Dale Eve relieved to continue playing despite new British lockdown
The Vanarama National League, National League North and National League South, featuring several Bermudians, will continue despite new restrictions in Britain to combat the spread of Covid-19.
With Britain recording more than 50,000 new confirmed positive cases for the seventh consecutive day on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new national Covid-19 restrictions, including a lockdown until at least the middle of next month.
However, while the leagues were suspended during a previous lockdown last April, they have been deemed within the “elite sport” bracket, along with the likes of the Premier League, Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two, permitting them to continue.
As a result, Bermuda players competing at the National League levels including Justin Donawa at Solihull Moors, Dale Eve at Spennymoor Town, Milan Butterfield on loan at Guiseley and Knory Scott at Kidderminster Harriers, as well as Bristol City’s Nahki Wells, Watford’s Kane Crichlow and Bournemouth’s Ajani Burchall, all in the Championship, will remain playing.
However, the likes of Reggie Lambe at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division outfit Stowmarket Town and Quinaceo Hunt and D’Andre Wainwright at Billingham Synthonia in Northern League Division Two, have seen league action suspended.
“Its definitely more of a relief to still be able to continue playing, it would have been gutting if we had to stop again,” said Eve, the Bermuda goalkeeper.
“It’s nice to have that continuity of knowing the season will continue because it was frustrating to have go through that suspension of football earlier in the year.”
Despite his relief, the custodian has also spoken of the uncertain nature of playing amid the pandemic with a host of Spennymoor games, including last night’s scheduled match at home against Hereford, being postponed because of Covid-19 cases in the opposition squad.
“It can be a little nerve-racking knowing you should have played in a match that was called off because of a player testing positive for Covid-19,” Eve said. “It’s a case of knowing there’s a chance that there could be issues because of it going forward and just trying to be as safe as possible to avoid any unnecessary situations.
“It can be slightly frustrating because you go through all the normal preparations for the match and train all week only to see the match called off at the last minute.
“We have a number of games postponed because of positive Covid-19 cases and also others called off because off unsuitable surfaces due to snow. It just means the season is being stretched out a bit, but we can’t change that.
“All we can do is keep our heads down and prepare as we always do for the next game because there will be a next game.”
• Justin Donawa played his part as Solihull Moors came from behind to snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory against visiting Chesterfield in the Vanarama National League at Damson Park last night.
Having gone behind to a Tom Denton header after 34 minutes, the home side rallied after the break with Donawa volleying narrowly over in the 52nd minute.
Donawa was again involved as Moors grabbed an equaliser just after the hour mark. The Bermuda forward saw his header smartly saved by Kyle Lethern, only for the ball to drop to Joe Sbarra to fire in the rebound.
The home side continued to probe forward and grabbed a last-gasp winner as Kyle Hudlin rose highest to head home and snatch all three points.
In the National League North, Bermuda midfielder Milan Butterfield could not prevent Guiseley suffering defeat, as they went down 1-0 away to Chester, despite the home side being reduced to ten men in the 67th minute. Kevin Roberts’s early header proved the difference between the sides.