Bulls in party mood at top of the Christmas tree

The Christmas party night out for BULWELL went with a swing last Saturday after they won a huge top-of-the-table clash in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.

The tabletopping Bulls headed to Chesterfield in high spirits thanks to a 2-1 success at home to second-placed Clifton All Whites.

They fought back from a goal down to triumph and now hold a healthy five-point cushion as they head into a busy festive period of three matches in seven days, which include a local derby with Hucknall Town on Boxing Day.

Bulwell made four changes from the previous week’s surprise league cup defeat, with Belgian Emmanuel Kashila-Kanyinda returning, but Kurdistani Ako Abdullah out with a recurrence of his ankle injury.

But it didn’t prevent them making a flying start, with lively man-of-the-match Conor Carter leading the line well .

And it came totally against the run of play when Clifton pinched a 20th minute lead -- former Hucknall Town striker Rob Gill netting from close range after Richard Saunders had failed to track his man.

With ex-Bull Michael Banister marshalling the visitors’ backline, the locals struggled to find a way back before the break. And Clifton should have doubled their lead when pacy striker Jay Lee Hodgson fed Sam Leggitt, who blasted well wide.

Bulwell suffered another blow at half-time when goalkeeper James Wheat had to be replaced because of stomach cramps. But it didn’t take them long in the second half to turn their fortunes round.

In the 50th minute, full-back Ross McCaughey found Carter, who created his own space on the edge of the box before firing a shot into the bottom corner.

And nine minutes later, McCaughey was instrumental again, crossing for centre-back Jay Knight to head over the advancing ‘keeper.

Stunned Clifton knew they had to respond because defeat would leave them six points adrift of their rivals. And in the last 20 minutes, they threw everything at it.

They did go close on 82 when a nothing ball somehow found its way through, hit the post and rolled across the line before Knight cleared the danger.

But The Bulls fought a rearguard action, led by Ben Moore against his former club, and even found gaps in behind on the break, which they could have exploited better.