THE first grip of wintry weather decimated the fixture schedules as snow, ice and deep frost led to a swathe of postponements on a Saturday that even saw two Football League games called off.

The highest profile of the matches shelved for the clubs in this area was Bradford Park Avenue’s home game in the Vanarama National North against Tamworth.

Just across the Pennine peaks, home games for Bradford City’s League One counterparts Bury and League Two outfit Accrington Stanley were also off.

Avenue manager Mark Bower said: “Our pitch inspection was scheduled for early morning and it was no great surprise when it was postponed.

“I didn’t go to the ground but I was in contact with the people up there and under the covering of snow there was a deep frost so there was no chance.

"Hopefully it won’t have too much of an effect on us because, with both us and Tamworth out of the FA Trophy, the game has been pencilled in for next weekend (Saturday, December 16).

“We should have played this week and then had no game until we go to Southport the day before Christmas Eve. We had no game for this Saturday coming because it was a Trophy weekend so it just means one game has been moved.

“If we’d had to go from the Alfreton Town game right through to Southport (Saturday, December 23) it would have been too long, but there’s no real difference as we’re playing the same number of games.”

Both Farsley Celtic in the Premier Division and Brighouse Town in Division One North had Evo-Stik League away fixtures postponed.

None of the five clubs in the area saw any action in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League as most of that league’s games fell foul of the freezing conditions.

Albion Sports should have been at home, while Thackley and Liversedge were due to travel in the Premier Division. Eccleshill United’s home game and Campion’s away fixture in Division One were off, as was Hallmark Security League Division One leaders Silsden’s.

The Cobbydalers were due to travel to Shropshire to take on FC Oswestry Town but the big freeze was widespread.

Avenue didn’t even attempt to find an artificial surface for a hastily arranged training session.

Bower added: “We gave the players the weekend off.

“We have an experienced squad and they know how to look after themselves. We had already planned training schedules for next week and they’re quite demanding so we decided to stick with that.

“A free weekend at this time of year always goes down well with the players so they’ll pay us back with hard work this week.”