Sheffield non league clubs hit by weather again

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DESPITE a slight improvement in the weather, local teams are anticipating a second weekend of disruption with games at Stocksbridge Park Steels, Sheffield FC and Hallam in the Northern counties East league all under threat.

Milder weather has been forecast but it could come too late to save many games.

Stocksbridge are due to host relegation rivals Grantham Town but with around four inches of snow blanketing the Bracken Moor pitch, chances look remote.

Chairman Allen Bethel said: “We haven’t been able to get on the pitch to do any work at the moment because of the amount of snow. And if it thaws it will be flooded and likewise if it rains we will have the same problem.”

Fortunately for Stocksbridge they are well in front with their fixtures which at least takes away any worries of being faced with a backlog with Steels having played 27 of the scheduled 42 league games.

Bethel states the loss to the club in revenue caused by postponements is minimal. He said “It does have some effect but is dependent on who the opponents are as some teams won’t bring as many supporters to a midweek game.

“It’s not like the FC United of Manchester game that was postponed on New Year’s Day. Because of their large following we would have had a bumper crowd. But now the game has been rearranged for March 13 there won’t be as many and that could cost us about £2,000 in lost income.”

The Stocksbridge Chairman was at Sheffield United’s ground this week where he was being presented with his award for “Outstanding contribution to Community Football 2012.”

On the cold fornt, it’s a similar picture at the Dronfield where Sheffield FC are due to take on Carlton Town with the ground still covered by snow.

Club saw Tuesday’s Doodson League Cup tie against Premier Division leaders North Ferriby United called off and rearranged for this coming this Tuesday.

Manager Ian Whitehorne has kept his players on their toes after putting them through a tough workout at the Sheffield Boxing Centre.

“We have a great relationship with my pal Glyn Rhodes, said Whitehorne. “So when the weather turns bad we turn to him. There are always a few moans and groans but that’s’ because it’s a tough school in there. One thing for sure when the snow finally goes we will be ready to go.”