A red card played a key role in the fourth big local derby of the new Central Midlands League, South Division.
BULWELL were leading HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE 1-0 when influential midfielder Marek Vipond was sent off in the 58th minute after an altercation with Rolls substitute Harry Allen.
The Bulls felt it was a harsh decision that cost them the game as Rolls went on to grab an equaliser to take an excelent point.
“The incident was nothing more than banter,” said Bulwell secretary Andy Radford.
“A free-kick was given against Marek, even though his shirt had been pulled, and when asked to get the ball by the opposing player, he did just that, in a jovial way.
“He also flicked the player, who went down like a sack of spuds, rolling around like some foreign import and laughing while doing so.”
“It was still a valuable point for us, but we were disappointed not to obtain all three and made it clear in the clubhouse that had we kept 11 on the field, we would have got what we set out for.”
A depleted Bulwell side fielded much-travelled new signing Scott Miles in goal. And after surviving a bright start by Rolls, who squandered four good chances, The Bulls took the lead in the 21st minute.
Lethal marksman Conor Carter, who also saw a 25-yarder clawed from the top corner by ‘keeper Jack Walker, got the goal with a glancing header from a flagkick.
The Rollers responded by pushing forward at pace, and Jack Allen should have levelled with a free header that he put wide, with Miles stranded.
With Jack James and Jack Matthews impressing in midfield, the visitors went close again early in the second period when Miles pulled off a superb save to deny Jack Allen.
And Vipond’s dismissal gave them more freedom to hunt down their equaliser, which arrived 15 minutes from the end. Wide man Kane Matthews delivered a telling cross and Greg Conn towered above the Bulwell backline to head home.
Already without centre-backs Alex Oldham and Jay Knight, the home side suffered more injury blows as both Felix Hogg and Ross McCaughey needed to be replaced.
But even with ten men, they left two strikers up top and went closest to forcing the winner in a tense finale Jamie McKeever worked some magic to bend a superb effort round a defender that had Walker scrambling across his goal to tip round a post.
All in all, it was a thoroughly entertaining clash between two sides renewing rivalries from their Notts Senior League days. Carter was given the man-of-the-match wward for Bulwell, while the calm and composed James took it for the visitors.