The news that the management, players and supporters of Whitchurch Alport were dreading was confirmed just before New Year.

With the Government’s announcement that virtually all of England was to be placed in tiers three and four with almost immediate effect, it left the North West Counties League with no alternative but to suspend the 2020-21 season for a second time.

Alport had only played one league game since the end of October primarily because of a second national lockdown in November.

To cover for the loss of the games scheduled for that month, league officials decided to extend the campaign into June.

But the fixture list had already descended into chaos with the Reds down to play an incredible 10 league games in January.

That will not happen now and there is real doubt that the season will continue and that would follow the curtailment of last year also due to the outbreak of coronavirus and ongoing rolling lockdowns and ever tighter social restrictions.

A league statement painted a potentially bleak future and confirmed clubs would soon be consulted on future plans on whether to attempt to complete the season with no provisional date set for restarting.

A league statement said: “For the avoidance of doubt, non-elite sport is not allowed at all, either the playing of matches or training and players cannot travel into or out of Tier 4.

“At this moment in time, we will not be setting any dates on when or if we will resume again but we will begin consulting with clubs in due course to ascertain their opinions on a way forward.

“It is a disappointing end to a very difficult year but the health and well-being over all concerned has to be the priority.”

Reds boss, Luke Goddard, had predicted this type of outcome from the get-go and has found motivation to be the biggest blocker from a personal point of view.

“To have the whole season in doubt after just seven games is unprecedented, but these are times where health and safety has to come first,” he added.