THREE tonic wins inside six days have powered BULWELL ever closer to runaway leaders FC Cavaliers in the captivating two-horse race for the Notts Senior League, Senior Division title.
Bulwell produced the great escape to score three late goals to beat fellow high-fliers Awsworth Villa 3-2 on Tuesday March 27 — after a 1-0 success over Keyworth United the previous Saturday and a 3-1 triumph over Cotgrave on Thursday March 22.
Now, after 11 league wins on the spin, they have narrowed the gap behind unbeaten Cavaliers to nine points with three games in hand. The two sides play each other a week tomorrow (Saturday April 7).
The fightback against Awsworth had to be seen to be believed as The Bulls trailed 2-0 with only eight minutes left.
First, a long ball over the top found Jay Knight, whose tame effort somehow rolled into an empty net after a mix-up between defender and ‘keeper.
A minute later, substitute Jamie Walker equalised with a back-post header. And as Awsworth fell apart, the amazing comeback was completed on 86 as the ball went in off Knight’s chest amid an almighty scramble from a Jamie Carter corner.
Cue scenes of jubilation on the home bench that were in stark contrast to the frustration earlier when Awsworth built their lead with goals in the last two minutes of the opening half — first when Connor Carter lost the ball on the halfway-line, leaving the backline exposed, and then when three or four attempts to clear failed.
The impressive visitors had also dragged a golden chance wide from three yards and were only denied a third goal in the second half by a fine save from Jamie Wheat to foil a one-on-one.
BULWELL LINE-UP — Wheat/ Ward, Murdock, Knight, Soar D., Green, King (man-of-match), Moore, Manders, Carter C., England. Subs: Niblett J. (for Green 64), Carter J. (for Moore 49), Walker J. (for Ward 55).
ANOTHER below-par performance by Bulwell was still enough to earn a scrappy victory over Keyworth, with the only goal coming in the 23rd minute.
Man-of-the-match Knight won the ball and fed Jamie Moore before continuing his run out of defence and coolly finishing a one-on-one when getting the return.
Further chances were few and far between and, comically, two of the best were provided by Keyworth with near-own goals. First a defender’s header had to be tipped round a post and then a wayward backpass trickled just wide after being missed by the ‘keeper.
More orthodox openings were carved out by Robbie England, who hit the bar with a header and forced a fine save from the ‘keeper with a stunning volley.
BULWELL LINE-UP — Wheat/ Ward, Murdock, Knight (man-of-match), Soar D., Keetley, King, Moore, Manders, Carter C., Jeffries. Subs: McCaffrey (for Manders 64), Carter J. (for Moore 56), England (for King 45).
A HALF-time roasting by Witts, plus a couple of inspired substitutions, jolted Bulwell into action against Cotgrave after a poor, goalless opening period in which the visitors missed a sitter.
First sub Dave Ward set up the opening goal for John Manders, while second sub Robbie England netted number two and created the third for man-of-the-match Connor Carter, who made the game safe on 88 after Cotgrave had pulled one back.
BULWELL LINE-UP — Wheat/ Murdock, Walker J., Knight, Soar D., Staples, King, Niblett J., Manders, Carter C., Jeffries. Subs: Carter J. (for Niblett 71), Ward (for Walker 45), England (for King 63), Gretton S.