Boston United 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0
Not for the first time this season Stuart Watkiss was left perplexed by Kidderminster Harriers' performance.
This time, however, there will be no chance for the players to redeem themselves.
Only the sort of statistical improbabilities that could test a professor of applied mathematics keep Harriers hanging on as a League Two club. In reality, it is all over. Watkiss, a picture of dejection for his post-match interview, knows it; the players know it and the fans know it.
But by the time Kidderminster kick off next season, against the likes of Grays Athletic, Canvey Island or Tamworth, you can bet there will be a massive change in personnel.
Saturday's performance proved why. There have been moments - notably a sixmatch unbeaten run in February and March - which showed Harriers could be a decent mid-table League outfit but the abject surrender to a distinctly ordinary Boston team highlighted the biggest problem. In a word: character - the ability to shrug off setbacks, to make the most of their advantage and to hold their nerve.
For this must-win clash, Watkiss had stressed the need to perform with the verve and vigour which they had displayed against tabletoppers Yeovil Town a week earlier, but, like an outoftune bassist, they did not create any tempo.
Watkiss said: "I can't understand how we can turn in a lacklustre performance like that with so much at stake. Boston outfought us and outbattled us.
"It was a poor, weak performance. To go down with a whimper was really, really disappointing."
Kidderminster fell behind on 15 minutes after Jermaine Easter slotted home a Danny Thomas cross. Their selfbelief seemed to drain away further when Jason Lee poked home Austin McCann's near-post flick-on 13 minutes later.
Former Nottingham Forest striker Lee stupidly headbutted Harriers skipper Mark Jackson and, despite protesting that the Kidderminster man had over-reacted, he was sent off moments before half time.
Harriers failed to grab the lifeline. Instead, Pilgrims midfielder Brad Maylett showed he had learnt a thing or two from Paul Gascoigne's short-lived presence at York Street earlier in the season, firing home the third goal 20 minutes from time. Think back to Euro 96 and that goal against Scotland and you can picture Maylett's control and chip over Wayne Hatswell before flashing a low drive into the bottom corner.
The end could not come quickly enough after that for Harriers.
Watkiss will sort out the budget with chairman Colin Youngjohns and his directors and then give his stay-or-go decisions to the outofcontract bulk of the squad.
Watkiss said: "It's up to me over the summer to get players in that I can rely on, so I know what I'm going to get at three o'clock every Saturday afternoon. There will definitely be comings and goings."
Scorers: Easter (15), Lee (28), Maylett (70).
BOSTON UNITED (4-4-2): Abbey; West, White (Brooks, 43), McCann, Pitt; Rusk, Maylett (Norris, 90), Holland, Thomas; Lee, Easter (Clare, 65). Subs: O'Donnell, Raynor.
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (4-4-2, then 3-4-3): Danby; Weaver (Beardsley, h/t), Jackson, Hatswell, Jones; Cozic, Bennett (Russell, 37), Keates, McGrath; Sturrock (Christie, 58), Rawle. Subs: Jenkins, Sall.
Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire). Sending-off: Boston - Lee (violent conduct). Bookings: Kidderminster - McGrath, Jackson (fouls).
Harriers man of the match: John Danby - couple of decent saves.