Cougars RoundUp


Buntingford Cougars Under 10s Blues continued their fine form with an outstanding game against Sawbridgeworth. On a chilly day George Brownless in goal kept control of his area whenever called upon which was quite rare due to the strong defensive performances from Sam Miles and Sam Maley. The midfield was dominated by Ollie Baker, Stan Gurney and man of match Ben Maley which enabled Fred Bentley to terrorise the Sawbo defence. The first real chance came when a great move involving Sam Miles, Olly Baker and Stan Gurney was nearly finished by the diving Fred Bentley whose lunge was whiskers away.
The deadlock was broken on fifteen minutes after some great skill by Gurney on the touch line which enabled him to drill in a cross which was headed home by Ben Maley.
In retaliation Sawbridgeworth had a rare shot which Brownless tipped into the post but it just crossed the line to equalize. Manager Danny Miles then introduced Jake Craddock who made a real difference and Cougars dominated the rest of the encounter. Baker and Bentley both went close with the former hitting the bar. Finally with two minutes remaining a defense splitting ball from Gurney found Ben Maley one on one with the keeper and he buried his shot into the bottom corner to seal a wonderful Cougars victory.

At The Bury Cougars Under10’s Whites were in cup action and went out in the quarter final to the technically impressive Whitethorn Wanderers.

Cougars Under11’s Whites travelled to Ashwell and went down two – one thanks mainly to the home side’s guardian who saved well from Casey Heenan and Josh Neylolur on several occasions. Cougars goal came courtesy of some fantastic individual skill from Tom Carter who finished with a low shot from the edge of the area. Cougars man of the match was Jimmy Brown and the passing and defensive performance of Luke Goodchild was impressive.

Buntingford’s Under12’s had a great result at home to top of the table St Davids with a 5-2 victory and in the under eights section Wesley Cook’s Blues had a great result and the Whites managed a goalless draw.


Cougars RoundUp

On Sunday Buntingford Cougars Under15’s entertained Broxborne the league leaders in the Mid Herts Premier Division. Chris Adams’ boys knew that it was a pivotal match; a win would take Cougars level on points at the top with their visitors whilst a defeat would virtually hand Broxbourne the championship. So on a perfect day at the Bury the home side did not need much more incentive.
Cougars started brilliantly and were on the front foot from the first whistle, and were ahead on 3 minutes. Archie Rhodes worked space in the box on the right and his cross found Owen Groves who drove into the roof of the net from eight yards. After the opening goal Buntingford continued in the ascendancy with Josh Bradfield making surging runs down the left and both Sid Arnold and Matt Adams were finding space in the middle so it was no surprise when on 12 minutes Adams struck from distance and the block fell to Luke Grarratt, from the edge of the box Garratt shot home leaving the keeper no chance to double the lead. Broxborne the found their rhythm and started to threaten but James Parkins at the back was in excellent form for the hosts, despite that the visitors got one back on the half hour when Cougars failed to clear their lines and they scored with a neat finish.
The away side started the second half with all guns blazing but Cougars kept their discipline and shape throughout the team. Reece Knapp was a fine example as at right back he gave a real team performance, sacrificing some of his attacking intent to provide a solid back line. The game then swung both ways and Broxborne had a good long throw routine and 15 minutes into the half one was well flicked on and found an unmarked forward ready to head home an equalizer.
With twenty minutes to go Buntingford started to regain and keep possession and started to threaten more. Bradfield was working the left flank to good effect and it was his influence that created the games fifth goal and Cougars’ winner when he controlled the ball out of the sky beat his man and played a defence splitting pass between the centre backs. The on running Rhodes controlled the pass, got the ball out of his feet and lobbed the Broxbourne guardian from twenty five yards. The final fifteen minutes saw Matt Share dropping in at full back which reflected well what the side were prepared to do all over the pitch and a disciplined, passionate performance from Cougars saw them run out deserved victors. It is now down to the two final matches for both teams to decide the title, both are on identical points so with Broxbourne’s far superior goal difference Cougars are relying on their rivals dropping points.
After the match a delighted Chris Adams told BBC’s Match of The Day “Broxborne are a quality outfit, after the game their manager congratulated our players on their performance, he is a true Gent. Today we played as a team, with spirit and at the right times found the quality to go on and win the game. Everyone did fantastic today but special mentions to Josh Bradfield who was superb, and if you have a striker who can create and finish you always have a chance and that boy for us is Archie Rhodes.”


