Cold snap leaving Hawks boss all hot and bothered

Wes Thomas netted for Oxford against Plymouth

League One: Rotherham suffer late Payne... Cook’s Wigan falter

The fixture backlog is becoming an increasing headache for Hawks manager Shaun Gale and his squad.

The postponement of last night's already rearranged home game against Dover Athletic was the latest setback.

Having already had a two-week break before finally managing to play Farnborough on Saturday, the last thing the Hawks needed was another postponement.

'It is a massive loss and just adds to our fixture backlog,' said Gale.

'The weather is killing us at the moment and that is not just with the games.

'It has disrupted everything, including some of the training.

'The game on Saturday was our first for 18 days and that made things difficult for us.

'It is something that we will have to overcome.

'Yesterday, the bottom part of the goalmouth under the shade of the stand was completely frozen at one o'clock.

'It was dangerous and wasn't going to improve.'

Gale would have liked the Blue Square South game to have been played and saw it as an opportunity to get the weekend's 3-0 defeat to Farnborough out of their system.

The Hawks were comprehensively beaten by a physical and powerful Farnborough side.

Forced to field a makeshift defence, Gale's men were vulnerable and the visitors exploited it to the full.

To cap a miserable afternoon, defender John McDonald was sent off late on in the second half for a second bookable offence.

The home side had four key players missing and that proved too big a handicap.

Skipper Ian Simpemba was also due to sit out the Dover game but Sam Pearce, Mustafa Tiryaki and Bobby Hopkinson were all expected back.

The Hawks have played only 14 league games so far this season and that is four or five games less than some of the teams above them.

The latest defeat was a big setback and if Gale's men are to launch an assault on the play-offs in the new year, they will have to make their games in hand count.

With the Arctic winds and snow predicted to return later in the week, the Hawks' trip to Thurrock on Saturday could be in doubt and that would only add to Gale's woes.