Non-league football managers, players and supporters will again be turning to the weather forecast before fixtures today.
Torrential downpours overnight on Thursday and more rain yesterday, as well as a bleak forecast, will mean football fans will keep an eye to the sky today ahead of making any game plans.
Only one of five Evo-Stik League Southern Premier escaped the early week big freeze, as Cambridge City won 3-0 at Hitchin on Monday. Tuesday's four scheduled top-flight matches were all put on ice and postponed. Today's problems are not the plummeting temperatures but – as widely predicted by the forecasters – the amount of rainfall.
After upsetting leaders Hemel Hempstead Town 3-2 at the Sports Ground last Saturday, buoyant Bideford are set to play at second-placed Leamington today, weather-permitting.
Robins boss Sean Joyce will have to change his winning line-up as postman Matt Bye is work tied and his central midfield replacement Richard Groves – who scored last Saturday – is suspended.
Unflappable Joyce said: "We had nothing to lose last week and this week it's more of the same really. They haven't lost at home, we haven't won away. Everyone will be looking at those sort of stats and not giving us much of a chance. That suits me fine.
"I was delighted with last week's win – over the moon because we beat the leaders with ten men – but also a little bit disappointed that we did not win by a bigger margin.
"We didn't and it's gone now. Beating the leaders at home counts for nothing when you are heading off to the favourites in their back yard but let's see what we can do. We've beaten Hemel, we beat St Albans – who are up there – and we drew at Barwell, who are fifth. It's time to realise we have taken seven points off three sides in the top seven in three of our last four matches so we can't be that bad."
Tiverton Town – fourth in Division One South & West – are due to host mid table Evesham United at Ladysmead this afternoon with boss Mark Saunders heartened by a return to form.
Tivvy produced a stirring second half performance to secure a 2-2 comeback draw at Sholing last Saturday.
Saunders said: "We've had our blip but last Saturday we turned it around from 2-0 down at half time and looked a lot brighter.
"We started doing all the right things and got our reward, although we could have won it at the end, when we hit the post."