Friday. Out of a scheduled 28 league games and cup ties within the UniBond League structure, only six escaped the weather.

One of those was not GUISELEY’S League Cup quarter-final at Witton Albion, which leaves the Lions still waiting to get their 2-1 defeat at FC United of Manchester out of their system.

Striker James Hanson recalled: “What a frustration that was. We were leading 1-0 with three minutes to go. We had some half-chances to kill the game off but nothing really clear-cut.

“It dropped us out of the play-off places but it is so tight you can’t rule us out. It looks like Eastwood might have the top spot sewn up but there are still ten clubs who can finish second. Hopefully we will remain one of them and be in with a chance of promotion at the end of the season.”

The cup tie at Witton has been rescheduled for Tuesday, weather permitting.

The entire Kool Sport Northern Counties East League programme was put back, with all 19 games in both divisions being postponed. That meant no derby at Clayborn between LIVERSEDGE and ECCLESHILL UNITED.

Both THACKLEY, in the Premier, and BRIGHOUSE TOWN, in Division One, were denied home fixtures as their games against Maltby Main and Barton Town Old Boys were shelved.

SILSDEN were saved a fruitless journey to Ashton Athletic in the Vodkat League Premier Division when they got the call on Saturday morning.

Cobbydalers manager Paul Schofield said: “It was very disappointing because 90 per cent of the pitch was okay but the other ten per cent cost us a game.

“We got all the players in and had an indoor training session at 1pm – not ideal but the best we could do under the circumstances.”


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