ROYTON Town have been forced to play a waiting game – and they are not overly happy about it.
After beating Manchester League leaders Hindsford 1-0 away from home in a match where they ended up with nine men, you would have thought they wanted nothing but matches.
Even more so given they were just three points off the summit with a game in hand.
Instead, a quirk of the league schedule means they are without a Premier Division clash until March 30.
When Royton resume, they will do so six points behind Hindsford with two games in hand and the leaders still to play.
Hindsford strengthened their position with a 4-1 victory over Heyside.
Chairman Gary Leeming told the Correspondent: “It’s frustrating, most definitely. We had a great result, especially having had a man sent off after just five minutes.
“So we’re watching to see how the other teams do over the next couple of weeks. It’s not ideal as it’s nothing we can affect but we’re certainly hoping.”
“The ref gave him a straight red,” Mr Leeming added.
“Even their lads said he was unlucky to get sent off but it was a great result for us.”
The red card is being appealed, with Mr Leeming claiming that even Hindsford representatives believed it was no more than a booking.
However, that was followed by another red card 10 minutes from time to midfielder Arron Scholes.
Royton are also still in the Gilgryst Cup, having drawn Rochdale Sacred Heart at home in the semi-finals, with the tie being played on April 20.
“We’re definitely still aiming for the league and the cup this season,” Mr Leeming added. “And the league season is already set up for a big finish as we play our local rivals Springhead.”
To overcome their lack of league action, Royton arranged a friendly against Oldham Athletic’s youth team at Latics’ Chapel Road facility on Saturday, March 9.
“Pete Wild is still a big friend of ours after playing for us,” Mr Leeming revealed. “It was weird seeing him in charge of their first team, though – especially when they beat Fulham in the FA Cup!
“He’s always happy to help us out with a game against their academy.”