In an extraordinary upset, title-chasing BULWELL became the first side to lose to bottom-of-the-table Eastwood Community in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
Bulwell made the journey to Coronation Park sitting second in the table and unbeaten in the league since the backend of October. And although they were without boss George Hulley, who was on holiday in his native Scotland, all seemed to be going to plan when they took a 16th minute lead -- debutant Tyrone Gray sending a 20-yard curler into the top cprner.
But six minutes from the interval, they were reduced to ten men when influential midfielder Ashley Chadwick was sent off for handling a goalbound shot to concede a penalty that Eastwood captain Jack Havron dispatched. And the rest was a calamity for The Bulls as they plunged to a 4-2 defeat, victims of the shock of the season.
Few could believe the result, especially after a dazzling first 35 minutes from the visitors in which Conor Carter also struck a post. Even after the spot-kick leveller, they started the second half brightly and after Jake Fisher’s shot had deflected against the underside of the bar, they even regained the lead when Carter volleyed home.
But Anthony Bedward steered in a 63rd minute equaliser and, two minutes later, Kye Hall outmuscled Bulls captain Dwayne Soar (back from injury) to make it 3-2. In stoppage time, man-of-the-match Hall got past Soar again before being brought down by Lewis Wheelhouse for a second penalty that Havron again converted.
BUWELL LINE-UP (3-1-4-2) -- Simpson/ Gray, Richardson, Knight, Soar, De Pina, Chadwick A., Chadwick D., Towle L., Carter, Fisher. SUBS: Wheelhouse, Kemp, Roberts.