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Bourne Town deducted three points in the United Counties League and also have to postpone three matches after a player tests positive for coronavirus

Bourne Town's promising start to the new United Counties League campaign has been hit by a double setback.

The Wakes have been deducted three points for playing an ineligible player in last month's superb 1-0 away win at Division One title favourites Melton Town.

The deduction has seen Bourne drop down to 15th place in the standings and, following a positive testing of one of their players for Covid-19, they have been forced to postpone their next three league games.

Nathan Arnold in action for the Wakes against Bugbrooke on Saturday. (42813776)
Nathan Arnold in action for the Wakes against Bugbrooke on Saturday. (42813776)

Saturday's scheduled trip to Aylestone Park has now been rearranged for November 24 while Tuesday's match at Holwell Sports has been put back to November 3.

The Wakes should also have been at home next weekend against Huntingdon Town but that match will now be played on November 10.

The positive testing of one of the Wakes' players was confirmed after he presented with symptoms on Sunday and joint boss Nathan Arnold felt the decision to postpone their games was a sensible move on the club's behalf.

He said: "It's probably been inevitable in the current climate that something like this would happen with everything that is going on.

"It's been in the back of your mind even when we went back to the football that there was a possibility that it might happen.

"It is all new territory but the sensible thing to do was to err on the side of caution and to postpone the games.

"It doesn't put anybody else at risk and, as much as the lads are gutted because we're on a bit of a run at the moment, it's the right thing to do.

"We can re-group and use this week to make sure that everyone's safety is the priority because that's our responsibility as a club.

"We've played the most games in the league so potentially missing the next couple of fixtures will allow other teams to catch up as well. It's not like we're going to fall behind."

Bourne drew 2-2 with Bugbrooke on Saturday. (42813780)
Bourne drew 2-2 with Bugbrooke on Saturday. (42813780)

Bourne had extended their unbeaten league run to four games at the weekend after a 2-2 home draw with Bugbrooke.

And, having fielded a depleted squad in the match at the JJ Mac Stadium, Arnold is hoping the unexpected break can give his injured players time to recovery.

He added: "Part of us wants to be competitive and keep playing to gather momentum with us being four unbeaten in the league, but at the same time on Saturday we had 13 players with two on the bench injured so we were really down to the bare bones.

"We had six players missing as well so it's gives us time to get some bodies back into the group because we are going to need everybody especially with the fixtures which we have coming up."

The Wakes players met virtually this week with the first team squad unable to train together and have set their points target for the coming month.

Arnold explained: "We all got together on a Zoom call on Tuesday night and we have set ourselves a points tally for each month.

"We could easily have been sat on more points because we feel that we've dropped six points from three games against Irchester, Blackstones and Bugbrooke because they were win-able games on the day.

"We haven't had a bad start and there's been a few games where if we had a bit more belief and stopped conceding sloppy goals then we could have come away with a lot more points.

"There's four or five teams which are really strong, but there is a window of opportunity for a team to creep in and challenge especially at the business end of the season.

"That's the kind of message we've sending out that, if we can put a run together, then who knows.

"It's now about what we do and making sure we keep improving and taking forward steps in the right direction.

"It's been a bit of an up and down start but the way which we've assembled a squad in such a short space of time means we have to be pleased with some of the results we have had.

"The lads have come off in the games against Bugbrooke and Blackstones saying it felt like a loss which shows they are not satisfied with a point.

"They are demanding of each other and expect to get results which is pleasing for myself and Simon Daws.

"Instead of seeing it as a point gained we've actually seen it as a points dropped against two good teams."

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