Halifax Town out to ‘right the wrongs of last week’ as National League carries on playing

The National League and Northern Premier League have said following the global trend of cancelling fixtures because of the coronavirus pandemic could be “disastrous” for its clubs, even though Harrogate Town’s match last night fell victim to it.

York City manager Steve Watson.

On the day the Premier League, Football League, Scottish Football League, Bundesliga, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, Women’s Super League, Formula One, Masters, Six Nations and England football and cricket teams called off fixtures, the non-league bodies decided to carry on.

With four staff members in self-isolation due to the outbreak of the virus, Harrogate successfully argued for a postponement of their match at Solihull Moors hours before it was due to kick off and Boreham Wood, Chester and Wrexham called off their games. But home fixtures for Halifax Town and York City are due to go ahead as planned this afternoon.

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The National League met its Northern Premier League, Southern and Isthmian League counterparts to try to agree a common approach, but were unable to.

The first two decided to adhere to Government advice and carry on before reviewing on Monday. Their southern counterparts followed the trend and cancelled. Harrogate argued they should not have to continue, however.

Sixth-placed Halifax Town are at home to Ebbsfleet United this evening. Manager Pete Wild is glad of the chances to put last week’s 2-0 loss at Woking to bed.

“We have worked hard all week to put right the wrongs from last Saturday and we are ready to go,” he said.

Conference North leaders York City were due to host Altrincham but the two teams opted to postpone the game at 11pm last night.

The Northern Premier League board decided “it will be business as usual for as long as possible” unless clubs have players or volunteers self-isolating, or raise serious concerns.

“Our primary concern, as always, is to protect the financial stability of our 62 clubs,” they said. “This means playing as many games as we can, so long as clubs wish to do so. The NPL board believes pausing the season right now would prove disastrous for many clubs.”