In the Under10 section Buntingford Cougars Blues continued their fine on a sunny, blustery day at Biggleswade. They played with their now normal high standards, passing th ball around the field with every player owning their position to keep control of play. Stout defending from both Sam Maley and Sam Miles enabled the midfield to play with lots of energy. In the centre of the park Ben Maley and Oliver Baker worked tirelessly in defending and attacking. Going forward Buntongford’s trio of Dexter Cumberland, Ethan Vater and Freddie Bentley probed and troubled the Biggleswade defence. When Biggleswade did get a shot on target Tom Betley did a great job in goal and looked very assured being beaten only by an extremely well taken goal. At the other end Cougars enjoyed emphatic strikes from Dexter Cumberland and Ethan Vater.
Meanwhile Cougars U10 Whites also at Biggleswade United went into their game on their longest unbeaten run of the season and their confidence was evident from the start. A match blade in breezy conditions on a dry pitch meant getting the ball on the ground and passing was the key to the game and playing into the wind in the first half the Whites were troubling the United defence with Rocco Douglas playing upfront alongside Thomas Norris. Early chances fell to Norris who shot past the post and then a few goal mouth scrambles came to nothing. United using the wind to their advantage did create come chances but in general these were contained by Tom Betley in goal, alongside Jack Hedge and Will Greathead in defence. Greathead was at the back for the first time and looked very assured in this position, making some good tackles and clearances. Against the run of play a speculative clearance led to a goal for United to open the scoring but it was not long before Ben Perryman following a good pass from Jamiu Ajasa hit a well struck shot from a tight angle on the right of the goal to equalise. Moments before the half time whistle a Noah Gibson close range effort was well saved. The second half started with some changes, Jake Craddock on the left was repeatedly making good progress down the wing and the Whites were putting United under pressure. After some persistent play on the right involving Ajasa and Norris, Gibson rifled home from close range and delighted the crowd with a flamboyant goal celebration as well. In the closing stages United started created half chances but good defending especially from Greathead meant at the final whistle Whites had maintained their great run of form. Man of the match went to Will Greathead recognizing the manner in which he adapted to his new defensive role with Richard Bentley commenting to BT Sport pundit Micheal Owen after the game said that “Will Greathead’s dominant performance has created a benchmark and will put pressure on the other players but it’s a nice problem to have.”

Sean Currans Under16’s Blues beat Bishop Stortford Swifts one nil at The Bury in their final league match to go top of the first division but await the remaining matches from two league rivals to decide if they finish champions.

Elsewhere for Cougars the Under6’s played their first match at The Bury against a formidable Newhall from Harlow but despite the awful conditions both teams enjoyed their fun friendly. Cougars’ Under9’s played out an even encounter with Bedwell Rangers and Buntingford’s Under11’s went down three nil at home to Bishop Stortford.



Buntingford Cougars’ Under15’s hosted Harlow in the Mid Herts league cup quarter final at The Bury on Sunday. Both sides did well to put on a great spectacle in front of a large crowd despite atrociously wet and windy conditions.

Cougars, playing with the wind behind them in the first half started strongly and went close early on with Matty Adams heading narrowly wide Archie Rhodes hitting a post. Luke Garratt and Owen Groves created good opportunities but were unable to convert before the half time whistle sounded for a goal less first half.

