Published 13th May 2012
.....the FA Carlsberg Vase at Wembley on Sunday.
The striker took his tally of goals in the competition this season to fourteen by hitting the net in each half in the all-STL Northern League final.
There were few chances during a tense first 45 minutes. The team were evenly-matched which was no surprise give that the teams finished second and third in the First Division.
Furthermore, in their four meetings in league and cup this season, each team won one game. Bulford put his side ahead on 32 minutes, latching on to Stephen Goddard’s flick-on and executing a lob over advancing keeper Mark Bell.
By that stage Dunston had already been denied an opening goal thanks to a linesman flagging for offside.
West pushed forward after the break, pinning the Tynesiders back for lengthy periods.
They also had a goal ruled out for offside when Mattie Moffat, playing with a protective face mask, poked home, but, unperturbed, Peter Dixon’s side continued to push.
Right-winger Stuart Banks was a particular threat. More than once he carved open Dunston and after one mazy dribble Mark Hudson was played in by substitute Martin Young, but just as he was about to pull the trigger Ben Cattanach got a foot in.
Cattanach did the same on Hudson soon after and soon West began to tire.
Dunston twice hit the crossbar in quick succession, through Bulford and Goddard, before came the match-clinching second goal.
Bulford made the most of a defensive hesitancy to nip between two West players and fire past Bell.
His goals today meant he created history by becoming the first player in Vase history to net in every tie of the competition.
But, more importantly, they handed Dunston the silverware on what was a magnificent occasion for the Northern League.
It was the first time since the 1954 FA Amateur Cup final, when Crook Town played Bishop Auckland, had two North-East teams contested a Wembley final – but sadly only 5,126 turned up to watch.