A rare poor performance resulted in a second cup exit inside a week for disappointed Central Midlands League (CML), South Division title chasers, BULWELL.
Four days after succumbing to high-ranking Rainworth Miners Welfare in the Notts FA Senior County Cup, Bulwell bowed out of the CML Cup too,
But whereas the Rainworth loss was no surprise, the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Swanwick Pentrich Road represented the shock of the Second Round (last 32).
Top-of-the-table Bulwell sit 23 points and 13 places above the Derbyshire outfit. But for the second time this season, having drawn 1-1 at Highfield Road in a league match in August, they struggled to break them down.
New Belgian signing Emmanuel Kashila-Kanyinda was unavilable for personal reasons. And The Bulls never got going as tired legs on a heavy pitch took a clear toll so soon after the Rainworth tie.
Manager Terry Witts was reluctant to criticise his troops too heavily -- as secretary Andy Radford explained.
“Terry has always stated that the league title is the club’s priority,” said Radford. “A cup run or two would have been nice, but the lads have done a very good job over the last couple of seasons, so to start knocking them for a minor blip is not the way forward.
“All the players know what is expected of them, week in, week out, so I’m sure they will be beating themselves up over the last couple of performances they have put in.”
The only goal of last Saturday’s tie came as early as the fifth minute when tall Swans striker Andy White found time and space to take advantage of bad marking and plant a free header from a set-piece.
The rest of the first half was dire stuff, with neither side creating many chances of note. Bulwell were restricted to a long-range effort by centre-back Dwayne Soar, while Swanwick struck a post with a deflected drive.
As The Bulls showed some passion at last, the second period was more entertaining. But they couldn’t get past a stubborn backline.