The Harriers put paid to the first obstacle on their way to FA Cup glory today when they trounced Conference North side Droylsden 5-1. In the next round we have another difficult game away at Morecambe but we have already beaten them once up there this season and there's no reason why it can't be done again.
With today's visit of the promotion contenders from up Manchester we did expect a slightly sterner footballing test than the one served up but we didn't really expect the sight of such strong arm tactics from a team that let down their travelling fans badly.
From the very first minute they set their stall out with some dubious tackles from Carl Ruffer and his friends that the referee did nothing about until a bout of fisticuffs on the halfway line between himself and Andy White. By that time we were four goals up and cruising.
The first goal was a beautiful lob from Iyseden Christie on twelve minutes when Simon Russell skipped past a sleeping defence to serve up a peach of a ball that allowed Christie to draw, the rather poor, Paul Phillips off his line and coolly take his time in opening the scoring.
Two minutes later and we had gone two up when Andy White went in for a fifty/fifty ball with the keeper that evaded him and he could hardly miss from a few yards out.
Five minutes after that we went into an unassailable lead when Craig Nelthorpe, on loan from Doncaster, swooped to rifle in his first goal for us when Andy White turned provider this time.
The excitement wasn't going to let up now we had gone into our best lead in years. We were deprived of a truly stunning fourth goal when the Bloods keeper went walkabout once more in an effort to snuff out a goalscoring opportunity on the edge of the area. The ball was played back to Simon Russell way out wide on the halfway line and the blond haired wunderkid saw the chance to lob the ball goalwards. To his credit a Droylsden defender performed an equally stunning run in getting back onto the goal line to head the ball out from under the crossbar for a corner.
Another basic error by Phillips led to the fourth goal and the completion of his brace for Andy White. Once more he came off his line and once more Simon Russell was there to sweep the ball past him to the waiting Whitey who scored what was probably his easiest goal ever.
There had already been a certain amount of niggling going on in the game but now it took off big stylee. Carl Ruffer and White clashed in the centre of the park and our man fell to the floor after the Bloods midfielder pushed him in the chest.
A decent referee would have sent him off immediately and possibly have booked Andy into the bargain, instead they both got yellow cards. Ruffer must have suffered brain damage in the incident because he then went and bought down Christie on the edge of the area as Christie attempted to get past him and into a goal scoring opportunity. This time the ref didn't hesitate in getting the correct colour card out.
Luckily for Droylsden the whistle went for half time soon after before any more damage could be done.