Early in the second half it took a good ten minutes for Buntingford to get accustomed to the wind in their faces until they managed to get the ball down. Jay Caine in goal started to cleverly play goal kicks short to Danny Curtis who was always making himself available and allowing Cougars to get up the pitch.

At that point the heavens truly opened and the referee rightly halted play for ten minutes as conditions became unplayable. The game re-started ten minutes later after which the hosts had as much of the play as Harlow, again hitting the post and then having an opportunity hacked off the line. Caine’s handling was immaculate in tough conditions keeping Harlow at bay but the Essex side are a quality outfit and were constantly threatening the home side’s goal and on 70 minutes they headed home after the Buntingford defense were unable to clear a corner. Following the goal Chris Adam’s side threw what they had left at the cause but couldn’t create a good opportunity and with the seconds running out Harlow run in a second goal in the dying seconds of the match.


After the game a drenched but philosophical Cougars Boss Chris Adams (pictured) told Sky Sports News “The boys done well today in difficult conditions. Harlow are a good side and they knew they’d been in a game today. Special mentions for Luke Garratt and Owen Groves who worked tirelessly for us today”.

Buntingford Cougars Under11’s Stripes continued their great run of form as they returned from Ashwell with all three points. Ian Jenkins side went into the half time interval with a wind assisted four goal cushion but there were nervous moments at the end of the match after the home side replied with three and were all out for the equalizer. Cougars defensive team of Ed Green, George Hegarty and Adam Richmond did a sterling job at keeping the hosts down to three in the fierce wind.

Cougars Under11’s Blues scored twice against league leaders FC Comets at Buntingford’s London Road pitch courtesy of Jack Lally and Jack Gurney but it was not enough as Comets went away with a three – two victory. Charlie Fountain earned himself the man of the match award. Buntingford’s Under11’s Whites also played their league leaders as St Neots traveled down the A1M to Buntingford but even after Tom Carter and Casey Heenan scored two goals for Dean Howard’s side it was not enough as St Neots took the three points back to Huntingdonshire.

Elsewhere Tom Curtis’ Under7s had a great morning at The Bury where Goalkeeper TJ Curtis (pictured) took the man of the match accolade away after a great performance and Cougars Under6’s played their second match at Baldock with some great football being played.


Elsewhere Buntingford’s Under12’s won away at Royston town whilst in the Under13’s both Cougars teams drew one each;  Richard Thorpe’s Blues shared the spoils at second placed Shefford and the Whites left with the single point from Bassingbourn. In the Under16’s Sean Curran’s Buntingford Blues had a great result away to Sawbridgeworth winning four two as they just stay in touch with the leaders with one match to play for both teams.


U7s MOM Mar15

On a fresh Sunday morning at The Bury Buntingford Cougars Under10’s Blues played with attacking intent from the kick off. George Brownless; Cougars’ guardian was hardly required in the game and when called to action did so perfectly. The defensive pairing of Sam Miles and Sam Maley held strong and let the midfield of Stan Gurney, Ben Maley and Oliver Baker control the game with high work rates and quality passing of the ball. Dexter Cumberland up front chased hard latching onto some great through ball passes. Cougars had lots of shots on goal, the difference this time between other games was that the hosts made the most of their chances. Left footer Gurney scored two high quality goals from distance over the visitor’s keeper to compliment a stunning Baker effort as he slotted home. Further great team work led to another goal for the home side when a move was finished off well with a fine strike from Dexter Cumberland, who doubled his tally for the game when he scored again with a well struck long range effort. Maley was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as he had several good efforts on goal including one hitting the cross bar. Cougars star reporter Joshua Maley aged ten was delighted after the match saying “Cougars are definitely ending the year strongly and playing much better as a unit. It would be great if the management duo of Danny Miles and Richard Bentley could keep this going to the end of the season.”

