Weather set to hit weekend’s football programme hard

Once again, the wintery weather looks set to decimate the local football programme.

After three weekends of snow and ice, clubs had finally got back to action seven days ago as conditions took a mild turn.

But ice and freezing winds returned with a vengeance on Thursday night, leaving pitches frozen and temperatures unlikely to rise much above 0C before early next week.

Lowestoft Town are set to hold an 8am pitch inspection at Crown Meadow on Saturday morning, although the EDP understands the Trawlerboys' Ryman League Premier clash with Kingstonian will almost certainly be called off due to a frozen pitch.

That will leave Town having played just one Ryman League Premier Division fixture since November 13 – their 0-0 draw at Canvey Island on Tuesday night.

Lowestoft already have at least two games in hand on the five teams above them in the table, but joint manager Ady Gallagher is not worried fixture congestion could hamper their promotion hopes.

'The weather forecast is obviously a little ominous over the weekend, but I'm not worried about games we've got to make up,' said Gallagher. 'We've played a third of our games and there are still enough weeks in the season left for us to play our games without putting too much strain in the resources of our squad.'

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Town were hoping the game would be on for two reasons: the luxury of a virtually fully-fit squad to call upon, and the chance to atone for their shock FA Trophy home defeat to lowly Uxbridge on Saturday.

In the Ridgeons League, Great Yarmouth Town called off on Friday their game with Hadleigh United due to The Wellesley's frozen pitch.

It is 'doubtful' leaders Dereham Town will get to take on third-place Leiston on Saturday, while Kirkley's visit to strugglers Walsham-le-Willows may suffer a similar fate.

Mildenhall's trip to Felixstowe & Walton United and Wisbech Town's clash with Norwich United are also in the balance.

In the First Division Swaffham, Fakenham and Gorleston all have a free weekend thanks to the freezing conditions, and Thetford's game with Cornard United is subject to a Saturday morning Recreation Ground pitch inspection.

In the Anglian Combination a handful of games were called off on Friday – with many more expected to join them as Saturday's 2pm kick-off time approached.

Norfolk FA's County Cup match with Hertfordshire was called off early on Friday, while the county cup fixtures have failed to beat the weather.

Wroxham's Senior Cup fourth round tie with Cromer Town has been rescheduled for Tuesday, with Norwich St Johns clash with Diss postponed until January 8.

Fourth round Norfolk Junior Cup ties at Docking Rangers and Marlingford have been rearranged for the same new year date.

All the weekend's fixtures due to be played on Norwich City Council pitches at Sloughbottom Park, Britannia Barracks and Eaton Park have also fallen victim to the weather.