Clubs count cost of poor winter weather

The snowy scene at Sheffield FC this week.
The snowy scene at Sheffield FC this week.
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Every picture tells a story they say and how true that is.

I was at Sheffield FC’s BT Local Business Stadium last Thursday for a League meeting and the picture I took shows what every club is facing after a third week of total wipe out of fixtures again, plus all but two of the midweek fixtures as well.

A club spokesman told me the that they were desperate to play and had an army of volunteers ready to move five inches of snow, but where to?

On top of that, the spectators standing areas were under the same amount of snow whilst their car park was like an ice rink.

Then they had another four inches of snow fall on Friday night.

Now, with the thaw well and truly settling in, flooding is a grave concern to most clubs.

It really is now becoming a major crisis, not only on the playing front but even more so financially with lost revenue that night matches simply can not bring back.

In the Evo-Stik Leagues Division One South, Sheffield FC should play on Saturday when they visit third placed Sutton Coldfield Town as they play on plastic.

Then next Tuesday they entertain North Ferriby United in the Doodson League Cup Third Round.

On the black side though, Club have lost the services of Gareth Clayton, their highly rated full back who joined Frickley Athletic last Friday.

A fortnight on Tuesday they face a 250-mile round trip to Kings Lynn.

In the Premier Division, Stocksbridge Park are under great pressure after a run of just seven points from a possible 24 after just one win in their last eight games.

It leaves them four points clear of relegation, but Kendal have six games in hand. So they must continue to play well and take advantage of the chances they are currently squandering when on Saturday they visit Rushall Olympic.

In Division One of The Baris North Counties East League, Hallam’s fixture crisis seems to deepen by the week.

Having played only three matches since January 1 they are desperate to kick a ball, but their pitch is still snow bound.

It is not all gloom at the club, though; last week they appointed vastly-experienced Richard Stevenson as goalkeeping coach.

On the playing front they have signed the vastly experienced Jonathan Wragg from Winterton Rangers, and he wasted no time after scoring on his debut on Tuesday night as Hallam beat Grimsby Borough 3-1.

On Saturday second placed Albion Sports visit Sandygate whilst next Tuesday I will be in the crowd for their derby date with Dinnington Town.

Like their neighbours, Dinnington are keen to get started again after playing only three games since the turn of the year.

On Saturday they entertain a troubled Askern Villa at Phoenix Park before their trip to Sandygate next Tuesday.

Worsbrough Bridge have played only twice since the New Year but their ground suggests it will be hard to play again this coming week.

However, with a three match unbeaten run under their belts they need to play on Saturday against Bottesford Town.

Next Tuesday they visit seventh-placed Teversal, and it is hoped that new signing Scott Whittington will make his debut.

It is a similar story in the Premier Division, where Worksop Parramore have battled against the weather but they returned to action on Tuesday, beating Armthorpe Welfare 2-0 thanks to goals from Scott Bates and Jamie Green.

They have also signed striker Chris Woods from Parkgate and it is hoped he will help the fourth-placed club overcome Thackley on Saturday before their hard trip to Tadcaster Albion on Tuesday.

Parkgate face Armthorpe Welfare at Green Lane on Saturday.

A long trip to Pickering Town on Saturday is hardly easy pickings, though they should beat Heanor Town, Wednesday’s visitors to Inkersall Green.

Maltby Main have lost the influential Joe Evans to Lincoln Moorlands, but should beat Saturdays visitors to Muglet Lane, Nostell Miners Welfare.

A.F.C. Emley will try for a third time to play Hadleigh United in the FA Vase Fourth Round at the Welfare ground.

I will be travelling on Saturday to the North East for Sheffield and Hallamshire Under 18s game against North Yorkshire, where a win will keep Sheffield top.

Staveley, meanwhile, have confirmed that the club’s future is not in doubt after their major sponsors went into administration.

Baris Facades and Linings Limited made the announcement on Monday, but chairman Terry Damms said: “I can confirm that Staveley MWFC Ltd is not a subsidiary of Baris Group Ltd nor of its subsidiaries company.

“If Baris Group Limited and/or its subsidiaries enter administration, or liquidation, or sold then that process would not include Staveley MWFC Limited.”

Staveley players Joe Thornton, Nathan Forbes-Swindells, Richard Patterson, Chris Fawcus, Simon Barraclough and Jordan Eagers have all been approached by rival clubs.