A COURT case reported in today’s Telegraph & Argus has once again put the issue of football-related disorder in the spotlight.

As we enter the emotionally-charged concluding stages of the season, no right-minded person would like to see a repeat of the trouble at last year’s Bradford City v Sheffield United game that led to four people admitting affray at a Crown Court hearing yesterday.

In the coming weeks, the Bantams look set to embark on the rollercoaster ride of the League One play-offs, while neighbouring Huddersfield Town and Leeds United could yet be involved in the Championship’s end-of-season showpiece.

With so much resting on these fixtures, it’s a journey that will end with the jubilation of promotion or the dejection of defeat.

While such matches are a thrilling crescendo to the season, history shows that the sell-out crowds, topsy-turvy drama and possible post-match pitch invasions also bring a heightened risk of confrontation.

Today, four men are waking up to the realisation that they have a stain against their names after pleading guilty to football-related disorder. This must act as a timely warning to any fans tempted to overstep the mark during matches in the crucial weeks ahead.

While police will do their bit to keep supporters’ emotions in check, there’s also a great responsibility on individuals not to be drawn into potentially-violent situations.

As ever, the vast majority of fans will attend the play-off games purely to enjoy the football. Let’s hope a minority don’t mar that.