Rampant Bulls land plum tie

Scott Litchfield (Bulwell)
Scott Litchfield (Bulwell)

BRILLIANT BULWELL have landed a plum home tie in their giantkilling quest for Notts FA Senior County Cup glory.

The Bulls, tackling the prestigious competition for the first time in their history, have already knocked out three sides from higher leagues.

Now the Notts Senior League (NSL) champions have been pitted against Carlton Town in the quarter-finals on Tuesday March 5.

Carlton are the second highest-ranked non-league team in the county and the highest-ranked team left in the tournament after the exit last week of holders Eastwood Town, who were beaten by Sutton Town AFC.

In the last round, The Millers, who are managed by former pro Les McJannett, were handed a walkover after opponents, Hucknall Town, were unable to raise a side.

The rest of the last-eight draw saw Sutton handed an away tie at Greenwood Meadows, while Dunkirk are to take on Rainworth Miners Welfare.

Linby Colliery Welfare or Clipstone Welfare, who were due to play their re-arranged Third Round tie last night, will entertain either Clifton All Whites or Retford United.

Meanwhile Bulwell maintained their remarkable 100% record this season with a narrow 2-1 victory away to Kimberley Miners Welfare to surge 15 points clear at the top of the NSL’s Senior Division.

However it was no cakewalk for The Bulls on a heavy mudbath of a pitch, and a below-par performance triggered criticism from manager Terry Witts, who was not happy that some players appeared to turn up with the wrong attitude.

At least they started brightly and after Scott Litchfield had hit the bar with a blistering effort, they took a 17th minute lead when Chris Murdock’s pinpoint, crossfield ball found Jamie Walker, whose superb volley nestled in the bottom corner.

With the pitch cutting up badly, the game deteriorated into a long-ball affair. But Bulwell doubled their advantage on 32, thanks to the 23rd goal of the season by Litchfield, who fastened on to an excellent punt upfield by goalkeeper Jamie Wheat and drove home low.

New boy Ian Marley then went close to opening his account and early in the second half, Marek Vipond shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

However, Kimberley, who had missed one or two gilt-edged chances of their own, were always dangerous, with crack marksman Jake Fisher leading their threat.

And they grabbed a lifeline on 65 when substitute Samuel Beale reacted quickest to a Wheat parry to set up a finale in which Bulwell were a shade lucky to hang on to their latest victory.

Jamie Moore did blaze over the bar for the locals but, with the help of some dubious decisions from the match officials, the plucky home side might well have snatched an equaliser.

As ever, Bulwell relied heavily on their inspirational skipper Dwayne Soar, who turned in another man-of-the-match performance.

n BULWELL LINE-UP -- Wheat J./ Murdock C., Walker J., Knight, Soar D., Moore, King, Marley, Litchfield, Jeffries, Vipond. Subs: Carter C. (for Jeffries 62), McCaughey (for Vipond 69), Niblett J. (for Marley 72).