Buntingford Cougars Under10’s Whites seeked to avenge an Arseley defeat earlier in the season and needed to be at their best at The Bury and from the off it looked like they were determined to do well. The early exchanges were played out in midfield with neither goalkeeper being troubled. Jamu Ajassa and Noah Gibson where battling well and along with Fred Bentley were certainly holding their own. The first attacking chance went to Arlesey with a corner followed by another but no shots on goal and good defending by Jack Hedge and Jake Craddock. Cougars were then on the attack winning a corner but again nothing came of it. As the first half drew to a close there was a flurry of activity, firstly a great one handed save by Tom Betley in goal diverting the ball over the bar and then a quick break by Cougars and some fine interplay between Bentley and Douglas who then dribbled his way past the goalkeeper to fire in the first goal, it was as if the ball was stuck to his foot, great goal. A few moments later Douglas and Bentley were involved again resulting in Noah Gibson putting away a great goal. The second half was very similar to the first, Cougars always looked like they were going to get a third but at the other end Arlesey continued to trouble Betley in goal. Harry Leach came off the bench and straight away got himself in the thick of the action and along with Ethan Vater continued to cause trouble for Arlesey going forward. Man of the match was awarded by the TV pundit and England football coach, Gary Neville to Fred Bentley for his tireless running and nonstop enthusiasm regardless of what team he plays for. Neville also added it was a fine all round team performance and he can certainly see Cougars Whites getting stronger as a unit as the season progresses.

Buntingford Cougars Under11’s had a good weekend with the Blues comfortably beating Bedwell Rangers at London Road with five goals to no reply. The Blues leading scorer Jack Gurney with a double strike notched his sixteenth and seventeenth goals of the season to compliment goals from Lily Hall and Charlie Fountain. It was not all plain sailing though as in the Cougars goal Sam Daly worked hard to keep a clean sheet and earned himself the man of the match award.

Cougars Under11’s Whites travelled to Bishop Stortford and beat their Wanderers in a tight game. Casey Heenan with a brace took his season’s goal tally to seventeen and it was enough to secure the three points with a two – one victory.

Cougars Under11’s Stripes led by Ian Jenkins went three games unbeaten as they returned from Bassingbourn with all three points. Stripes top scorer Yann Boulter notched his fourteenth of the season along with Tom Ryman who scored his first league goal. The ever improving Adam Richmond won the man of the match award for the third time this season.

Cougars Under15’s hosted Hemel with a squad after some injuries. Chris Adams’ home side started well; getting hold of the ball and putting some good service into Archie Rhodes and Josh Bradfield. Matt Inman looked in supreme form and was creating openings before Buntingford scored on twenty five minutes when Matt Adams won the ball in the centre and played a through ball to Rhodes who was bundled over. From the resulting Sid Arnold free kick the ball dropped to the quick footed Inman who jinked and shot forcing a great stop from the keeper, unluckily for him it fell to the feet of Arnold who drove it home one. Both sides had no more than half chances for the remainder of the half. In the second half the hosts started on the front foot again and really took the game to Hemel, Inman and Groves both had shots well held by the Hemel stopper. Then five minutes into the half Adams picked the ball up on the half way line and drove at Hemel beating 4 players on a mazy run before playing in Rhodes, who adjusted his body and chipped the onrushing keeper with super skill to double the lead. Soon after Adams had a header excellently tipped over from Arnold’s free kick and James Parkins header was blocked well from a Liam Smith corner. Mid way through the half Cougars tired a little and Hemel capitalised on this, twice creating chances but found Jay Caine out sharply to block. With ten minutes left Hemel got one back as Cougars failed to clear and a smart finish flew into the corner. The hosts then knuckled down and with Josh Bradfield operating as a lone striker keeping the ball deep into Hemel’s half for the final few minutes Cougars ran out two win victors. After the match Gaffer Chris Adams told Sky Sports “That’s three in three in the league and although today probably wasn’t one of our most polished performance no side in this division will roll over and Hemel once again proved tough opposition. A few of the lads felt their own performance were a little below par, and they may be right, but that said they should take nothing away the shift and commitment they put in. And when it mattered most we found enough quality to deservedly take the points. Special mentions today to Matty Inman a joy to watch play football, talent on the ball tenacity off it and James Parkins held us together at the back when we needed it.”

