Parkgate FC ask league for season to be extended to clear fixture backlog

Busy schedule ... for Jamie Austin and Parkgate.Busy schedule ... for Jamie Austin and Parkgate.
Busy schedule ... for Jamie Austin and Parkgate.
​A FOOTBALL club has asked for its season to be extended after being hit with a flood of postponements.

Parkgate FC still have 17 league games and at least two cup ties to fit in before the campaign is due to end on April 16.

The fear is that the heavy workload could impact the club’s chances as it chases promotion to the top flight of the Northern Counties East League and success in the League Cup and the Sheffield Senior Cup.

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“We have asked the question of the league,” confirmed first team manager Scott Mason. “We just hope they do extend the season because I don’t know how they’re going to do it otherwise. We are in the lap of the gods with the weather and there will be more bad weather without a doubt.”

Parkgate manager Scott MasonParkgate manager Scott Mason
Parkgate manager Scott Mason

Division One contains 23 teams this year, amounting to 44 league games, and Parkgate consider that too many.

The postponement of last weekend’s match away to Louth Town on a day when most others played only aggravated the problems.

Managing the workload of the players through what is going to be a hectic end to the season is another challenge.

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“I am comfortable with any of our lads starting but we can’t burn the players out,” said Mason. “We’ve lost Brad Morton to a bad injury and Liam Royles is suspended. We have others coming back from injury and although I know they’re keen to play, we can’t rush them because, moving forward, we are going to have so many games and if they come back and they pull again then we are in trouble.”

Parkgate did at least get a game in on Tuesday, beating Harrogate Railway 2-0.

They were indebted to an early penalty save and several fine stops from goalkeeper Jordan Greaves before a spot-kick on the hour from Jamie Austin and his second decided it. They sit three points behind leaders Wakefield AFC with seven games in hand.

Added Mason: “We need to get games in, especially against the teams around us. Promotion is anybody’s still and although we have these games in hand, if we end up playing Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday it is going to proper impact us.”

Weather permitting, Parkgate play Nostell away on Saturday and then host Worksop Town in the Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday (7.45pm).