THE vast majority of our local sides were handed another Saturday without a fixture at the weekend.

Wet weather once again reared its ugly head and left pitches waterlogged, heaping further problems upon teams who have barely seen action since the turn of the year.

Of our 10 local clubs that play in the Southern League and Hellenic League, Wootton Bassett, New College and Malmesbury have only managed one fixture so far in 2014 due to the weather conditions.

A further three - Swindon Supermarine, Highworth and Shrivenham - have played just twice while Cirencester, Fairford and Purton have completed only three fixtures.

In the Southern League Premier Division, the highest standard of football played by any of our sides, Chippenham have been relatively unaffected as they have played five games this year.

The poor conditions have prompted much debate in the local footballing community, with Supermarine boss Dave Webb contemplating whether artificial pitches are the way forward.

It is understood that the majority of Marine’s pitch was playable on Saturday, but patches of standing water at the Webb’s Wood Stadium meant that the visit of Southern League Division One South & West rivals Evesham was called off.

Prior to that postponement, Marine had six games scheduled for February, eight for March and six in April.

Dave Webb’s men were forced to go into double figures for fixtures in the final month of last season, in which they were defeated in the play-off semi-finals at Merthyr.

And increasingly it appears that the South Marston side will be forced into another hectic end-of-season schedule, with the only factor in their favour being that they are not involved in the latter stages of any cup competitions.

Marine are currently ninth in the standings, four places and six points off the play-offs.

Meanwhile, Purton have been handed a Wiltshire Senior Cup semi-final tie against current holders Melksham.

The match will be played at a neutral ground.