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Fixtures suspended over Coronavirus outbreak

The Northern Premier League has today decided, reluctantly, to suspend all fixtures until further notice in light of the escalating Covid-19 outbreak.

In a statement issued this afternoon they said:

“The League would like to congratulate the players, officials, volunteers and fans of clubs able to stage games at the weekend and notes the excellent attendances at those fixtures.  Whilst the primary responsibility of the League is to the financial sustainability of its member clubs, the number of clubs reporting players or officials in self-isolation has now reached a point at which continuing to play games would severely undermine the integrity of the competition.In consultation with the partners Eliteform, all NPL Football Academy fixtures have also been suspended until further notice.”

They added:

“The NPL is well aware that clubs and fans need clarity around whether the 2019/20 season is to be suspended temporarily or permanently, and the full implications of either eventuality.  The NPL will be working with the other Alliance Leagues and the Football Association, to assess the various options and to agree a way forward.As soon as we are able to, we will share that information with member clubs and their supporters.”

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Droylsden 0-4 Clitheroe

A comprehensive win from the team from Lancashire with two goals in each half and only Droylsden keeper Elliot Wynne preventing a heavier defeat for the Bloods
The first produced few chances but Clitheroe took their opportunities.
Terry Cummings scored the opener on fourteen minutes, a superb cross field ball finding the striker who scored at the second attempt after Wynne blocked the first attempt
A Free kick from Olly Wright found an unmarked Andreas Bianga who headed over for the Bloods in their only real chance in the first half.
Former Blood Danny Wilkins scored the second just before half time collecting the ball on the half way line and finishing well
Clitheroe upped the tempo in the second half Tyrhys Dolan and Kieran Feeney going close while Cummings saw his effort tipped onto the post by Wynne before Wilkins saw his attempt come back off the cross bar
Domaine Rouse created an opening just shooting wide before Dolan made it three on sixty seven minutes, tapping into an empty net after Wilkins set him up.
With two minutes left on the clock Craig Carney pounced on a loose ball by the penalty spot to complete a miserable day for the Bloods 
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Matches to go ahead this weekend.

Northern Premier League Matches will go ahead this weekend

The League have issued the following statement

Further to our communication of yesterday regarding the Coronavirus crisis, and following the Premier League and EFL deciding to pause the season until April 9th , the NPL has today been in discussion with the National, Southern and Isthmian Leagues to try and agree a common approach, but this did not prove possible.  The FA has today stated that it is each League’s decision as to what approach it wishes to take, so each league at Steps 3 & 4 will do what it believes best for its member clubs.

 

Accordingly, and in common with the National League, the NPL’s board has decided that all matches will go ahead this weekend, with future fixtures being reviewed on Monday 16th March.

 

Our primary concern, as always, is to protect the financial stability of our 62 clubs.  This means playing as many games as we can, so long as clubs wish to do so.  This is not contrary to the League’s and clubs’ duty of care considerations to players, officials or supporters but, in a season where clubs have been severely impacted by weather-related postponements, the NPL board believes that pausing the season right now would prove disastrous for many clubs.  The situation is changing daily, so our approach to Covid-19 must be flexible, recognising the very genuine concerns around the health of players, officials and supporters.

 

The League has consistently urged clubs to follow government advice, which is that football matches should go ahead as planned for now.  Having carefully weighed up all options, and mindful that we are between a rock and a hard place on this issue, all NPL matches will therefore go ahead as planned this weekend unless a club is directly affected by players, referees or volunteers who are self-isolating or have serious concerns.  

 

Please refer to the FA’s guidance notes, issued earlier this week and re-attached here.  If an infection occurs, or is suspected within a team group, government advice should be followed and the individuals with whom the victim is in direct contact should be advised to self-isolate.  In these cases, details should be provided to the League soonest and affected games will be postponed.  No club may simply call a game off; that is a decision for the League alone, however all requests will be dealt with sympathetically.

