LES PAYNE: It’s been a season from hell

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LET’S be honest, whilst you may love your football, the end of the season cannot come quick enough for the fans of our clubs in South Yorkshire.

It has been a particularly wretched second half of the season for three of them, certainly since the turn of the year, and not so good for the other two.

In fact, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers have all had points returns since 2011 began which, over a season, would be relegation form.

Rotherham United only escape because they won their first two games of 2011.

Otherwise, their points return from the 21 games since would be poor enough for relegation as well.

Barnsley would just have enough for safety.

Since the turn of the year... Sheffield United have 10 points from 19 games.

Wednesday have 20 points from 21 games.

Doncaster have 15 points from 21 games.

Barnsley have 22 points from 20 games.

Rotherham have 27 points from 23 games.

So apart from Rotherham and Barnsley, such returns over a 46 game season would be low enough for the dreaded drop.

If you added together the points acquired by United, Wednesday, Barnsley and Donny since January 1, you wouldn’t have enough to make the Play-offs in any division. And that’s from a total of 81 games played!

In contrast, Chesterfield fans will want their season to run and run.

It’s a pity promotion wasn’t clinched at the B2net Stadium last Saturday.

It would be fitting too if they secure it off their own bat by getting something at Oxford tomorrow rather than it being confirmed by Wycombe not winning at Torquay today.

WHEN a ball went over the fence and on to the road outside Sheffield FC’s ground at a recent game, a motorist stopped, picked the ball up and drove off.

He probably thought he’d got away with it.

However, some smart Sheffield FC official spotted the registration number of the Citroen Picasso and informed the police.

So one bloke got a surprise visit some time later when he answered a knock at the door to find a police officer standing there.

He promptly asked if he could have “somebody else’s ball back.”

The stunned resident duly handed it over and, like most, had some sort of explanation - he regarded the ball as a danger to other traffic and had intended to hand it back to the club.

Don’t suppose it crossed his mind to hand it back there and then!

THE romance of the FA Cup?

Plenty of backers in Stoke-on-Trent and the sky blue half of Manchester for the old competition after last weekend you can bet.

It has taken a few knocks and seems to have a growing number of knockers, but it still gives a lot of delight to a lot of people.

And you can bet a rich Sheikh’s last barrel of oil that Manchester City are over their own Blue Moon to be at Wembley and to have the first chance of winning a trophy for years.

And as it will be Stoke City’s first ever FA Cup Final appearance, it also goes without saying what their feelings are.

I reckon that those two particular sets of fans are going to make it a pretty special atmosphere come May 14.