U7s MOM Mar15

Elsewhere at the weekend Cougars Under6’s played their second match in their Cougars careers and had a great time at Fairlands Youth FC. Cougars Under 7’s did well at home to Shefford Saints with Dempsey Crace and Ben Lewis (pictured) getting man of the match awards. Buntingford’s Under8’s had two great matches with Stevenage Boro Juniors. Cougars Under12’s had a rare goalless draw at Hitchin whereas in the under thirteen section Cougars Blues won 8-1 at Baldock and Cougars Whites comfortably won at Stevenage Boro. Cougars Under16’s Blues also had a comfortable victory at The Bury against Hertford Town whilst Cougars Under16’s Whites went down by the odd goal in five at Knebworth.

Cougars Semi Final Win . . . And the Weekend Round Up

U7s MoM

Buntingford Cougars Under16’s Blues were up for the cup on Sunday in the league cup semi final at The Bury as they sent Letchworth packing with a one-nil victory. Manager Sean Curran after the match told the BBC’s Robbie Savage “I am very proud of all of the boy’s performances today, they were simply brilliant. They trusted themselves and their teammates, they had 100% belief and a can do attitude and that’s what got them into the final. I feel very proud and honoured to manage this side.”


Also at The Bury Cougars Under7’s Stripes and Royals entertained the crowds on a bright but cold morning as they hosted Stevenage Boro Juniors. Cougars dominated their match with Luke Ross having a good early effort on goal going close but it was Jamie Coote who notched the first goal before Ross finally got the goal he deserved. Soon after Coote made it three with a long range effort before Ross got in on the double act with his second too. In the second half Coote scored a third from a mis-kick before Ollie Curran went close with a great free kick effort from outside the penalty area that the Boro keeper did well to save. Luke Ross then got another for his hat-trick before watching team mate Jamie Coote scoring his fourth. Man of the match for the Royals was Luke Ross and for the Stripes was Ronan Maguire (pictured with Manager Tom Curtis). After the match Cougars Manager Tom Curtis told BT Sports “I was really proud of the players today – they all played really well”.

U7s MoM


Buntingford Cougars Under8’s are playing well at the moment and continued to progress on Saturday at The Bury. Local but friendly rivals Hormead Hares were the hosts and both teams had a great morning of football. Man of match for Cougars in the first game was Blue Salmon and in the second match Alfie Bester took the honours. Buntingford’s Under8’s Manager Wesley Cook said after the match “We always enjoy playing Hormead – they are a great bunch of parents and kids and we always have a close match.”

Cougars Under9’s Blues conceded early at home to Bedwell Rangers but the team came back well and enjoyed seeing goals from the prolific Finlay Walker and Joseph McKinley. Cougars Under9’s Whites also come from behind thanks to a fantastic finish from Ben Hume who chipped the goal-keeper. Buntingford’s Under9’s are having a great season with the Blues being unbeaten in fifteen games and the Whites being undefeated now in the last three games.

Cougars Under 10’s Blues ran out against Morden Magpies in wintry weather at The Bury but still played some great attacking football. With the team now passing the ball around they are finding space, putting together some good moves and enjoying the benefits of great off the ball movement all over the pitch. The first 10 minutes was very even when Cougars conceded an own goal from a corner. In the second half Cougars were in control and were threatening yet continuously but could not convert the chances with the visitors keeper making a couple of good saves from both short and long range options from Cougars. Buntingford dominated possession towards the end of the second half and had several shots on goal with Dexter Cumberland and Stan Gurney going close but just couldn’t get the ball over the line. After the game on the spot reporter Josh Maley said “Although The some of the players were left frustrated at the final whistle, the spectators were left feeling that if the team keep playing at this standard their time will come and the side will have a good run of games and hopefully end the season on a high note.”

