BROWNE ON THE BALL: If only common sense was as common as this

Boston United.
Boston United.

A little common sense never hurt anybody.

And with that in mind I think it’s time to say a big, fat well done to Colwyn Bay.

For a football fan there’s only one thing worse than travelling the length of the country and watching your team lose.

And that’s travelling the length of the country for absolutely no reason at all.

It feels like Mike Tyson’s punched you square on in the guts when you’ve tackled that alarm clock going off at an ungodly hour, navigated your way across the nation’s most unwelcoming A roads and attempted to buy a pasty from a middle-of-nowhere local shop for local people, only to arrive at the ground to be told the match has been postponed.

It’s horrible. I’ve sat in car parks in Scarborough and Histon, to name just two off the top of my head, and wondered whether I could have wasted the day any more - and that includes the being-dragged-around-the-shops option.

Having spoken to staff at Colwyn Bay last week, it was pretty obvious Boston United’s weekend fixture had as much chance of going ahead if the Seagulls had relocated to the middle of the Atlantic.

It had been another week of rainfall on a pitch which had hosted just one match since Boxing Day.

Knowing that United and the club’s fans faced an eight-hour, 400-mile round trip on Saturday, Colwyn Bay wanted to do the sensible and decent thing and postpone the fixture on Friday.

But Conference League red tape meant that the club couldn’t.

This rule has caused some pretty frustrating problems in the Skrill North of late.

Just the other week, Oxford City’s match at Workington wasn’t called off until 1.30pm on match day.

Oxford had travelled the five-hour, 285-mile journey the previous evening and then kicked their heels in Cumbria the next morning, all for nothing.

A bit of common sense could have prevented the travel costs, the players having to take time off work and it may have even given Oxford time to re-arrange a match, or at least hold a worthwhile training session.

Part-time clubs with part-time staff don’t have the resources to create pitches good enough to host the Wimbledon men’s final all year round.

Nor do part-time clubs and their fans have the spare cash to pay for jolly jaunts across the country for little more than a big dose of disappointment and a service station burger.

Fortunately, Colwyn Bay had the sense to think and act quickly.

They decided to hold their Saturday morning pitch inspection at 7.30am.

And within 15 minutes the match was postponed, meaning there were very few wasted journeys - give or take Boston’s London-based left back Rene Steer, who was already bombing his way up the M1 when he got the news.

On New Year’s day, I - along with plenty of others - drove two hours through torrential rain to get to Histon, only for the obvious to take place, a 1.30pm pitch inspection ruling out any action.

Altrincham went through similar at Workington this weekend, after being told the game was going ahead at 9am.

Colwyn Bay’s actions may seem simple, but to actually carry them out out wins them a massive thumbs up from me.