CHAMPIONS Bulwell announced their arrival in the NSL Senior Division with a match including nine goals and three red cards as they overcame Bilborough on Monday night.
The hosts won 6-3 despite being down to nine men for an hour, Bilborough also having a man dismissed after an unsightly melee on the half-hour mark.
By then Bulwell were 2-1 up.
Things started perfectly for them as they took the lead after only 68 seconds, Scott Litchfield and Chris Murdock combining to find Alan Jeffries at the far post and he made it 1-0.
It was 2-0 shortly afterwards as Ryan King found Litchfield, who dispatched from 12 yards out.
Jeffries saw an effort deflected over the bar on 17 minutes but Bilborough pulled a goal back after a spell of neat football when Josh Niblett was robbed of possession and Craig McMorran curled an effort into the net.
Then came a brawl which saw referee Phil Towers produce the trio of red cards, Jay Knight and Jeffries the culprits for the Bulls and Lewis for Bilborough being sent for an early bath.
Once the match had settled down again Bilborough then levelled the scores on 39 minutes through Ryan McKeag to leave the sides 2-2 at the break.
A tactical reshuffle at half-time then worked wonders for Bulwell as Niblett netted his first of the season six minutes into the second-half to put his side 3-2 up.
That became 4-2 three minutes later as Niblett turned provider for Litchfield to notch his second.
But the two-goal advantage was reduced again on the hour mark after some sloppy play in the Bulwell defence allowed Jay Richards to score.
Bulwell’s nine men were showing an excellent attitude and the goal of the game came on 63 minutes when Litchfield notched his hat-trick after some excellent work by the tireless Jake Keetley, who squared the ball 20 yards out for Litchfield to fire into the top corner.
The midfield duo of Niblett and Keetley worked effortlessly throughout and man-of-the-match King was also a constant threat, rewarded by a 50-yard solo run and finish low into the bottom corner to round off the victory in some style.