WITH only 18 teams in the North West Counties Football League First Division North, their fixture list is less congested than most in the 10th tier of English football.

But even so, it is proving to be a lean period for Bradford District duo Steeton and Route One Rovers.

The main source of the pair’s problems has been a long-running gas supply issue at Marley, where Steeton are landlords and Route One are tenants.

No home games are possible there while that is being fixed, meaning Steeton have not played at the venue since losing 3-2 in the league against Runcorn on December 16, while Route One’s last time on hosting duties was a 2-0 victory over New Mills in the Macron Cup second round on December 11.

Both teams have only played once since then, Route One losing 4-0 at Barnoldswick Town in the Macron Cup third round on December 16 and Steeton grabbing a 1-1 draw in the league at AFC Blackpool on December 30.

Route One’s fallow period will soon be over, as they travel to Holker Old Boys for a league game tomorrow.

That is the first of five consecutive away league matches for them, before they finally return to Marley to entertain Ashton Athletic on February 17.

Meanwhile, poor Steeton are not due back in action until February 3, when they are pencilled in to host FC St Helens, with Marley finally set to make its long-awaited return to hosting duties.