In the past weeks and months chapter and verse has been written on the 'bubble match' restrictions imposed on Chester and Wrexham derby clashes - much of it by myself.

But today was a sad day. It was the realisation of what we all knew was coming down the tracks ever since the restrictions to stop football fans going about their business like adults with common sense was introduced back in 2013.

For a Saturday lunch time kick off I arrived, as always, a good two hours before the game. Aside from the stewards getting their pre-match briefing it was deserted. Nothing new here, after all, who gets to a game two hours early?!

But then the time ticked on. By 11.30am it was still dead at the Racecourse apart from the odd hardy fan who trickled in. Then 11.45am came and the same was still true. I had to remind myself that I was still waiting for Wrexham v Chester, you know, one of British football's most keenly contested derbies.

The away end should have been packed, and it would have been had it not been for the bubble. Hats off to those 550 Blues fans who put up with the inflated cost and general nuisance of the whole thing. For many, as expected, the apathy created by the restrictions and the fact the game was live and direct on BT Sport was enough to abandon what would once have been the most important of pilgrimages in support of the Blues.

The Blues fans lifted the atmosphere when they came in, but even the Wrexham fans seemed weary of the whole saga. It felt like any regular season game that we experienced as a Football League club. You know, when fans used to come and watch the other team too. It was a case of just going through the motions.

The game itself was a pretty turgid affair and anyone neutral fan who thought they would dip their toes in the world of non-league football on BT Sport this afternoon will most likely have been switched off for good on that showing. But games like this happen. In derby clashes it is usually the fans who set the tone for the whole thing, and therein lies the problem.

Wrexham were on a bad run and the Blues, although three unbeaten coming into the game, could have still used a real pick-me-up. The point is that prior form has no bearing on derby matches, it is all forgotten. All that matters is the 90 minutes ahead.

But the passion for this game for both sets of fans has been sucked out of this fixture. It no longer has the standing it once did and no doubt those in charge of making the call to make this a 'bubble match' in the first place are delighted.

The sound of the police helicopter up above the ground before kick-off suggested that criminals were on the loose in the area. There were no criminals here, though. Just dads, sons, mums and daughters bused to a football match under police escort as if they were public enemy no.1.

They may well lift the restrictions for next season's games but the damage has been done. Football in the lower leagues in English football needs games like Chester and Wrexham, especially with some of the plans the EFL have up their sleeve to further pander to the Premier League elite.

Fans have not only had their freedom taken away from them for this clash they have had the passion and desire that once fuelled it taken away too.

This game is now just a bind for too many. How has this been allowed to happen? I hope that this once proud game can rediscover all that made it so special in the past, but I fear that it may be too late.

And oh, yeah, there wasn't a hint of trouble today either. Who would have thought? Football fans behaving themselves.