AN EAGERLY-awaited cup derby that gave a chance to compare the merits of two leagues turned into nothing more than a mismatch.
BULWELL, riding high in the Notts Senior League’s (NSL) Senior Division, took on AFC HUCKNALL, Hucknall Town’s reserves-side who play in the South Division of the Central Midlands League.
But the Notts FA Intermediate County Cup, Third Round (last 16) tie ended in a 7-0 romp for The Bulls. And after the surprise exit of previously unbeaten NSL leaders FC Cavaliers (4-2 at Awsworth Villa), Steve Osborne and Terry Witts’s outfit are now the favourites to go on and lift the trophy.
Bulwell’s unsung hero for the tie was striker Connor Carter, who shrugged off the fact that he was only playing because top scorer Allan Jeffries was injured.
Putting in a sparkling performance, Carter scored four of the seven goals against an AFC side who were run ragged from the off.
He opened the floodgates with an early penalty after midfielder Jake Keetley had been brought down by the home ‘keeper.
Two minutes later, Carter turned supplier, delivering a fine centre that John Manders nodded across goal for Jamie Moore to net with a rare header.
And then, with just 13 minutes on the clock, Carter netted his second when chasing down a weak backpass to bury the ball from outside the area.
‘Get Carter!’ was the cry in the AFC ranks as the frontman started the move that tempted Moore to set up Ryan King for the fourth goal on 29 minutes. And then again when he forced a save out of the ‘keeper that led to Manders making it five by the beak.
Jay Knight also headed against the bar, and such was Bulwell’s supremacy that the second half was a non-event, with the visitors simply content to keep the ball.
Carl Horder somehow blazed over from five yards before Carter completed his treble when again taking advantage of a defensive mess to chip the goalie.
Knight was denied by the bar once more but there was no stopping Carter, who clipped a shot into the top corner without breaking stride after a lovely, curled, weighted pass from brother Jamie.
BULWELL LINE-UP — Wheat/ Ward, Murdock, Knight, Soar D., Keetley, Manders, Moore, Carter C., King, Horder. Subs: McCaffrey, Carter J., Rennicks.