THE GLORY boys with the Midas touch have bestowed more footballing pride on the town of Bulwell.
Three years after guiding Scots Grey to an amazing triumph in the FA Sunday Cup at Anfield, home of Liverpool, Steve Osborne and Terry Witts have led BULWELL to the Notts Senior League’s (NSL) Senior Division championship.
The larger-than-life managers saw their side clinch the title with a landslide 9-1 victory over bottom-of-the-table Vernon Villa. Free-scoring striker Connor Carter netted four of the goals to take his tally to 12 in the last three games.
It is a remarkable achievement by Osborne and Witts in their maiden season at Bulwell, who were on the brink of folding at the end of last term when they finished in the bottom four.
They lost two of their opening three games. But since then, The Bulls have remained unbeaten in the league — a run spanning 26 matches — and they have somehow clawed back a huge deficit to overhaul long-time leaders FC Cavaliers at the top.
As recently as March 16, Cavaliers were fully 18 points in front of Bulwell. But Osborne and Witts’s troops were unstoppable once they had ended their rivals’ 25-match unbeaten record.
Bulwell could even end up with a league and cup double because they take on local-derby rivals, Linby Colliery Welfare, in the final of the NSL’s Senior Cup on Tuesday May 15 at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley Stadium ground.
“What we achieved at Greys will take some beating,” said Osborne this week. “But this is a good start.
“We are going to stay in this league for another season and have a crack at the Notts FA Senior Cup. We will definitely strengthen the team. We won’t sit on our laurels.”
Basement team Vernon, who had already leaked 153 goals this term, were on a hiding to nothing at Greys’ title party. And they were behind from the 18th minute when Robbie England finished with a close-range bicycle-kick after the ‘keeper had spilled a shot.
The lead was doubled four minutes later when Carter smashed home another rebound and it was soon 3-0 as Carter headed in a corner floated over by brother Jamie.
The prolific Carter, who now tops the Dispatch’s Specsavers goals chart, completed his treble on 34 and the only dampener on Bulwell’s day came three minutes later when goalkeeper Jamie Wheat broke his finger making a save that led to Ben Armitage pulling a goal back for Vernon.
Captain Dwayne Soar took Wheat’s place between the sticks. But within eight minutes, The Bulls had restored their four-goal cushion, as England converted a pass from Connor Carter, and the second period continued in the same ruthless vein.
Carter headed in his fourth goal from a cross by man-of-the-match Ryan King and three more goals followed in the final 20 minutes to cap the celebrations.
King snapped up another rebound off the ‘keeper, substitute Craig McCaffrey headed his first of the season and Jamie Walker was on hand to nod home when Jay Knight’s effort hit the bar.
BULWELL LINE-UP — Wheat/ Gretton S., Walker J., Knight, Soar D. Keetley, King, Niblett J., England, Carter C., Carter J. Subs: Moore (for Wheat 38), McCaffrey (for England 56), Horder.