CLITHEROE will resume their Northern Premier League campaign tonight after being given permission to increase the capacity at Shawbridge.

Following discussions with the Ribble Valley Borough Council, the capacity for the North West Division clash against Kendal Town has now been fixed at 375 – up from the initial crowd limit of 200.

However, Ramsbottom United have announced they will not play over the festive period having postponed the Boxing Day trip to Mossley and the home clash with Trafford on New Year’s Day.

The Northern Premier League had originally said it would resume with a full fixture list on Saturday but, following concerns raised by clubs, the league said matches played on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are now optional.

A statement from the Rams said: “Whilst the Pitching In Northern Premier League have allowed clubs to play should they mutually agree to do so, the restrictions imposed have made playing for the Rams untenable.”

It added: “As the immediate future looks rather bleak with regards to potential further lockdowns, the financial implications of playing with such reduced numbers has also been a factor for most clubs, and it is interesting to note that the other two leagues in this country (Southern and Isthmian) have both issued a blanket postponement of games over the festive period.

“Without a crystal ball, it is impossible to foresee when we will return to action, but the hope is that as we enter the new year, signs of a return to some sort of normality will prove sufficient to restart the campaign with full approval to welcome back supporters in more sensible numbers.”

The NPL gave clubs the option of returning to action at the weekend, a decision Colne took up and ran out 2-0 winners against Prescot Cables thanks to two goals from Reece Webb-Foster that saw the Reds move joint top of the NW Division.

Colne are due to host Kendal Town on Saturday with Clitheroe, who enjoyed a 2-1 friendly win at FC United at the weekend, on the road at Widnes but it remains to be seen if those games will be played.

The North West Counties League resumed on Saturday where Barnoldswick slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Irlam in the Premier Division.

Padiham’s clash at 1874 Northwich was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch but that match has been rearranged for this evening. In the First Division North, AFC Darwen ran out 4-2 winners at AFC Blackpool thanks to goals from Leon Creech (2), Ben Langford and Daniel Ashburner but Nelson were beaten 3-0 at home by Atherton LR. Bacup’s clash at Ashton Town was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.