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Weather begins to take toll on Championship

Four second-tier fixtures added to the extensive disruption in lower leagues and Scotland.

Four Sky Bet Championship matches have been postponed in a weekend sporting programme badly affected by snow, while the Premier League is monitoring the situation.

On Friday, Ipswich’s Championship home clash with Hull, Barnsley’s against Norwich and Brentford’s against Cardiff were called off, adding to the postponement of Sheffield United v Burton a day earlier.

Seventeen matches across League One and League Two have been postponed.

While none of the seven top-flight matches scheduled for Saturday had been called off by 3pm on Friday, Southampton, who are set to host Stoke, said they planned to issue an update at 5pm.

And a spokesman for the Premier League said it would continue to monitor the situation, keeping in contact with clubs and local authorities.

Southampton said on their official website on Friday morning: “Southampton Football Club is continuing to monitor conditions ahead of the Premier League home game against Stoke City.

“We will continue to keep supporters informed and plan to issue a further update at 5pm GMT today.”

West Ham boss David Moyes expressed his concern about the roads ahead of his side’s flight to Cardiff for their match against Swansea.

“The Met office are saying people should not travel on the roads, especially around Cardiff and the M4, so that is a concern at the moment,” Moyes said.

“I’m guessing that’s no different for football clubs or supporters. If they are saying don’t travel I think the Premier League would have to consider that.”

David Moyes has expressed concerns about the weather ahead of his side’s trip to Swansea (Steven Paston/PA)

West Brom are set to travel by train for their match at Watford.

Albion boss Alan Pardew said: “It’s not an easy weekend for football. Hopefully we can get down there, give a good performance and warm our fans up.”

In League One, only three fixtures remained for Saturday, with AFC Wimbledon v Charlton, Blackpool v Northampton, Bradford v Portsmouth, Doncaster v Bury, Gillingham v Rotherham, Oxford v Fleetwood, Rochdale v Plymouth and Shrewsbury v Peterborough postponed.

There were also just three Saturday games going ahead in League Two, following the postponements of Barnet v Port Vale, Cheltenham v Notts County, Crawley v Wycombe, Crewe v Forest Green, Exeter v Chesterfield, Morecambe v Colchester, Newport v Accrington, Stevenage v Mansfield and Swindon v Yeovil.

There is only one game not to have fallen foul of the weather in the Vanarama National League, Dover’s home clash with Leyton Orient.

While all four Scottish Cup quarter-finals are still set to take place this weekend, all of the Scottish Professional Football League programme is off including Premiership matches at St Johnstone and Ross County.

The Friday night Aviva Premiership match between Harlequins and Bath has been moved to Sunday, as has Exeter v Saracens, which had been scheduled for Saturday, and the only Guinness PRO14 games to have survived the weather are the two taking place in South Africa.

In Super League, three of Friday’s scheduled games have been called off, but Hull v Warrington and Wigan v Widnes are going ahead. Warrington cancelled their official supporters coach to the game following advice from the Highways Agency, coach operators and the Met Office.

Warrington said on their website: “It is expected that trains will still be running across the Pennies to Hull, this being a possible travel option for Warrington supporters still hoping to get to the game. However, fans should check with their train company before travelling.”

Meanwhile, the Coral UK Open darts tournament was taking place at Butlin’s Minehead Resort as planned, but behind closed doors.

A statement from Butlin’s said: “Due to the unprecedented extreme weather conditions, we have regretfully decided to not allow guests to attend this weekend’s PDC Coral UK Open for safety reasons.”

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