Frustrations at draw and grassroots shutdown for Letchworth Eagles

Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC in action

Letchworth Garden City Eagles drew with Royston Town Res in their final Herts Senior County League Premier Division of 2020. - Credit: LGCEFC

Letchworth Garden City Eagles were left frustrated in what turned out to be their final Herts Senior County League Premier Division game of the year.

They kept a clean sheet for the first time but in the absence of leading scorer Ashley Kersey, they were unable to take advantage of several good chances and the game with Royston Town Res ended 0-0.

They started well enough with some penetrating runs by River Amis-Robinson but the Royston keeper kept both him and Sam Nicholls out.

At the other end the Eagles defence stood solid with keeper Paul McGennity untested but it was a different story in the second half.

Royston came more into the game but like the visitors they too spurned most with McGennity saving the others, most notably one at his near post to deny former Eagle Scott Piggott.

Letchworth could have snatched it on a  counter-attack but Amis-Robinson had his shot saved when through one-on-one with the keeper.

It leaves the Eagles fourth in the table and they could be there for a while with all HSCL games cancelled until January at least.

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That decision came after Saturday’s surprise announcement by the government to put large swathes of the south east under tier four coronavirus restrictions.

It means all non-elite football, an over-arching description that covers non-league football below the National League South, the lower steps of the women’s pyramid and indoor and outdoor grassroots football is cancelled, including all training and fixtures.

An FA statement said: “Organised outdoor sport for U18s and disabled people will be allowed.

“The government’s guidelines on travel between tiers should be adhered to. Players cannot move in or out of tier four to train or play.

“The guidance confirms that elite sportspeople, and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are U18, are able to compete and train.

“If there are any further updates from government we will communicate these in due course.”
It means Stevenage will be able to continue with fixtures in League Two and the FA Cup but everyone else will be put on ice again.

The Isthmian and Southern leagues had taken the decision to suspend fixtures prior to the tier four announcement.

Speaking last week they said: “Since the initial survey on December 2 the infection rate has deteriorated in the geographical footprint of our member clubs.

“In reaching this decision the board considered several factors such as the lack of income from secondary spend revenue, the reduced attendances at tier three clubs and more importantly, the duty of care the league has to players, club officials, volunteers and supporters during this current pandemic.”

Neither have not set a formal restart date but both say they will give clubs at least 14 days notice, “allowing them preparation time to stage league matches”.

The Spartan South Midlands League had originally planned to continue with fixtures but following Saturday’s announcement they too suspended all fixtures "until further notice”.

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