PICKERING Town’s season is set to be paused as the country goes into a second lockdown.

Four weeks of nationwide restrictions start tomorrow (Thursday, November 5) in an attempt to suppress rising coronavirus case numbers.

‘Elite’ sport is allowed to continue, meaning the Premier League, Football League and Steps 1 and 2 will go untouched.

But the Pikes’ Northern Premier League north/west division - at Step 4 - will have to be put on hold until December.

The FA confirmed yesterday that all fixtures and training for Steps 3 to 6 - as well as those for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football - will be placed under the restrictions from Thursday, November 5 to Wednesday, December 2, subject to a Parliamentary vote today.

School football is set to be allowed to continue.

The FA Cup first round proper falls into the category of elite competition. Ten non-elite sides have been given permission to play their ties, including north/west division outfit Marine. They can also train together under elite protocols ahead of their trip to League Two’s Colchester United.

The FA says it aims to ensure the 2020/21 season is completed.

Pickering hoped to squeeze in their league fixture at Mill Lane against Pontefract Collieries last night.

At the weekend, the Pikes lost 4-1 at home to Runcorn Linnets in the FA Trophy third qualifying round.

Iwan Murray netted a hat-trick with Jacques Welsh adding.

Scunthorpe United loanee Harry Jessop pulled one back for the Pikes.

Pickering’s first game after the restrictions are due to end is at Widnes on Saturday, December 5.

Tadcaster Albion manager Paul Quinn has sent a letter to Oliver Dowden advocating for the continuation of grassroots and amateur sports, citing the benefits to physical and mental health and limited risk of transmission.

A similar letter from six MPs (Damian Collins, Tracey Crouch, Karen Bradley, Helen Grant, Mark Pawsey and Ben Bradley) and former chairman of the FA, Lord David Triesman, was sent calling for the youth game to continue.