The FA bring the end date of the non-league football season forward by a week in Stages 5 and 6

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It looks like a bumpy end to the non-league football season for Worcestershire clubs as the FA changed end dates in Stages 5 and 6.

They have been brought forward by a week in order to fit into the play-off schedule but also to take into account the financial impact of players under contract beyond the end of April.

The end date for Stage 5, the tier at which City, Stourport Swifts, Bewdley Town and Malvern Town play, will be April 23 and for Stage 6, affecting Pershore Town and Worcester Raiders, will be the following week on April 30 . .

The play-offs will then take place the following weekend for both, so April 30 for Step 5 and May 8 for Step 6.

A statement from the Football Association read: “After the previous two seasons were affected by COVID-19, we are left with real hope that a full and uninterrupted season can be completed in the National League system.

“As such, we must also plan for the two required processes to be undertaken during the closing season to ensure that allocations can be finalized, any appeal processes can be undertaken and constitutions are confirmed with the leagues. ready for the AGM before the 2022-23 season begins in late July/early August.

“We fully understand that the ‘end of season dates’ were not officially confirmed before the season, with stage 5 and 6 leagues only required to achieve as high a completion rate as possible as quickly as possible. possible as we started the season under the contingency planning profile. .

“We also have the addition this year of a play-off between some Stage 5 and Stage 4 clubs at the end of the season and with that we have to be aware of the financial impact of contracted players beyond the end of April.”

With that in mind, Worcester City’s fixture schedule in particular looks complete.

After the game with Walsall Wood was postponed on Tuesday night due to a waterlogged pitch and following the postponement of the home clash against Haughmond last Saturday, City now have eleven games to play in eight weeks.

In the Hellenic Football League, Malvern have played 32 of their 38 games, so there are only six left.

They sit in sixth place with 62 points after winning four on the rebound and remain in contention for a play-off berth.

As for the Premier League Raiders, their quest for automatic promotion continues as they currently sit three points behind league leaders Studley.

Karl Gormley’s men have six more games to play in order to close the gap and be promoted to Stage 5 and perhaps a chance to play against City if Tim Harris’s men fail to secure promotion.

Pershore Town also have six to play in the Premier League and being just one point clear of the play-offs they remain with a shout.

They’ve played a few more games than most around them, but with their winning form they could still see themselves involved in the post-season picture.

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