Hawks forced to play serious catch-up after a second successive National League South postponement due to the pandemic
The club’s last two league games have been called off - leaving them having played fewer games than anyone else in their division.
Last Tuesday’s scheduled trip to Bath City was postponed due to the hosts’ positive Covid tests, and the weekend journey to Welling was called off late on Friday evening after one of the Wings squad tested positive.
Due to having other games called off due to FA Cup commitments, Hawks have only played five NLS matches so far.
That is five fewer than leaders Dartford and Hemel Hempstead.
Bath City, currently in the middle of having four league games called off due to their positive tests, have played six.
Dartford will soon have played SEVEN games more than Paul Doswell’s side, for they travel to Hungerford next Saturday and to Eastbourne Borough the following Tuesday, December 1.
On FA Cup second round duty at Marine next weekend, Hawks return to NLS action at home to Hemel on Wednesday, December 2.
In addition to the weekend game against Hawks, Welling’s next three NLS games have also been postponed in line with the Government’s 14-day self-isolation guidelines.
The Wings won’t return to competitive action until December 12.
At present, Hawks have 35 league games left, and starting on December 5 (when they host Chelmsford) have just 26 Saturdays before the season is due to finish on May 29.
Of those, they will be playing in the FA Trophy on December 19 and possibly in the third round of the FA Cup on the first weekend of 2021.
A long run in the Trophy will also result in more NLS matches being switched to midweek dates.
Hawks have three midweek NLS dates in their diary - two against Hemel (December 2 and February 9) and at home to Bath (April 14).
The postponed trips to Bath and Welling will now also be played in midweek, as will Slough (home) and Hampton & Richmond (away) on dates still to be arranged.
In the National League North, the situation is even worse in terms of the number of games postponed so far due to positive Covid tests.
York had two games postponed at the end of October due to a positive result, while the trip to Chester in early November was also off due to a positive result in the home camp.
York’s last three NLN games have been called off after another positive test result, while Tuesday’s trip to Hereford is also off.
Boston’s last three NLN games have been postponed after the club recorded a positive test result.
Prior to that, a game against Darlington was abandoned after 87 minutes due to a serious injury to one of the Darlo players.
Games were also called off at the beginning of October following a Covid outbreak involving Boston players, which resulted in the club withdrawing from the FA Cup.
Boston’s league trip to Bradford Park Avenue was also postponed twice due to floodlighting issues at the Horsfall Stadium.
National League clubs have also been affected.
Stockport County reported ‘multiple’ positive results and have postponed their last three league games.
Notts County were forced to postpone two league games in October and had to withdraw from the FA Cup, giving Kings Lynn - who face Pompey next weekend - a bye into the first round proper.
Weymouth have called off their last two matches - against Yeovil and Solihull - with Brian Stock’s squad facing additional problems. As the Terras are one of the few part-time outfits in the top flight of non-league football, the squad cannot operate within an exclusive bubble.
Several players have jobs outside of football, therefore heightening the risk of transmission.