BRIDPORT face a delayed resumption to their season after Western League officials pushed back their restart date to Friday, December 18.

Crucially, the new start time falls just two days after the Government is due to review the freshly updated tier system.

Post-lockdown, Dorset will be placed into Tier Two – despite entering the second national shutdown in Tier One.

However, with numerous Toolstation Western League Premier Division clubs in the Bristol and north Somerset areas joining Tier Three, league chiefs have delayed the campaign once more.

Key to the decision is clubs’ inability to generate matchday revenue, with those in Tier Three unable to sell alcohol.

Tier Two clubs can sell alcohol but only with a meal, while the banning of household mixing indoors prevents clubhouses from opening.

Teams were also against commencing behind closed doors.

While spectators can still attend games in the middle tier, they will not be admitted to matches within the highest tier.

Travel is also advised against into and out of Tier Three areas.

The Western League tweeted: “After reviewing the new Tier system and advice from the FA, the Toolstation Western League board have made the decision to postpone all league fixtures up until the 18 Dec.

“Further information will be released by the league secretary in due course.”

On their official website, officials added: “The reason for this decision is that clubs previously indicated that they would not be prepared to play ‘behind closed doors’.

“Some clubs have told the league that they cannot play without the revenue generated by their clubhouses.

“The effect of these restrictions on our clubs is not underestimated by the league and we are currently in the process of consulting with club officials to determine the best way forward for all concerned.

“Currently the FA Vase fixtures remain active.”

It means Bridport's next match - new boss John Godbold's first game in charge - will be at home to Cribbs on Saturday, December 19 (3pm).