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Bala TownALTHOUGH temperatures are set to rise over Christmas, some Welsh Premier clubs could face a less than merry Yuletide.
Welshpool's home game with leaders The New Saints at Maesydre was postponed on Thursday and other games could be in jeopardy if pitches fail to recover from the cold snap.
There will be a Christmas Day inspection at Carmarthen Town's Richmond Park ground ahead of Llanelli's visit and the game is in doubt after a thaw which has left the pitch heavily waterlogged.
Airbus, who inspect on Saturday morning, rate their game at home to Elements Cefn Druids as "50-50" but, on a positive note, Prestatyn report good prospects for their local derby with Rhyl - the Bastion Road pitch had a light covering of snow on Christmas Eve, but was soft underneath.
The festive derbies traditionally draw big crowds on both the days after Christmas and on New Year's Day, with last season's Boxing Day programme attracting an average gate of 713.
The headline numbers were a bumper 2,126 at Belle Vue for the clash between close neighbours Rhyl and Prestatyn, and 1,027 at The Oval for the visit of Bangor City to Caernarfon Town.
But the New Year programme was completely wiped-out, with fixtures all being re-arranged for the Easter Bank Holiday.
Attendances have slumped over the past month, averaging just 216 so far this month, with fixtures at Elements Cefn Druids and Welshpool attracting gates of 87 and 51 respectively.
Poor receipts at Plas Kynaston have undoubtedly been in a factor in the Ancients being forced to slash their playing budget in half, while Welshpool's decision not to apply for a domestic licence has hit the turnstiles at Maesydre.
In addition, six clubs saw their matches postponed last weekend, adding to the pressure on already-stretched coffers.
So far this season, league attendances have averaged 284, a fall of two percent on the 2008/9 figure of 289, so the games on Saturday and Sunday which go ahead will help to redress the balance.
Photo: A festive but bleak picture at Bala Town's Maes Tegid last weekend.