If ever you need a signal that a team are refusing to give up the ghost in a title race, an 11-0 victory is about as good as it gets!
So all hail BULWELL after en extraordinary eclipse of Blidworth Welfare to keep their championship hopes alive in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
The Bulls went into their penultimate game of the campaign not only needing slip-ups from their top-two rivals, Clifton All Whites and South Normanton Athletic, but also a boost to their goal-difference.
They didn’t get the first as both Clifton and Normanton won. But boy, did they get the second as they buried next-to-bottom Blidworth under an avalanche of goals, spearheaded by a hat-trick from man-of-the-match Marek Vipond.
The only pity is that Bulwell still require a miraculous combination of results to pull it off -- victory in their last match at Belper United on Bank Holiday Monday, allied to defeats for Clifton and Normanton in their next games and a draw between those two on the final day of the season on Saturday 10th May.
The Blidworth blast-off took 16 minutes to get off the ground -- Felix Hogg nestling a drive in the bottom corner. But by the interval, The Bulls were 5-0 up and by the 72nd minute, they were into double figures.
The rout also marked the welcome return to the squad of Kurdistani Ako Abdullah after a seven-week lay-off and also Ryan King, who took the to the field for the first time this season after an horrific injury that needed surgery.
King showed glimpses of his skills and willingness to chase lost causes.
The other four first-half goals were netted by Connor Croft, who pounced from close range, Jamie Walker, whose thunderous effoert was controversially adjudged to have bounced over the line off the bar, Jamie McKeever, with a superb bender from 25 yards, and Jay Knight, who dispatched a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Vipond’s treble came after the break as he snapped up the rebound after the ‘keeper had parried, smashed home from a short corner and beat the offside trap to coolly slot under the advancing ‘keeper.
Abdullah marked his comeback with the eighth goal after fine work by Hogg and another substitute, Ryan Perkins, produced the pick of the bunch when latching on to a defensive clearance and firing a 30-yarder into the top corner.
With Blidworth on their knees, the scoring was completed eight minutes from the end by Croft.