A football match passing without off-field incident is something that should be applauded. Of that there can be no doubt.

But given the amount of police manpower, the cost to the taxpayer and the muting of what should have been a highly-charged derby match with an electric atmosphere, it is something that only serves to highlight the ludicrously overbearing approach to Chester FC's clash with Tranmere Rovers.

A crowd of just 3,494 watched the game on Sunday. That's 3,494 football fans, no hooligans, no troublemakers. But for any fans making their way down Bumpers Lane on Sunday for the National League – yes, National League – clash, the plethora of police officers and squad cars made for an uncomfortable experience and only served to highlight just how over the top the whole affair was.

To put it in context there was one officer for every 17 fans on Saturday for a non-league game of football. That is, unequivocally, madness.

There was tubthumping from Cheshire Police about how the operation was a success and how there were no incidents, but when you suck the life out of a derby game and puncture any semblance of an atmosphere, you wouldn't expect the outcome to be any different.

READ: Cheshire Police hail 'successful' operation

I said before Sunday's defeat to Rovers that Cheshire Police should have followed the lead of their Merseyside counterparts in how to handle a crowd. There was 7,000 for the reverse fixture and very limited trouble. Firm but fair.

I am all for a strong police presence, after all, this is the modern game and families should feel safe attending football matches. What I am not in favour off is overreaction, wastefulness and a needlessly officious approach to keeping us football fans in check.

The statement following the game stated how happy Cheshire Police were with the 'success of the operation'. There was limited praise for fans and their 'co-operation' for acting like normal human beings who wanted to watch their local football teams in action in a game that should have been packed to the rafters and on a Saturday at 3pm.

It is my hope that the powers that be look at how this game and the other derby clashes with Wrexham have been policed and review the situation. There has to be more efficient ways to do it, ways that can still provide the presence that is needed to cope with any minor flare-ups yet allow the games to be played in front of the full house they deserve and a time that is appropriate. Sunday at 12 noon is not.

If this level of policing is to remain for the long haul then they may as well switch it to Goals Soccer Centre opposite and tell us all to stay away.