The national lockdown has left a major headache for football league fixture compilers as well as our local clubs.
With football set to restart on Saturday, December 5 it means that all six of the clubs playing in either the Toolstation Western League (Exmouth Town), South West Peninsula League (Axminster Town, Honiton Town and Sidmouth Town) and the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League (Ottery St Mary and Budleigh Salterton) 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 II, then there will be 22 Saturday’s remaining up to, and including, the first Saturday in May – 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-based clubs playing at step six and above.
EXMOUTH TOWN 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 have played 10 of what will eventually be a 38-game South West Peninsula League Premier East season. That means the Tigers facing 28 league games in the 22 remaining weeks. Town head into Lockdown II sitting second bottom of the table having won two and lost eight of their q10 games so far.
HONITON TOWN 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 are the highest ranked of the three East Devon-based teams playing in the South West Peninsula League Premier East season, sitting 10th having played 11 games, winning six, drawing one and losing four. The Vikings still have 27 league games to negotiate over the final 22 weeks.
OTTERY ST MARY are the only team in East Devon playing at step six of above still to taste defeat in their league campaign. The Otters top the South & West Division of the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League having won 10 and drawn one of their 11 games played to date. With 16 teams in the division a full season for the Otters will involved 30 games and so they will have 19 to play when the league resumes – hopefully – in early December.
BUDLEIGH SALTERTON sit 11th in the North & 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.
So, who do the six all play on Saturday, December 5.
EXMOUTH TOWN are in Toolstation Western League action with a visit to Keynsham Town
HONITON TOWN are in South West Peninsula League Premier East action at Torridgeside
SIDMOUTH TOWN in South West Peninsula League Premier East action at Torrington
AXMINSTER TOWN are without a game – they return to South West Peninsula League Premier East action at home to Crediton United on Saturday, December 12.
OTTERY ST MARY are in Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League South & West division action at Watcombe Wanderers
BUDLEIGH SALTERTON are without a game on December 5 and so they will kick-start their Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League at Braunton on Saturday, December 12.
EXMOUTH TOWN RESERVES are in Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League at home to Braunton