DESPITE a slight improvement in weather conditions yesterday, the chances of non-league soccer making an early return to action look bleak.

Already the Essex Senior League have taken the unprecedented step of cancelling their entire midweek programme of seven games.

League chairman Robert Errington said the decision had been made, “due to the impossible conditions both on pitches and for spectators and players trying to get to matches”.

He added: “This decision, I trust, will save clubs any further worry and expense. All match officials have been informed.” Games due for local clubs in the league included Hull-bridge’s home clash with Basildon United tomorrow and Bowers and Pitsea’s trip to Enfield 1893 on Wednesday.

Bowers are the hardest hit of any club at the moment as they still have 25 of their 36 league games to go and are still in the League Cup.

Billericay Town are in an even worse position in the Ryman Premier.

Second from bottom and with 26 league matches to play, they could soon face a three-matches-a-week scenario unless the current Arctic snap ends quickly.

They are still also waiting to play their third round Ryman League Cup tie at Division One North club Concord Rangers, which has already been postponed five times, with the winners then set to host Sittingbourne.

Concord are due to host Tilbury in the league tomorrow after having to call off their home game with well-supported leaders Lowestoft at the weekend. Said Concord secretary Chris Crerie: “It was heartbreaking to lose the Lowestoft match.

“They’re the best supported team in our division and would have undoubtedly brought a huge number of fans to the game on a Saturday.

“But they certainly won’t travel in such large numbers in midweek — the game is now set for March 2nd — and that will mean a big loss in revenue to us.”

Also due tomorrow night in Division One North is the East Thurrock v Lowestoft fixture.

And, in the League Cup, sponsored by Championship Manager, Canvey Island host Wingate and Finchley tomorrow with Aveley at home to AFC Hornchurch on Wednesday.

As predicted on Friday not a ball was kicked in south-east Essex over the weekend.

The Senior League, for the first time since it started in 1971, called off all Saturday matches on Thursday.

The entire Ryman programme was KO’d on Friday and it was the same sad story for the Essex Olympian League and parks football.

In the Olympian Premier, Southend’s White Ensign are due to host Frenford next Saturday with the reserves at Bishop’s Stortford.

Grays, who saw their home clash with Hayes and Yeading in the Blue Square Premier frozen off, are now due to continue their fight against the drop with two tough away games — Kidderminster Harriers next Saturday and AFC Wimbledon a week tomorrow.

In stark contrast promotion-chasing Blue Square South Thurrock, who saw Saturday’s fixture at Dorchester postponed, are due to host Bath next Saturday and Woking the following Tuesday.