For the first time in at least ten years the Harriers look to be going out of a cup competition to a club with lower league status. Fleetwood came to Aggborough to do a job on us and they succeeded, along with the unexpected help of a referee totally deficient in a brain of any kind.
It's not fair on the visitors to say that if it wasn't for the shocking officiating that we would have won this game because we were equally as poor as Mr Farries. It's when you get decisions that see a shocking tackle from Sean Beeley on David McDermott get smoothed over with the wag of a finger and then minutes later our own John Finnigan finds himself the first entry into the refs book for a challenge that didn't look nearly so bad and the Fleetwood player get back up from straight away then we start to get the impression that this particular referee had a smell of Cod about him.
It got worse!
Minutes from the end of the game, after turning down a blatant penalty decision when Kyle Hadley was upended in the box and then ignoring a bone crunching tackle from the previously booked Steve McNulty on McDermott, he then sent off the Harriers Captain Chris McPhee for a tackle that was worthy of a yellow card at the most. We now have to head to Fleetwood on Tuesday evening minus another important player for us with Robbie Matthews already missing through suspension and now McPhee.
It now looks like Matt Barnes-Homer will have to lead the line by himself, something he's never too keen on doing, unless Aaron Farrell starts to show something of the reason why Mark Yates bought him here for.
As for today's game then Dean Coleman finally put his doubters back in the corner after yet another fine display between the sticks. He won the official MotM award and looks like doing the same on this site by making some outstandingly crucial saves. One of those saves came just minutes from the end as Fleetwood were looking for the late clinching goal and Dean somehow flipped a free kick from James Milligan over the bar.
During a disappointing first half we had, or created, very few chances of opening the scoring. McDermott was the first to show anything with a shot that went high and wide over the bar in the sixth minute. By that time the visitors had already had three shots on goal with the best one coming from Sean Clancy when his shot swerved just the wrong side of the post.
Fleetwood, spurred on by their vociferous Cod Army, were looking dangerous all over the park and that wasn't just for some of the meaty challenges going in. They looked a yard faster than us and closed us down all the time making our usual passing game impossible and leaving us to revert to the long ball game that MBH despises.
Matt's game today was summed up by a free kick that he somehow sent flying over the scoreboard and into the car park beyond.
It took until almost the half hour before we managed to create anything worthy of note when Brian Smikle ran onto a Barnes-Homer pass from wide. Smikle's shot bought the best from the visiting keeper, Danny Hurst, forcing him to fly across the goal to make a one handed save that he flipped out for a fruitless corner.
The half fizzled out a bit after that with a senseless booking for McDermott after he kicked the ball away and a header from Chris McPhee that went narrowly over the bar from a free kick following yet another unpunished tackle on McDermott from Clancy.