Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Bulwell 4 v Keyworth United 0 - NSL Senior Cup Final

Tuesday 21st May 2013
At Eagle Valley (Arnold Town FC)
Notts Senior League, Senior Cup Final
Bulwell (1) 4
Alan Jeffries 37, Jamie Walker 51
Mark Vipond 55, Ryan Perkins 87
Keyworth United (0) 0
Admission £3 inc. free 20 page colour programme
Attendance 252
The Notts Senior League groundhop co-ordinator, Rob Hornby, was present tonight, obstructing other peoples photograph opportunities and indulging in all of his usual 'pesting' antics ... while his good lady wife was sent off out in the pouring rain to sell raffle tickets.
Joking aside, Rob & Hazel do a great job for local charities and tonight they raised £126 towards their impressive total this season of £800 towards the Kings Mill Hospital, Cancer Unit, in Mansfield.
Great work Mrs & Mr Hornby and good luck with next seasons fundraising effort.
Bulwell are moving up into the CMFL South next season, having just recorded a quite remarkable achievement, of winning every single Nottingham Senior League and Cup game they've played in all season.
I've heard a lot about this team and it's all been good, so my expectations were high tonight. And I can categorically confirm, that none of the hype was exaggerated and they impressed me no end.
The half time score of 1-0, gives the impression that there wasn't very much in it, but it was mostly one way traffic, almost to the point where all the groundsman had to do at half time was move Bulwell's tents to the other end of the pitch so they could camp out in Keyworth's area for another 45 minutes.
Keyworth finished last but one in the NSL Senior Division, some 64 points behind Bulwell, so it was fairly obvious which team were odds on favourites to win.
But ignoring the form, United almost gifted the Bulls a goal start, when Lee Collison lobbed his own keeper Ryan Jennings and had to scramble frantically to clear the ball from off the line.
Having been given a scare by his own number 4, Jennings then had to deal with the oppositions, when Jay Knight forced a great save out of the Keyworth keeper.
Josh Niblett and Jamie Walker stood out as Bulwell passed the ball about neatly and kept the pressure on Keyworth's very busy defence and crowded midfield.
Jack Vipond had only been on as a sub for a few minutes, when Ryan Perkins picked him out with an accurate cross, but Vipond put his header just wide of the post.
On 37 minutes, Bulwell finally made the break through, that was almost as inevitable as the fact that it would start raining the moment we got out of the car tonight, when Ryan Perkins picked out Alan Jeffries with a right wing cross and the Bulls centre forwards goalbound shot, took a deflection on its way into the back of the net.
HT - Bulwell 1 v Keyworth United 0
Cup holders Bulwell came out after the break, intent on turning their dominance into goals.
Straight from the restart, Ryan Perkins and Scott Litchfield combined well on the edge of the Keyworth box, but Ryan Jenkins turned the ball away at the expense of a corner.
Jamie Walker headed wide from Mark Vipond's corner as the Bulls turned the screw and turned the heat up on United's already overworked defence.
But then six minutes into the second half, all of Keyworth's defensive graft and last ditch rearguard effort, cam crashing down around their ears and Bulwell went in for the kill.
Jamie Walker took two touches of the ball inside the United area, picked his spot and drilled the ball past Ryan Jennings.
At two nil down, Keyworth had no choice but to commit more men forward, so Jamie Moore passed the ball from his own half into the space that Mark Vipond was attacking and moments later, it was three-nil.
Pat Jennings, never mind Ryan Jennings, couldn't have kept Bulwell at bay tonight, though in his defence, the big Irishman could've used his age as an excuse.
The rest of the game, was all about damage limitation for Keyworth, as both sides chopped and changed and  made a couple of substitutions apiece.
Ryan Jennings miserable night was compounded, when he mistimed a tackle 30 yards from his goal line to present Ryan Perkins with a simple tap in goal, three minutes from time. Perkins deserved a cup final goal to his name, after what was to my mind a man of the match performance tonight. But Jennings really shouldn't have been left so exposed that he was defending the last third on his own.
So Bulwell signed off from the Notts Senior League in style and they now move on to a new chapter. 
I'm sure nobody will be underestimating the new kids on the block in the CMFL South next season, while Bulwell will be relishing the prospect of making an impact at a higher level.
Their combination of hard graft, quality team work and passing, combined with the fact they've got a decent core of good footballers who can actually play a bit ,whilst harnessing their ability, flicks and tricks, for the good of the team, rather than being solo performers, bodes well ... and they've got a lot to offer the CMFL next season. 
It will be interesting to see, in return, what kind of challenge the CMFL can offer them in return.
I'm not sure which cup it is on the programme cover,
but this is the silverware that Bulwell won tonight.