PRESSURE on local football fixture lists has ramped up further after the Northern Counties East League was suspended again.
The League, which includes Maltby Main, Parkgate and Swallownest, has paused all its matches with immediate effect until at least January 13 after the latest Covid-19 tier review put even more member clubs into the highest Tier 4 restriction which forbids non-elite football. The competition had only re-started earlier this month after a prevoius suspension was cut short.
Maltby and Parkgate have completed just ten of their 38 league fixtures and Swallownest only eight. The league season had already been extended until the end of May having finally got underway in September.
Last Saturday’s local derby between Parkgate and Swallownest was called off by the League after two ‘Gate players tested positive for coronavirus. Having followed all the relevant protocols, the club had still been hopeful of playing this weekend's scheduled fixture away to Harrogate Railway. Maltby were next due in action at Handsworth next Wednesday.
Even though some NCEL clubs, including the three from Rotherham, remain in Tier 3, the NCEL said the decision to suspend had also been swayed by the "rapidly rising numer of Covid-19 cases across the league's footprint."