Cougars Under10’s Whites had a great Mother’s day turn out on Sunday but a cold chill as well and the distraction made for a scrappy start against Morden. Both teams defensive players were on top with Jack Hedge and Sam Miles strong in defence for Cougars stopping the attacks before the away team got close to goal. The first real chance of the match fell to Cougars following a good pass by Thomas Norris that put Jamiu Ajassa through but he could not capitalise. A few moments later Cougars won a corner which was taken by Ajassa that went straight in deflected off a Morden player to put Cougars one up. After the goal it was one way traffic with shots raining down on the Magpies goal. Chances fell to Norris, Ben Perryman, Dexter Cumberland, Jake Craddock and Noah Gibson but the Magpies keeper was having a great game and held on until half time. After the break the large home crowd saw Magpies got a goal back which worried Whites manager Richard Bentley but his direction encouraged a good move with Gibson making a great run and a great pass to Ben Perrymen who rifled home for the Cougars second goal. Tom Betley in goal had not been too troubled for most of the match but had to make a defining clearance to an on rushing attacker as the initiative shifted to Magpies. The hosts midfield though became more engaged in supporting the defence and with some determined battling by Ajassa and Hedge Cougars kept the visitors at bay. On the break some fantastic first time shots from Jake Craddock nearly earned Cougars another goal but it was not to be. A succession of corners for Magpies passed without really troubling the goal but it did mean a few nervous minutes before the whistle went for the end of the game and Cougars players and their Mums could celebrate the win. The post match interviews were conducted in good spirits by both management and players and a well deserved man of the match was awarded by Manager Richard Bentley to Jake Craddock for his great shots on goal from all angles.

In the Under11’s section it was only Ian Jenkins Stripes called into action and they put on a season defining performance. Their opponents, St Neots traveled down the A1 leading the table and feeling confident after a convincing victory in the reverse fixture a few weeks ago as the Saints won eleven – one. However Cougars have progressed over the last few weeks and after their first victory last week felt that they could get something from todays match. It seemed like every player had a belief in themselves and with the likes of George Hegarty, Josh Lucas and Ciaran Jenkins in good form Buntingford were equal opponents to the visitors. Tom Ryman was lively as was Yann Boulter. After a goalless first half the Saints scored after a good move before Cougars Stripes top scorer Boulter deservedly equalized. After the game Cougars Under11’s Age Group Manager Richard Daly said “Our Under11s Stripes were a new team at the start of the season and have taken some time to find their feet but today I think this was the performance of the season, every player gave everything and done so well.”


Cougars Under14’s have enjoyed a bit of a resurgence but still went down to Sawbridgeworth at home on Sunday despite Nate Ridgewell converting a late penalty. Lewis Horan was awarded man of the match.

Buntingford’s Under15’s travelled to Welwyn Pegasus in a crucial second v third clash, with both sides having an identical league record. Cougars lost the home fixture three – two earlier in the season and it was the hosts who started brightly having the upper hand in the opening fifteen minutes. Cougars were conceding possession and giving away careless fouls in dangerous areas but the organisation and aerial abilities of Matt Adams and James Parkins kept the home side at bay who were restricted to distance shots that Jay Caine tipped away comfortably. As the first half progressed Archie Rhodes and Josh Bradfield started to create and then on twenty minutes the breakthrough came as Luke Garratt won a duel in the centre of the park split the back four with a super pass and Rhodes ran through to slot home. Five minutes later Groves beat his man on the right and played the ball into the box to Rhodes who turned and set up Garratt who crashed home from 12yards to give Cougars a two nil half time lead. The second half was played at a frenetic pace. Buntingford did well to keep their shape and discipline but eventually Pegasus pulled a goal back with twenty minutes to go. Both sides had chances to score again but the final whistle blew for a two one away victory for Cougars. Buntingford’s Gaffer told TalkSport radio after the match “Today was an excellent match, both sides played it in a fantastically competitive spirit. We combined some brilliant football along with some dogged determination and desire and the boys reward was three well deserved points. Special mention today to our guardian Jay Caine, assured throughout, some good saves and one out of the top drawer to seal the win.”

