A shambolic collapse from 4-1 down gave BULWELL fans another bitter pill to swallow in a Central Midlands League season fast deteriorating into one to forget.
A hat-trick inside the first 28 minutes by Jake Fisher helped The Bulls into their commanding lead against North Division strugglers Sherwood Colliery in the Second Round of the league cup. However, they ended up losing 5-4 after extra-time to a Sherwood side who deserved credit for their grit and determination but who had lost ten of their 12 league games this term.
It was a fantastic match, but no-one could have expected the incredible turnaround because, despite fielding a depleted line-up through work commitments and suspensions, Bulwell bossed the first 55 minutes.
Fisher tapped into an empty net from a square ball by Marek Vipond and although the home team levelled with a low drive from Jim Whitmore, it was 3-1 by the interval. Fisher netted again with a rare header from a superbly whipped-in free-kick by man-of-the-match Dan Chadwick, and he completed his treble from the penalty spot after Chadwick had been fouled.
Early in the second period, when Sherwood missed a spot-kick of their own -- Craig Payne sending the birds flying for cover -- and then Bulwell added a fourth goal -- Vipond converting an inch-perfect ball by Liam Towle -- it was surely game over.
But a third penalty, conceded by Dwayne Soar and this time tucked away by Payne, gave hope to Sherwood, who promptly added further goals on 67 and 82 with headers from Payne and Josh Smythe to send the tie into extra-time.
By now, shellshocked Bulwell were all at sea, and when Payne completed his hat-trick for the winner, courtesy of poor marking at a set-piece, their demise was complete.
BULWELL LINE-UP (3-4-1-2) -- Simpson/ Wheelhouse, Soar D., Smeed/ Towle L., Hogg, Chadwick D., Nutt/ Kemp/ Fisher, Vipond. SUBS: Chadwick J. , Hall.