IT was a rare weekend off for Bradford (Park Avenue) after their Vanarama National League North fixture against Leamington was postponed due at a frozen at the Horsfall Stadium.

Several days of sub-zero temperatures and a fall of fresh snow on Friday had left the game in serious doubt.

Avenue manager Mark Bower said: “I was up there (Horsfall) on Friday and it was covered in snow and the ground underneath was rock hard.

“So it no great surprise when the decision was made the day before the game.

"We decided not to get the players in for an extra training session because we’d had two really good sessions in the week and done a lot of work.

“When you think about it the players have come through a tough schedule over Christmas and New Year and a tough January so we decided to give them the weekend off.”

It also gave Bower, his assistant Danny Boshell and first-team coach Ryan Toulson time to review the situation.

January was a nightmare month on the pitch as Avenue dropped from leaders to fourth following four defeats and one draw from their five games and a squad overhaul was begun.

Three players have departed, all to promotion rivals with Ben McKenna joining Chester, Nicky Wroe signing for Boston United and keeper Steve Drench linking up with Altrincham.

Two new players have been drafted in on loan until the end of the season. Charlie Andrew has big gloves to fill as he comes in as a replacement for Drench and Romoney Crichlow-Noble will be looking to impress in the centre of defence or at left back.

Andrew’s parent club is Championship side Hull City and they were keen to see their young prospect in the National League set-up after the player spent a loan spell at Pickering Town in the Evo-Stik Division One East.

Crichlow-Noble has made his way up through the under-18 and u23s with Huddersfield Town and has penned a pro deal with the Terriers.

Bower added: “There have been three players who have left us and two that have come in at the moment but with having Danny East back from injury that’s like another new signing.

“We’ve been without Danny since pre-season so to have him back is a real boost and there may be another one coming in but there’s nothing developing with that one at the moment.

“We are always looking for potential signings and if someone becomes available that we think will improve us we will be interested. But at the moment we’re just looking forward to getting the two new lads settled and to working with them.

“Charlie has been playing real man’s football at a very good standard with Pickering and I’ve seen a lot of footage of him and he looks a very good prospect. Hull wanted him to keep testing himself and they’re happy that he’s joined us and he’s got a lot of potential and we looking to help him develop.”

Avenue will be disappointed after being frustrated by the postponement as they will have been hoping that lightening would have struck twice.

Bower explained: “We had a bit of blip around this time last season and we got that upturn with a win against Leamington.

“It was a tough game and we had given a penalty away but Drenchy saved it and we went on to win against Leamington last year and it started a run a five game winning run that got us into the play-offs.

“We’re looking for our fortunes to turn around and we’re working hard to make it happen.

"You get little runs when everything seems to go against you but usually they even out over the course of a season.”