AFTER playing only once since mid-December, you could have forgiven treble-seeking BULWELL for showing signs of rustiness on their return to action.
Not a bit of it. Instead The Bulls unleashed a six-hit display to demolish Awsworth Villa and march into the semi-finals of the Notts FA Intermediate County Cup.
Awsworth sit only three places and three points behind Bulwell in the Notts Senior League’s (NSL) Senior Division table. But they were sentenced to a 6-1 spanking, courtesy of a hat-trick from Connor Carter, two goals from Robbie England and one from John Manders.
Now Steve Osborne and Terry Witts’s side are favourites to land the trophy. The other semi-finalists are lowly divisional rivals, Sandhurst, plus fellow NSL outfits Southwell St Mary’s, from Division One, and West Bridgford, from Division Two.
Awsworth arrived fresh from a tonic victory against HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE. But they were no match for the title-chasing visitors, who were two up inside the first 12 minutes.
Carter produced a sublime finish in the top corner from a through ball by fit-again top scorer Allan Jeffries. And then Manders buried a header after good work by Carter and Ryan King.
As Bulwell maintained their fast, attacking football, the lethal Carter completed his treble with goals either side of the interval. The first was a textbook strike after Jay Knight had headed Chris Murdock’s free-kick back across goal. The second came from a Manders pass.
Awsworth did threaten more after the break. But they were foiled by a double save from ‘keeper James Wheat and some outstanding defending by skipper Dwayne Soar.
England netted twice after fine play by fellow substitute Craig McCaffrey and although the home side bagged a late consolation with a tap-in at the back post from the unmarked Ross Horton, nothing could stop Bulwell from extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 18 games.
BULWELL LINE-UP (4-4-2) — Wheat/ Ward, Soar, Knight, Murdock/ King, Keetley, Moore, Jeffries/ Manders, Carter C. Subs: Carter J., England, McCaffrey.