BOSS Paul Paynter has urged his improving Nelson side not to allow the recent cold snap to halt their progress – following a frustrating two-month spell without a game.
The Blues have seen eight scheduled fixtures postponed since their last full outing on November 19 – a 3-2 away win at Cheadle – while last week’s North West Counties First Division Trophy tie at Formby was abandoned on 80 minutes due to floodlight failure.
Other East Lancashire clubs have also fallen foul of the inclement winter weather, not least Bacup Borough, who have not fulfilled a home fixture since November 26.
But the lack of match action has been a source of frustration for Paynter, whose Nelson team had been enjoying their best run of form since reforming as a club ahead of the 2011/12 campaign.
The Blues resigned from the North West Counties League in 2010 but returned this season, only to lose their opening First Division fixture 9-1 at home to Irlam in August.
After spending the early weeks of the season rooted to the foot of the table, Nelson had found their feet and climbed to 13th after enjoying a run of two wins and a draw.
“It’s been a bit unfortunate for us,” said Paynter. “We had come into a little bit of form, picking up seven points from three games.
“It was only three games, but that was quite a big thing for us and we were really keen to push things on over December and into the New Year, but we’ve just not had the chance due to the post-poned games we’ve had.
“It’s bad timing, but I don’t want us to use that as an excuse once we get playing again.
“Other clubs are in the same boat as us and have seen a number of games called off. We have to get on with it.”
“We’ve tried to do as much training as we can, but that’s also been difficult because of the weather.”
Paynter added: “We’re keen to get out there and play football.
“We’ve got a confident bunch of lads here who are very willing to improve.
“I’m hoping to add one or two more players to give us a bit more quality, but we’re confident of having a good second half to the season.
“I’ve set the lads a little target for the season. I don’t want to make it public but obviously we want to move up the league table and give us a bit more respectability.
“We can still do better and, as manager, that’s what I’m trying to promote.
“We’ve shown against some of the better sides in the league that we can compete with them. We just have to earn more wins on a regular basis.”
Nelson are due back in action on Saturday when they travel to Oldham Boro in the North West Counties First Division, although that fixture is also under threat due to weather.