Close shave for Bulwell -- after signing Belgian for title charge

KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR -- Jay Knight, whose late goal spared Bulwell's blushes.
KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR -- Jay Knight, whose late goal spared Bulwell's blushes.
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Cosmopolitan BULWELL seem to be scouring the globe in the pursuit of their third consecutive league championship.

They have already recruited a striker from Kurdistan in the talented 24-year-old Ako Abdullah, who has made a big impact.

Now they have signed a 25-year-old Belgian who has been playing professional football in Holland.

He is Emmanuel Kashila-Kanyinda, nicknamed Manu, who made his debut in Bulwell’s latest victory in the Central Midlands League, South Division last Saturday.

Manu helped The Bulls beat bottom-of-the-table Calverton Miners Welfare 4-2 to go level on points at the top with Clifton All Whites.

Marshalling the midfield superbly, he made up for the absence of Abdullah, who is carrying an ankle injury.

And he even picked up the man-of-the-match award and is hoping to play a key role in Bulwell’s bid to follow up their two Notts Senior League titles in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Mind you, they will have to perform better, and with more discipline, than they did against a Calverton side yet to win all season.

For only two goals in the last three minutes secured The Bulls the three points after they had twice thrown away leads.

Yes, they started like a steam train -- and were soon in front when Conor Carter dispatched a superb header into the top corner in the sixth minute after a cross by strike partner Scott Litchfield.

But despite penning Calverton in their own half for the long periods, they failed to add to their tally as Carter, Litchfield, Felix Hogg, Ian Marley and Jay Knight all saw chances saved or wasted.

And four minutes into the second half, they were stunned by an equaliser from Ryan Enright as the visitors emerged with more determination and passion.

Bulwell responded by appearing to abandon all tactical nous and go gung-ho without any instruction to do so.

They did restore their lead when Hogg drove home from close range. But despite the welcome introduction of midfielder Jamie Moore after a lengthy injury, they failed to put the game to bed and were pegged back again by a second leveller -- this time scored by Alex Clarson, who converted a needlessly conceded free-kick on the edge of the area.

The goal left Bulwell just five minutes in which to continue their winning run. It was a frantic finale, with both sides resorted to route-one football, but Jay Knight edged the locals in front again after a scramble and substitute Rhys Plackett triggered deep sighs of relief with a low drive deep into stoppage time.

BULWELL were handed a walkover in the First Round of the Central Midlands League’s Phoenix Trophies Floodlit Cup this week.

They were due to take on divisional rivals Real United. But the tie was postponed and awarded to The Bulls because the league’s management committee were not satisfied that Real’s lights, at their ground, The Inspire Stadium in Stoke Bardolph, were up to scratch and so removed them from the competition.