The national lockdown will mean a major headache for football league fixture compilers as well as our local clubs in East Devon.
With no football being played below elite level between now and December 5 – at the earliest.
It means that all six of the district’s clubs playing in either the Toolstation Western League , South West Peninsula League and the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League are facing severe fixture congestion over the second half of their respective campaigns.
If we include Saturday, December 5 and take that as the first Saturday of the ‘re-start’ following lockdown two, then there will be 22 Saturdays remaining up to, and including, the first weekend in May.
This is traditionally when the leagues look to have completed their campaigns.
It is also important to consider that many games are likely to be lost to inclement weather during December, January, February and March.
The state of play for the six East Devon clubs playing at step six and above
EXMOUTH TOWN FC have played one quarter of their Toolstation Western League Premier Division campaign. Town sit fifth in the table and they have 30 games remaining.
AXMINSTER TOWN AFC have played ten of what will eventually be a 38-game South West Peninsula League Premier East season. That means the Tigers face 28 league games in the 22 remaining weeks. Town headed into lockdown sitting second bottom of the table having won two and lost eight of their games so far.
HONITON TOWN FC have played 14 and so have 24 games still to complete their South West Peninsula League Premier East season. The Hippos currently sit 14th in the table having won four, drawn two and lost eight to date.
SIDMOUTH TOWN AFC are the highest-ranked of the three East Devon-based teams playing in the South West Peninsula League Premier East season. Sitting tenth, the Vikings have played 11 games, winning six, drawing one and losing four. They still have 27 league games to negotiate over the final 22 weeks.
OTTERY ST MARY AFC are the only team in East Devon playing at step six or above still to taste defeat in their league campaign. The Otters top the South and West Division of the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League having won ten and drawn one of their 11 games to date. With 16 teams in the division, a full season for the Otters will involved30 games and so they will have 19 to play when the league resumes.
BUDLEIGH SALTERTON AFC sit 11th in the North and East Division of the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League, having played 11 of what will be a 26-game league campaign. To date, the Robins have won two drawn three and lost six matches.
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