Bulwell’s late charge nails title contenders

SUB'S WAY  -- Scott Litchfield, who leapt off the substitutes' bench to inspire Bulwell's win with two goals.
SUB'S WAY -- Scott Litchfield, who leapt off the substitutes' bench to inspire Bulwell's win with two goals.

A blast of three goals in the last 16 minutes stunned high-flying Belper United and showed exactly what BULWELL are capable of in the Central Midlands League.

Third-placed Belper have been identified as one of the South Division’s prime title-contenders for the 2013/14 season.

But Bulwell’s late salvo inflicted an eyecatching 4-2 defeat that suggests they could yet launch a pursuit of promotion themselves. The win left them just three points behind the Derbyshire outfit.

In fact, The Bulls were the dominant side from the off, showing good attitude and commitment, while looking comfortable in possession and playing some neat two-touch football.

Marek Vipond, Richard Saunders and man-of-the-match Conor Carter all had chances in the opening 15 minutes, so it was a big downer when the visitors were gifted the lead against the run of play.

Vipond was the culprit as he played a ball blind across the middle of the park after a corner had been cleared. It set up a Belper break that left Bulwell short in defence and ended with Sam Vickers tapping home at the far post.

To their credit, the locals refused to be knocked out of their stride and continued to boss the game, with Carter having an effort cleared off the line.

At last they levelled two minutes into the second half when Vipond made amends for his earlier gaff by scoring direct from a corner.

And they looked sure to go on and win when sending on last season’s top scorer Scott Litchfield and switching to a 4-4-2 formation, with 18-year-old substitute Rhys Plackett also introduced.

Amazingly, the match took another wrong turn when defender Chris Murdock was caught napping on the ball and Vickers again punished Bulwell with a tidy finish. But it all came right in the end.

The matchwinning finale was launched by Carter, who netted the second equaliser with a looping header at the back stick from a superb ball by Ian Marley.

Ten minutes from the end, Litchfield had The Bulls ahead for the first time, showing excellent control and a quality finish with a low drive under the ‘keeper.

And the points were sealed when Litchfield struck again after more good work from fellow frontman Carter.

The Bulls are without a match this coming Saturday, which is dominated by county cup ties. They have a bye until the Third Round of the Notts FA Senior Cup.

However, they return to CML action next Tuesday night when they entertain Mickleover Royals at Greenwich Avenue.