A HAT-TRICK by red-hot striker Allan Jeffries fired Bulwell into the top four of the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division after an extraordinary match at Wollaton.
The 7-4 scoreline is one normally reserved for the lower echelons of Sunday football. But The Bulls weren’t complaining — and Jeffries certainly wasn’t as he took his early-season tally to nine in seven games.
Wollaton opened the goalscoring floodgates by springing the visitors’ offside trap to take a fifth minute lead. Bulwell goalkeeper James Wheat was hesitant in coming off his line and although captain Dwayne Soar twice blocked shots from Austin Wallace, he could no nothing about the third attempt.
The lead didn’t last long, though, because Jeffries combined well with Michael Banister, who produced a pinpoint cross for John Manders to head home at the far post.
Bulwell went in front in the 18th minute when Jeffries lobbed the ‘keeper from 20 yards and then Wheat redeemed himself at the other end, making himself big to deny ex-Bulls striker Scott Litchfield in a one-on-one.
In an absorbing end-to-end encounter, Wollaton levelled on 33 when Jamie Moore failed to clear a corner and Litchfield made no mistake, aided by a slight deflection.
But Bulwell went in at half-time 4-2 up thanks to quickfire goals on 40 and 42 as Jeffries coolly slotted under the ‘keeper and Jay Knight powered home a header from a corner.
More chances followed in a fast-flowing second period, and the home side cut the deficit when Mark Middleton smashed home a free-kick from fully 40 yards.
But Bulwell responded with the goal of the game from Ryan King, who fired into the top corner from the edge of the box, and it was 6-3 when substitute Dean Spencer scored with his first touch -- a chip over the advancing ‘keeper.
The goals seemed to be never-ending as Wollaton pulled another back — this time thanks to a very dubious decision by experienced referee Mick Leslie, who adjudged that Dave ‘Nookie’ Ward had upended Wallace for a penalty that Marek Vipond converted.
However Bulwell remained in control and completed their victory three minutes from time when man-of-the-match Jeffries cut out a short backpass to drill in his hat-trick goal.
BULWELL LINE-UP — Wheat/ Ward, Murdock, Knight, Soar D., Moore, Banister, Gretton, Jeffries, Manders, King. Subs: Carter J. (for Gretton 63), Spencer (Dean) (for Banister 68), Spencer (Daren), England (for Moore 71).