There was no coach convoy under police escort and yet there were twice the amount of Chester FC fans who made the pilgrimage to Tranmere Rovers today.

If ever a reference point was needed as to just how farcical and how just downright wrong the restrictions placed upon Chester and Wrexham fans are by North Wales and Cheshire Police then it was this.

Merseyside Police were there, they had a presence but they didn't need to spend weeks beforehand barking out warnings as to how any hooligan element would not be tolerated. They didn't need to, though, this was just another day at the office. This is what we have been trying to make the powers that be, those who feel so strongly the need for a 'bubble match' is needed, realise.

The Chester/Wrexham derby was a sad, sombre affair earlier this season. The atmosphere was more akin to attending a match at the Crucible than one of British football's most keenly contested derbies and was a miserable afternoons viewing. Today was an altogether different affair.

More than double the amount of fans who braved the 'bubble' made the trip to Prenton Park today and boy did it make a difference. It was how football should be, two sides with proud histories going for it in a game that had everything in front of a crowd of almost 8,000, 1,129 of whom were visiting fans.

It may have only been a draw to any onlookers glancing at the National League results this evening but it was so much more than that. This was one of those rare games that will endure and live long in the memory, well for Blues fans at least with the way it concluded.

Whereas North Wales and Cheshire Police did their best to squeeze the atmosphere out of the cross-border derby, this game, Blues fans were given every chance and every incentive to make the trip.

An allocation of 2,000 tickets, cheaper prices for those purchasing early, extra carriages put on by Merseyrail and Tranmere's 'fanzone' was even in full swing. All these things allowed for this clash to open itself up to fans, not shut them out and make them feel like criminals because they like to watch a football match.

What is it that our nearest police forces fear? Do they believe that mass brawls and the rise of the hooligan element will bring back the dark days of the 1980s? Really, what is it?

There are minority elements in every football club, we get that and we acknowledge that. But there was over a thousand football fans who made the trip to watch their team this afternoon who wanted to do just that. It was an atmosphere that has been absent for so, so long and it really was a joy to be a part of, even more so when Ryan Astles slammed home the leveller in injury time to spark joyous scenes in the away end. Limbs everywhere.

It felt like a shift. I questioned back in September whether the cross-border derby was dead and I suppose that it will only be the passing of time that answers that question. But this game felt like a derby match and was everything that Wrexham/Chester wasn't.

The desire was there and the Blues players fed off the energy from the crowd and pushed on to get their just reward in the end. It is hard to imagine a cross-border derby having such an atmosphere ever again under the current restrictions and, sadly, maybe even after they have been removed such is the apathy.

This was how to police a football match, this was what a football match was all about. There were no riots that ensued and no police escort. Just common sense, that's all. Just common sense.