Pitching In Isthmian League board approve December 19 to restart matches and season extension
The Pitching In Isthmian League is set to restart matches before Christmas, but only just.
A board meeting earlier today agreed, subject to government approval, to restart their Step 3 & 4 leagues on Saturday, December 19, so long as spectators are allowed to attend matches again.
But compared to other clubs in the area, AFC Sudbury, Bury Town, Felixstowe & Walton United and Soham Town Rangers could be left kicking their heels for the resumption.
The Thurlow Nunn League has said it plans to re-commence fixtures on December 5 - two weeks earlier - though has given clubs the option to start a week later in order to get players more up to speed, which some have taken.
The Isthmian League has given an option though for clubs to attempt to restart earlier than December 19, but only with one fixture.
A letter from chairman Nick Robinson sent out to clubs said: "If clubs would like to play a fixture prior to Saturday 19th, subject again to there being no government restrictions, then the League will agree so long as five days notice is given to enable match officials to be appointed."
This could help the likes of Bury Town, whose four matches played is the least in the division and half of some others, though it is subject to an opponent agreeing to bring a fixture forward.
A further change has been made to the end of the season with the Isthmian League board deciding to follow the Thurlow Nunn League in extending the season, due to the backlog of fixtures from the second lockdown. It has been agreed to now play the last round of fixtures on May 22 – two weeks later than planned.
Play-off matches would then be scheduled for the following Bank Holiday weekend - May 28-30.
The season restart date of December 19 would see the following fixtures mark the return for our sides:
- AFC Sudbury (2nd): Home to Aveley (9th)
- Bury Town (4th): Away to Grays Athletic (8th)
- Felixstowe & Walton United (13th): Home to Canvey Island (15th)
- Soham Town Rangers (7th): Away to Basildon United (19th)
All leagues at Step 3 and below are currently suspended under the national restrictions, which are due to be lifted on Wednesday, December 2, subject to government approval.