Bulls march into cup final after rare scare

CHASING THE DOUBLE DREAM -- Bulwell, who have already been crowned league champions, have now reached the final of the league cup.
CHASING THE DOUBLE DREAM -- Bulwell, who have already been crowned league champions, have now reached the final of the league cup.

All-conquering BULWELL survived one of their biggest scares of the season before squeezing into the final of the Notts Senior League (NSL)’s Senior Cup.

The Bulls, who have won all of their NSL league and cup games this term, were taken to etra-time by plucky Kimberley Miners Welfare.

But they emerged with a 4-1 victory to keep alive their dreams of the double for a second successive season.

Now they are odds-on favourites to land the trophy when they take on struggling Senior Division rivals, Keyworth United, in the final at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley Stadium on Tuesday May 21.

Kimberley sit mid-table in the same division -- but stole a shock lead in the 35th minute thanks to awful defending from a free-kick sent to the far post.

Former Hucknall Town striker Jake Fisher almost added a second moments later. And Bulwell’s poor first-half performance only came to life late on when Conor Carter rose majestically to head against the bar.

The management made their feelings known at the interval. But The Bulls’ frustration grew, triggering three substitutions.

Despite a ten-out-of-ten performance by man-of-the-match Josh Niblett, they were 12 minutes away from defeat when Jay Knight tapped home an equaliser after his initial header had bounced off the bar.

The goal deflated Kimberley, and come extra-time, Bulwell were in the ascendancy.

An excellent passing move culminated in Niblett putting them in front. And with their opponents dead on their feet, the locals ran riot

Knight converted an Allan Jeffries cross before Scott Litchfield rounded off brilliant wing-play by sub Marek Vipond to complete the fightback.

BULWELL LINE-UP: Wheat/ Murdock, McCaughey, Knight, Soar D., Niblett J., King, Moore, Jeffries, Carter C., Walker. Subs: Litchfield (for Carter 60), Vipond (for King 62), Perkins (for Moore 68).

Bulwell followed up by recording wins number 26 and 27 in their pursuit of a perfect 100% record in the league.

Last Saturday, they triumphed 5-1 at Awsworth Villa, despite having to play outfield player Ryan Perkins in goal, with Jamie Wheat injured. And on Tuesday night, they put Magdala Amateurs to the sword, returning home with a 6-1 victory.

Jamie Walker netted two more goals at Awsworth, as did striker Scott Litchfield.

Captain Dwayne Soar bagged the other goal, while midfielder Josh Niblett was named man-of-the-match.

BULWELL LINE-UP: Perkins/ Murdock, Walker, Knight, Soar D., Marley, McCaughey, Niblett J., Carter C., Litchfield, Vipond. Subs: Moore (for Niblett 51), King (for Walker 63).

The experienced Neil Wilkinson was drafted in between the sticks at Magdala. But Bulwell were five up by half-time and in cruise mode.

Carter, Litchfield and man-of-the-match Knight shared the goals, netting two apiece.

BULWELL LINE-UP: Wilkinson/ Murdock, Walker, Knight, Soar D., Niblett J., McCaughey, Perkins, Carter, Litchfield, Vipond. Subs: Marley (for Soar 45), Jeffries (for Vipond 45).