The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which has caused the postponement of sport across the world, has also affected the Southern League, where Bedford Town are looking for a late charge towards the play-offs and Kempston Rovers trying to end a difficult season on a high.
The Eagles, who beat runaway league leaders Halesowen Town 3-1 in midweek, will be frustrated at not being able to capitalise on good form as games against AFC Dunstable tomorrow, Wantage Town on Tuesday evening and Coleshill Town next weekend have been postponed.
Two second half goals for Jake Newman put the icing on a spectacular performance for Mark Ducket’s men, who went down 6-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
The Southern League are only postponing games until 22nd March, unlike the elite sides in the Premier League and Football League who have delayed games until 4th April.
With nearly 800 patients testing positive for the virus in the UK, and the number increasing rapidly, these dates may well be extended as the leagues look to balance the health of players and the public alike with the competition’s integrity.
Kempston Rovers will also have three games postponed with fixtures against Bedworth United, AFC Dunstable and Coleshill looking to be rearranged, and with an already hectic schedule, teams may be looking at two or three games per week if they want the Summer off.
Bedfordshire FA have also released a statement, postponing all local football, for both senior and junior games which will see no football on park pitches and beyond until at least 22nd March.
Elsewhere, despite the Six Nations falling foul of the effects of COVID-19, the Greene King IPA Championship continues as Bedford Blues have travelled to Newcastle to face the unbeaten Falcons this evening, with their peers completing the latest round of fixtures across the weekend.
With no let up from the coronavirus outbreak, and suggestions that this will get worse before it gets better, the pandemic has the potential to cause severe disruption to a multitude of sport, meaning our local sides may well have a long wait to find out their fates this season.