Easter wipe-out would spell “big trouble” for the West Sussex Football League

Upper Beeding beat rivals Lancing 2-0 in one of only four games to go ahead on Saturday
Upper Beeding beat rivals Lancing 2-0 in one of only four games to go ahead on Saturday

The West Sussex Football League is dealing with the biggest fixture congestion for more than a decade.

That’s after just four games went ahead on Saturday, a similar story to the weekend before, and it comes after league bosses were forced to scrap all their cup competitions at the start of the month because of the relentless snow, rain and freeze since the turn of the year.

And League officials have warned that if a similar thing occurs over a busy Easter Weekend they could be in “big trouble”.

Fixtures secretary Chris Bridges said: “We had only four games played at the weekend and a similar number the weekend before, we usually have around 60 games at full tilt.

“At the start of March we took the decision to scrap all our cup competitions. Although a lot of teams who had reached the latter stages were disappointed and a big part of our season is cup finals, it was an easy decision really because of what’s gone on.

“Some teams still have a dozen league games to play so they are looking at three games a week.”

And he added: “I’ve been doing the fixtures for ten years or more and in that time we’ve had to cancel the cups two or three times, but this is the worst it’s been by a long way.”

For the first time in a number of years there will be a full schedule of fixtures on the Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday of the forthcoming Easter weekend.

It is also the start of a number of ‘double headers’ - where both a club’s Firsts and Reserves will play on the same ground at 2pm and then 4.30pm of the same day where possible.

Bridges added: “In theory the league could go on until June or July, there are no restrictions, but that isn’t feasible because many of the teams have council-owned pitches or share with cricket clubs.

“We may have to go on for another week and play until May 11, but if we lose the majority of games again this weekend we could be in big trouble.”

One of the four matches that did go ahead saw Upper Beeding battle to a 2-0 victory over near-neighbours Lancing Utd in the Premier Division.

In teeth-chattering conditions, two late goals from Steve Alexander and Alex Warren won it for hosts Beeding.