Slipshod title-chasers BULWELL threw away a two-goal lead against ten men to take the gloss off their surge up the table in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
The Bulls looked certain to maintain their unbeaten improvement of recent weeks when capitalising on a red card for Southwell City defender Michael Knight only 16 minutes into their clash at Bishops Drive.
They cruised into a 2-0 lead by the interval and a 3-1 lead with only 20 minutes left. But somehow they allowed the struggling Minstermen to fight back and draw 3-3, denying George Hulley’s side the chance to move within just one point of leaders Mickleover Royals.
“We let slip two valuable points thanks to a poor second-half performance,” admitted Bulwell secretary Andy Radford.
“But it was an excellent, resilient performance by Southwell. They fully deserved the draw they worked tirelessly for. It was credit to their new management team for not allowing their players to lose concentration or belief.”
Giving a full debut to their new Portuguese import Jorge De Pina, Bulwell started brightly and won a penalty from the red card for Knight, who upended Jake Fisher as he rounded the ‘keeper after a pass by Ashley Chadwick.
Fisher duly dispatched the spot-kick, and only four minutes later, the lead was doubled when Lewis Wheelhouse’s header, from a Chadwick corner, was only parried by ‘keeper Alex Smith, allowing centre-back Adam Whitehead to smash home from close range.
Curiously, instead of building on the goals, Bulwell were rattled by Southwell’s fightback, inspired by man-of-the-match Marlon Waites.
Less than a minute after the break, Chris Bowles nipped in to halve the deficit when Wheelhouse was caught cold. And although Fisher restored the two-goal cushion on 55, The Bulls had lost all composure and discipline and gave the win away in three minutes of madness. First Jay Knight was caught in two minds, enabling Billy Pyecroft to nip and score, before Waites levelled.
BULWELL LINE-UP (4-4-2) -- Simpson/ Wheelhouse, Whitehead, Knight, Richardson/ Vipond, De Pina, Chadwick A., Kemp/ Fisher, Attenborough. SUBS: Chadwick D. for De Pina 67), Towle L. (for Attenborough 78), Roberts (for Kemp 78), Carter, Soar.