Bulwell title charge clips Pelican’s wings

Linby (red) v Bulwell.'Bulwell's former Kazakhstan international, Ako Abdullah in action.
Linby (red) v Bulwell.'Bulwell's former Kazakhstan international, Ako Abdullah in action.

Here come BULWELL! That’s the resounding message issued to the rest of the Central Midlands League (CML), South Division after a result that made all rival teams sit up and take notice.

Bulwell not only beat, but hammered, second-placed Bilborough Pelican last Saturday.

And the 4-1 victory confirmed that, despite a slow start in their new surroundings, The Bulls are well capable of launching a challenge for another league title.

Pelican had knocked Arnold Town out of the Notts FA Senior County Cup the previous Saturday, having also won eight of their first 12 CML games.

But Bulwell sauntered into a four-goal lead as early as the 52nd minute to set up a result that lifted them into fourth in the table.

They remain nine points behind leaders Clifton All Whites. But they boast two games in hand over a Clifton side who look far from invincible if a shock 6-2 defeat at home to Real United in their latest match is anything to go by.

The Bulls, who play Real this coming Saturday, have now won five of their last six games since taking a six-goal spanking of their own at South Normanton Athletic last month.

Pelican’s wings were clipped in a display spearheaded by Kurdish striker Ako Abdullah, who has proved to be a shrewd acquisition from Notts Senior League outfit FC Cavaliers.

The 24-year-old Abdullah, who arrived in this country about four years ago, scored twice, including the opener after only 98 seconds when he drove home, low from the edge of the area.

Along with Richard Saunders, he went close again in an end-to-end opening to the game that was a joy to watch.

For Pelican, the lively Danny Johnson was a constant threat down the left, and only a superb save by James Wheat prevented him equalising.

But Bulwell posed their own danger on the left side, courtesy of Saunders and Ross McCaughey, and it was they who created the second goal in the 33rd minute. Left-back McCaughey got the byline and delivered a cross that was inadvertently smashed into his own net by unlucky Pelican defender Corey Bowler.

A terrific half for the home side was completed five minutes later when Abdullah netted his second with a superb take and turn inside the box, capped by a piledriver from close range.

Inspired by man-of-the-match Ian Marley in midfield, Bulwell came out for the second half with the same attitude and commitment.

Striker Conor Carter was denied by the crossbar with an audacious effort from 30 yards that had the visiting ‘keeper scrambling backwards.

But it wasn’t long before the fourth goal came as defender Ben Moore dispatched an effort at the far post.

The Bulls were then forced into two key substitutions as both Abdullah (kick to the chest) and captain Dwayne Soar (knee) went off with injuries.

But they cruised to the final whistle, despite conceding a consolation goal, when Johnson gave Wheat no chance after breaking clear, and almost another when Saunders cleared off the line.