Football braced for more disruption

JPCT 19-01-13 S13043159X Gorings Mead football ground under snow. YMCA, Horsham fc. Football cancelled due to snow -photo by Steve Cobb.

JPCT 19-01-13 S13043159X Gorings Mead football ground under snow. YMCA, Horsham fc. Football cancelled due to snow -photo by Steve Cobb.

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Football clubs across Sussex may be forced to play three games a week just to finish their season after a year of weather disruption.

Last week’s snow followed one of the wettest years on record, and with more bad weather due, league officals are being forced into contingency plans.

Teams in the Ryman League may be looking at three games a week, The Sussex County Football League (SCFL) were in talks to rip up their fixture list and start again, while the West Sussex Football League was considering scrapping all its cup competitions. In the Worthing & Horsham District Sunday League (W&HDSL), teams will begin playing double header games from next month.

Several weekends of Ryman League fixtures have seen disruption, but Saturday was the first time all games were off, and just one game took place this week. Chairman Alan Turvey said: “We are doing OK, on a daily basis we are managing the situation.

But it is a concern, and those clubs who are behind may have to play games on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, as we have before if this continues.”

For the SCFL this was the second weekend this season all games were off. Officials were looking at revising the remaining fixtures, but acting chairman Steve Nealgrove said: “We think we’ll be OK, we have 13 weekends left of the season so with two games a week that’s 26 opportunities to play fixtures so it’s not as gloomy as we thought.”

But Horsham YMCA, for example have a minimum of 22 games to play, while Hailsham still have 24 league games left, making completing their seasons tight even with no further disruptions. Most of the cup competitions are at the quarter-final stage and scraping it would be a last resort.

The WSFL is around four weeks behind and ‘struggling’. Fixtures secretary Chris Bridges said if the bad weather continues for the next few weeks all cup competitions would be scrapped, making it the third time this has happened ten years.

The W&HDSL has decided against scrapping cup competitions, but from next month teams who have a fixture backlog will play double headers.