BROWNE ON THE BALL: Weir-Daley and Fairclough return, just in time for grudge match

Sometimes the stories just write themselves, don’t they?

Quicker than you can put on a leather jacket and Austrian accent and shout “I’ll be back”, both Ben Fairclough and Spencer Weir-Daley have returned from suspension.

And before a single ball has been kicked (or sliding tackle made, or alleged fist thrown) in anger, Boston United announce they have re-scheduled a match for December 1. And it’s against... drum roll... Altrincham.

Of course, you don’t need to be Miss Marple to figure out that it was against the very same opponents where both strikers saw red and picked up their three-match bans.

In that game, the FA Cup clash here in Boston against the Robins, the duo were sent off in somewhat controversial circumstances.

Fairclough went within the first 15 minutes for a wreckless sliding tackle.

Then, with the scores locked at 1-1, it was effectively game over when Weir-Daley walked for an off-the-ball scuffle with Jake Moult.

After the match, Weir-Daley took to Twitter to state he was left ‘hurt’ by the decision going against him, maintaining both players’ behaviour was as bad as each others.

From that point, Alty went on to win the tie with ease.

After sitting in the stands smarting for three weeks, the pair are now available for selection (and they’ll still be fired up when this match comes around).

And boy, are they needed.

I don’t say this with any detriment to the rest of the squad. In the absence of the two forwards, Kallum Smith, Jason Stokes and Charley Sanders have all been given a chance to shine.

And all three have exceeded all expectations with fantastic displays as United beat derby rivals Gainsborough Trinity and old foes Colwyn Bay.

But Saturday’s defeat to Guiseley was a step too far.

The problem wasn’t with the team at all. It was with the bench.

I’m afraid to say, without the options of Weir-Daley and Fairclough, the bench is lightweight.

Sam Craven, James Reed, Ricky Drury, Korey Dyer-Stewart and Sanders were the five options.

There is so much potential there. Four of these lads have already proven they can cut it at this level.

But - at 3-1 down against one of the league’s better teams - four inexperienced young ‘uns and a keeper won’t make a difference, at least not a two-goal swing.

With Weir-Daley and Fairclough back, Boston have options.

And no matter who Jason Lee selects to start, he will now have game changers to throw on. And with a side at full strength, next week’s Alty tie will definitely be a belter.