OXFORD City Council will be scoring a huge own goal unless it can find a solution to allow hundreds of football matches to be played to complete the 2010-11 season.

We sympathise with the council, which has set a deadline for football matches on its pitches to be completed by April 20, to allow parks staff to prepare the grounds for summer activities.

Let us be clear: the cancellation of hundreds of games during last month’s ice and snow was no-one’s fault. It has placed everyone in a difficult position.

But there has to be some flexibility to find a solution, because the council can’t just stick rigidly to its deadline.

To do that would render meaningless all the sweat, tears and goals of senior and junior players over the past few months.

Our cricket-playing readers will not like this, but it must be remembered football is the more popular participation sport.

Any solution should look at trying to spread the impact equally across both the winter and summer games, with the cricket season perhaps starting a little later.

All players, no matter their abilities, take the field hoping to test themselves against others.

To deprive them of that would damage our local sports scene.