No reports for Buntingford Cougars Under7’s Blues & Whites, Under 12’s, Under13’s Blues.


Cougars Easter Soccer School


Buntingford Cougars Easter Soccer School

  Cougars’ soccer schools welcome boys & girls 4-12 years old regardless of ability or experience to have fun in a safe environment.

 All coaches are FA qualified with 1st aid training and are CRB checked

The soccer school is Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th April 9.30am to 2.30pm

 At The Bury, London Rd, Buntingford SG9 9HZ

 Cougars members booked in advance pay only £12 / day

Non Cougars booked in advance pay £15 / day

All bookings after 7pm the day before – pay £20 / day (sorry no exceptions)

 Children must wear suitable footwear – football boots if wet, trainers if dry & (ideally) shin pads.

Children must bring a packed lunch & drink.

Any qestions call Richard 07944 237400


Cougars 6s Do Us Proud


A new generation of budding footballers had their first taste of match days on Saturday as Cougars 6’s traveled to Elsenham for a training game. With the sun shining and a gentle breeze it was a great introduction to mini soccer for both parents and players. With two games running simultaneously there was plenty of training time for all players to learn and have fun.

One game saw Cougars start strong with goals from a few goals and Aaron Nash getting on the scoresheet. Elsenham didn’t give up and came on strong in an end to end game. Both goalkeepers played a big part in the game and the hosts pulled back a brace of goals in a close fair played contest.

The other game was a nervy affair end to end with both goalkeepers once again playing a big part, then with the breeze against them Cougars broke from their own half to see Oscar Allen score the first goal. Cougars then woke up and futher counter attacks saw Allen score two more.

Elsenham battled hard and scored a fine team goal to try to get back into the game. The last ten minutes looked great fun for both teams with both parents and players alike enjoying the occasion, the scoring was finished by Allen again this time from the penalty spot to end a fun mornings football for all.

Proud parents and coaches traveled home happy to see all the cold winters training has payed off.

After the game Cougars 6s Manager Phil Allen said “Big thanks to Elsenham for having us to train with them” Cougars Chairman Richard Daly said “We see it as a real milestone when the youngsters play their first game, it’s the start of their football journey. Our Coaches Phil Allen, Emma Hawthorne, Craig Ivison and Scott Nash have done a great job,”




Buntingford Cougars Under7s were a real credit to their club on Saturday as they played out two fantastic fun games against Stevenage based Austen Arrowheads. It was Cougars Royals who played first and Tom Curtis’ side came from behind twice at The Bury with goals from Alfie Vottariello and a double strike from Jonny Rofe to end up with with honours even. Buntingford’s Under7s Stripes then played with Tyler Jordan (pictured) playing in goal and went one up courtesy of a great strike into the roof of the net from Henry Turner who went onto score a total of four goals in a seven goal thriller and a match that was a great advert for grassroots youth football. The man of the match accolades went to Jonny Rofe and Alfie Votariello.


In the Under9’s section Cougars Blues thanked Fred Arnold for opening the scoring with a penalty and then enjoyed a Joseph McKinley Header from a Billy Pullen corner for two great goals in a fantastic all-round team performance at home to Shefford Saints. Cougars Under9’s Whites then enjoyed an even encounter with Shefford following storming performances from Harriet Ware, Paddy Mitchell and goalkeeper Oscar Kennedy.