 

The Alliance leagues have requested urgent advice from the FA with regard to the impact of any short or medium term implications for payments to contract players.  As soon as we receive this guidance, it will be issued to all clubs.

 

In closing, the League acknowledges this is not a decision that will meet with universal approval.  Although our current stance may have to be reviewed as events escalate, it will be business as usual for as long as possible.

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Pontefract Collieries 4-0 Droylsden

Another poor performance away from home saw the Bloods on the end of another heavy defeat on a windy night in Yorkshire

The team’s first visit to Pontefract Collieries saw a familiar pattern of play as the promotion challengers bossed the game and could easily have doubled their goal tally.

The home team took the lead on fourteen minutes, Andreas Bianga losing the ball in midfield and after a scramble in the box, the ball falling to Dunne who could not fail to miss from the edge of the six yard box.

Despite having the strong wind behind them, Droylsden created few chances, Jackson Hulme having the best opportunity seeing his shot tipped over the bar while Travis Boyle was put through on goal but saw his effort saved by the feet of Malkowski during their best spell of the match

However Collieries doubles their lead on the half hour mark, Dunne adjudged by the referee to be felled in the box and Smythe stepping up to score.

Eight minutes later it was three, Lumsden heading home from a corner.

With the wind blowing into their faces, the Bloods struggled to get out of their own half after the break as Ponte continued to press.

Wynne saved brilliantly from Lumsden just two minutes after the resumption. Spencer Clarke should have scored minutes later, heading over from close range and Dockerty have a great chance on the hour mark, getting behind the Bloods defence only to shot wide of the advancing Wynne.

The forward made up for his miss five minutes later latching onto a loose ball in the area to make it four.

The chances kept coming for the home team, Wynne saving from close range from Smythe.

Dockerty was guilty of two more misses as the game progressed and substitute Rothery saw his free kick clip the cross bar.

Droylsden’s lone chance in the second half saw Domaine Rouse break down the right and seeing his shot blocked by the defender.

 

 

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Farewell Danny, Rhys and Reece

Danny Wilkins has left the club and has joined Clitheroe over the weekend while Reece Webb-Foster after a short stay has returned to Colne.

Rhys Clooney who joined us at the start of the season has left with mutual consent and his contract has been terminated.

However some good news as defender Sam Oliver, currently on work experience from Sheffield Wednesday has agreed to extend his stay with the club until the end of March

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Marine 3-1 Droylsden

This was a spirited performance from a much changed Droylsden team against one of the promotion favourites in difficult conditions on the Sefton coast.

The home team took the lead on twenty four minutes, captain Niall Cummins first to pounce on a loose ball from a corner and striking home from six yards.
Elliot Wynne had earlier kept Marine at bay saving from close range from Howard while a quick free kick from the home side bobbled through the crowded box hitting the post before being collected by the keeper.
A quickly taken free kick at the other end nearly gave the Bloods an equaliser but Atherton managed to grab the ball ahead of the stretching Clooney.
Wynne was called into action again saving from  Lussey as Marine pressed for a second while Danny Shaw’s header from a corner narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Sam Oliver thought he had equalised direct from a corner as the Marine defender managed to clear the ball off the line but at the other end it was Wynne again to the rescue saving brilliantly low to his left to deny Howard.
Dom Smith came on for Rhys Clooney at half time and four minutes into the half the striker levelled for the Bloods, his strike from the edge of the area finding the bottom corner of the goal.
Bloods began to take control of the game but despite a lot of possession were limited to two long range efforts by Kyle Wych.
But the visitors got themselves back in the match through a great move down the right by Solomon Davies whose cross was converted by Howard on sixty six minutes.
The Bloods had a great chance though for an equaliser, Dom Smith breaking down the left and finding Domaine Rouse whose shot was saved by the keeper to his left.
At the other end Wynne again kept the home side out, this time saving from substitute Miley.
Deep into stoppage time, Cummins secured the points for the home side tapping in from close range