PICKERING Town's season has been suspended as part of the third national lockdown.

It was announced on Monday that only 'Elite' sport would be able to continue behind closed doors as part of the new restrictions, which will be reviewed on February 15.

This means that in football the Premier League, the English Football League and the National League will be allowed to carry on.

The leagues below that, including Pickering's Pitching In Northern Premier League north/west division, have seen their matches and training sessions suspended.

A statement issued by the Northern Premier League read: "It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the UK Government’s new national COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and we implore everyone to follow these.

"Dialogue will continue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, leagues, competitions and County FAs and we will provide further updates for the 2020/21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Vase and ‘non-elite’ football when relevant.

"We would like to thank the football community once again for its hard work, resilience and understanding during such an incredibly challenging period for both the game and wider society."

Pickering have played just nine of their scheduled 36 league matches so far this season.

The Pikes sit in 16th place in the table, having picked up seven points during that time.

Their last game was a 3-2 home defeat to Pontefract Collieries in early November.

Since then, eight games have been postponed, with at least another six looking set to be postponed until mid-February - the date of the next scheduled lockdown review.

Question marks now surround whether the Northern Premier League will be able to fulfill its full fixture list by the originally proposed end date of early May or whether a decision will be made to prolong the campaign.

The league may be forced into declaring the season null and void for a second successive season.