Compared to the FA Trophy final, live on Sky Sports, at Villa Park, the Central Midlands League’s Floodlit Cup on a cold, wet and windy night at Greenwich Avenue hardly measures up.
But for Hucknall Town legend Danny Bacon, the two contests were of equal importance. And whereas Town just failed back in 2005, despite one of Bacon’s many goals, his new side, Blidworth Welfare, were victorious on Tuesday night, sending BULWELL spinning out of the CML’s midweek competition at the southern section, quarter-final stage.
Bacon (now 34) has just been appointed joint player/manager of a young and vibrant Blidworth team, alongside Rob Camm. He only went on as a second-half substitute, but his influence was there for all to see in a 1-0 victory and he even went close to scoring in the 78th minute when his shot was cleared off the line.
Bulwell will not be losing any sleep over their exit from the league’s least important competition, especially as their squad was decimated by injuries and work commitments. No fewer than 14 players were missing from a line-up that include more fresh-faced youngsters and more new signings snapped up by boss George Hulley.
The only goal of the tie came on the hour when Blake Owen coolly fired a superb strike into the bottom corner from the left edge of the box. But The Bulls were denied an 83rd minute equaliser when man-of-the-match Jay Knight followed up a parried effort by Conor Carter, only to be controversially adjudged offside.
The referee had also rejected strong penalty-appeals from both teams in the first half -- and even booked Blidworth’s Liam Green for diving after he had clearly been pushed by Bulwell defender Matthew Stone.
BULWELL LINE-UP (4-4-2) -- Walsh/ Stone, Knight, Hogg, Wheelhouse/ Davis, Chadwick A., Chadwick D., Roberts/ Fisher, Carter C. SUBS: Nutt (for Stone 76), Carter J. (for Chadwick D. 70), Coburn, Kemp, Towle L. (for Davis 70).