HALTWHISTLE Jubilee face an anxious waiting game in their bid for promotion.

The South Tynedale club are two points clear at the top of Northern Alliance Division Two, with four games in hand over their closest rivals.

But the enforced shutdown of the football season, due to the coronavirus outbreak, has left Haltwhistle and other clubs in limbo.

Postponements caused by Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis earlier this year means the Jubes have only played half of their league fixtures.

Football at all levels was stopped on March 15, but no decision has yet been made on when, or whether, the season will resume.

Manager Cameron Bell has called for the conclusion of the season, as soon as it is safe for sport to recommence.

“The season should be finished no matter how long it takes,” he said. “Even if it takes six months from now to get all the games played.

“If we don’t play out the campaign, we will have wasted all of the season so far, and all of the hard work that has gone into it.”

Professional teams competing in the Premier League and the Football League are hopeful of resuming fixtures with a completion deadline of June 30.

Bell believes local teams could complete the 2019/20 season as late as July, so long as they are willing to sacrifice pre-season games.

He added: “We could play until July, have a reduced break, and then start the new season. You wouldn’t need pre-season and that is something which could give. It’s not just us who have hopes riding on the current season, other teams, such as Bardon Mill, have a lot to play for as well after good campaigns so far.”

Bardon Mill are currently top of the Hexham & District Sunday League Division One, and have booked their place in the final of the Northumberland FA Sunday Cup.

Like all other teams, Haltwhistle have had no option but to cancel all training sessions.

“It’s the same for everyone,” said Bell. “When we do eventually resume, all teams will be at the same level in terms of match fitness. The most important thing right now is that everybody keeps safe.”