For Cougars Under10’s Sunday saw a lively start against Stevenage Boro Juniors. George Brownless stepped in for Tom Betley in goal with Jack Hedge, Jammiu Ajasa and Rocco Douglas keeping Buntingford’s defence solid and Will Greathead, Thomas Norris and Ben Perryman covering the rest of the pitch. Just before half time Brownless made a terrific save and Norris saw a shot just go wide. The first half ended goal-less and the second half opened with a couple of strikes by Perryman and Douglas that were saved by the Boro guardian. Eventually Perryman outwitted the visitors stopper and scored. Soon after Dexter Cumberland came on and scored Cougars second goal of the match in what was a satisfying game for Guv’nor Danny Miles. Man of the match went to Ben Perryman for a great display. Cougars Under10’s Whites Manager Richard Bentley saw his side earn a good draw in an entertaining contest. Man of the match Ethan Vater played well and topped off his performance with a fantastic goal from an overhead kick.

Cougars Under11 Stripes put in the performance of the day as Ian Jenkins side travelled to Bishops Stortford and enjoyed a long overdue win in an exciting contest. Freddy Lee (pictured) scored his first Cougars goal to compliment an own goal and strikes from Ciaran Jenkins and Shane Coyne. In the same age group Dean Howard’s Whites came back from Bassingbourn pointless after playing another great game but feeling harshly dealt with after a tight offside decision denied Evan Howard his first Cougars goal in his four year football career. With the goal ruled out Cougars were beaten by three goals to two with Tom Carter and Casey Heenan on the scoresheet and Josh Aneylour man of the match. Darryl Dean’s Cougars Under11’s Blues fancied their chances at home to Sawbridgeworth but were beaten by a single goal in a physical encounter at London Road in which Joe Sharpe went away as man of the match.


Buntingford’s Under14’ put in their best display of the season but narrowly lost two-nil away at Bedwell Irons with Jacob Dear producing some outstanding saves and Man of the match going to Alistair Tait.

Cougars Under15’s continued their fine form in the Mid Herts Premier Division as they traveled to Knebworth for their first fixture in a month and with a full squad although a few were nursing some illness. The home side dominated possession in the early stages on a bumpy pitch and it took Buntingford a while to get going. Although Knebworth were dominating possession Buntingford’s defensive shape kept the game scoreless. Midway through the first half Cougars started to get a grip on the game and Liam Smith, Matt Share and Archie Rhodes all got shots off although with not enough power to really trouble the home keeper. With the pitch making it tricky to play the passing football that Chris Adams’ side is known for they had to adjust their style and that enabled Owen Groves and Rhodes to start pegging back the Knebworth defensive line. With half time rapidly approaching the visitors scored the only goal of the match when a corner was swung into the near post by Liam Smith where Min Lankester and Rhodes rose highest and it was the latter who claimed the goal. Two minutes later the game saw the move of the match when Rhodes won the ball and fed Josh Bradfield, who’s return ball beautifully split the centre halves and put Rhodes in on goal clean through and as he was about to pull the trigger the referee blew for half time. The second half was even without any side really threatening the goal and Knebworth’s long balls were being comfortably mopped up by James Parkins and when he was called to play a role Cougars keeper Jay Caine was a safe pair of hands. In the final minutes Knebworth predictably threw everything at Chris Adam’s side but with the likes of Matt Inman putting in some strong tackles Cougars enjoyed the spoils at the final whistle. After the game Cougars Under15’s Manager told BBC’s Gary Lineker “We punch above our weight in this league because we are prepared to work, fight, and strive to improve and when you do that results like today are possible. Special mentions to Min Lankester and James Parkins who both as centre halves were solid, reliable and provided a clean sheet that won us the game. That said I was delighted with all fifteen of the boys for their effort and commitment today.”

Elsewhere for Cougars the Under12’s won by the odd goal in five at Stortford whereas the Under13’s Blues in division one shared the spoils in an eight goal thriller and the Under13’s Whites easily beat Stevenage Boro six goals to one. In the under16’s section Cougars Blues lost out in the top of the division one clash away at Hitchin by four goals to two whilst the Under 16’s Whites played what was described by boss Peter Briffett as one of their best performances of the season as they earned a one all draw with Stotfold at The Bury.