Buntingford Cougars took part in the Herts FA FUSTAL Festival heats today for Under12s with clubs from Bishop Storford (BS Futsal) , Letchworth (Fast Feet Academy) and Hitchin (Elite Soccer School). Our Cougars U12’s (in Stripes) enjoyed some good games but the plaudits went to our Under11’s (in blue) who topped their group with three wins in three games to see them qualify for the finals in April. Well done to Danny Miles and the boys. One thing we have learned is that FUTSAL is a format the players loved and will support player development so we will explore ways of getting more players involved in future.
Buntingford’s Under12’s Blues went top of their table on Sunday with a convincing three nil victory over bottom side Fairlands Blues. In cold wet, windy conditions at London Road Cougars started brightly and continued throughout the first half to fire efforts at the visitor’s goal but were mostly off target from Jack Gurney, Charlie Fountain, Jack Lally and Jimmy Brown. A goalless first half gave Fairlands some hope and they started well in the second half and should have gone ahead when Cougars Skipper Jake Vottariello brought down a tricky Fairlands striker in the box. The ensuing penalty however was struck wide of Sam Daly’s goal. With Fairlands starting to tire Cougars stepped up a gear and Brogan Fakhfakh found Gurney with a stunning through ball. The Cougars top scorer made no mistake in a one on one with the visitors’ keeper to warm the supporting home side’s parents. Gurney added two more goals to notch his second hat trick in two consecutive matches for the prolific goal machine.
In the mini soccer section Cougars Under8’s Whites (pictured) played an epic match at Stortford. William Brown scored early on but his effort was cancelled out by the home side. In the second half Harry Norris scored his first ever Cougars goal. The game looked to be heading for a draw until in the last minute T.J. Curtis struck a sweet shot from outside the penalty area that flew into the back of the net, his performance earned him the man of the match award. After the match Cougars Under8’s Whites Boss Tom Curtis told BBC’s 5Live show “I was overwhelmed with the players’ performances today. I am a very proud Cougars Manager.”
Buntingford Cougars Under8’s blues played Stevenage Boro at the Valleys in Stevenage on Saturday. Shortly after the start of the game play was stopped due to adverse weather conditions but when play restarted Cougars guardian Lui Lo Conte became unwell so Fraser Finlay deputised in goal. Soon after the forced change some great Cougars play put Rylee Kitteringham through on goal and he slotted home to put Cougars in the lead, Kitteringham doubled his tally a few minutes later with a stunning left foot strike. Dan Fone notched a goal scored to put Cougars further ahead before Oscar Kay slotted one in for the team and then fired a great free kick into the top corner of the goal. In the second half Kitterigham went in goal and made some good decisions before the home side pulled one back. Towards the end of the match Cougars had numerous chances and then Fraser Findlay scored a deflected goal. After the match Luke Fone told BT Sports “I’m very proud of the players, it was a great team effort today”.
Cougars Under9’s Blues travelled to The Baldock Arena to play Stotfold Gold on Saturday and enjoyed a closely fought encounter. The ever improving Austin cook opened the scoring followed by a strike from Lal Wennington. The in form James Tungett then got himself on the scoresheet. For an outstanding performance between the sticks Goalkeeper Lucca Hedge was awarded Man of The Match. Cougars Under9’s Whites then faced Stotfold Greys in what was again an evenly matched close game. A Cougars goal came courtesy of an own goal and man of the match was Jake Garner.
Elsewehere for Cougars Martin Stevens Under14’s Blues continue to to give Hitchin some worries as they lie second in the top division following their two – one home win over Stevenage Boro but the Under13’s felt hard done by at Stevenage based St Davids, going down by the odd goal in seven.
BUNTINGFORD COUGARS 5-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT UPDATE
We now have 144 confirmed teams booked, with some age groups now sold out. It’s quick and easy to book online here . For dates see the age group updates below.
If you have not come before check out last year’s press release and feedback from visiting clubs here
To view FAQ’s and tournament rules click here , remember this year for Under7s, 8s and 9s we have a knockout cup and a trophy event, this gives more players and less advanced teams the chance to experience a knockout competition.
When age groups are full then tables and fixtures will soon appear online here so you will know who you are up against and fixture times well in advance.
Any questions please email email@example.com or text / call 07496 550144.
Here’s the Update on Age groups
Under 6s – Ten teams booked; Austen Arrowheads, Lea Sports, Newhall Rangers, Elsenham, Buntingford Cougars. Fourteen places remain. PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO THOSE IN YOUR CLUB RUNNING UNDER6’S AS THEY ARE NOT IN LEAGUE DIRECTORIES – THANKS. UNDER 6’S WILL RUN IN AFTERNOON ON ALL FOUR DAYS 4TH, 5TH, 11TH 12TH JUNE.
Under 7s (5th June) – Fifteen teams booked from Ashwell, Bedwell, Buntingford, Comets, Elsenham, Morden, Royston Town, Wixam. Nine places remain.
Under 8s (11th June) – Nineteen teams booked from Broxbourne, Buntingford, Elsenham, Flitwick, Frontiers, Lea Sports, Norsemen, Panshanger, Wheathampstead, Wixam, Five places remain.
Under 9s (12th June) – Twenty two teams booked from Bengeo,
Biggleswade Utd, Buntingford, Elsenham, Hertford Town, Knebworth, Morden, Royston Town, St Margaretsbury, Wheathampstead. Two places remain.
Under 10s (5th June) – Seventeen teams booked from Ampthill, Biggleswade Utd, Buntingford, Elsenham, Hertford Town, High Wych, Morden, Wheathampstead, Wodson Park. One place remains.
Under 11s (11th June) – Thirteen teams booked from Ashwell, Baldock Town, Bedwell, Buntingford, Morden, Sawbridgeworth, Whitethorn, Wormley. Five places remain.
Under 12s (12th June) – Seventeen teams booked from Ashwell, Baldock, Buntingford, Fairlands, Hertford Town, Knebworth, Morden, Shefford, St Ives. One place remains.
Under 13s (4th June) – Seven teams booked from Buntingford Cougars, Sawbridgeworth Town, Wormley, Hares. Five places remain.
Under 14s (4th June) – Twelve teams booked from Ampthill, Ashwell, Bedford United, Buntingford, Southbury. Six places remain.
Under 15s (4th June) – Twelve teams booked from Buntingford, Bury Rangers, Chorleywood Common, Cougars, Elsenham, Fairlands, Royston Town, Sawbridgeworth, Whitwebbs Eagles. SOLD OUT.
Cougars under 7s Royals kicked off against Stevenage Borough Lightning just as the winter sun burned away the morning fog on Saturday. It was a lively start with both sides keen to take the lead. A very spirited Buntingford side created some lovely moves with James Willis who pushed forward and made some chances. Jack Nicholas also worked hard to make space whilst Johnny Nicholas defended well to stop the opposition. Later in the game Kyson Man and Jack Nicholas worked well together in a nice move that saw Nicholas find the back of the net. After the strike James Willis continued to create chances with a number of confident runs down the left had side and he almost found the target but it narrowly missed past the post, Ben Gower also came close following Willis corner. During the second half Henry McAllister frequently made runs through the middle to trouble Stevenage and there was a number of chances for Cougars including a good run by Kyson Man and some neat combination play from Henry McAllister and James Willis. At the back for Buntingford Jack Watkins stood firm in defence and in goal Jake Cole made a number of talented saves. After the game Boss On Man told Sky Sports News ” Cougars Royals today worked really well together and stayed focused to the end.”
Buntingford Cougars Under7’s Stripes travelled to play on the 3G carpet at The Valleys to face Stevenage Boro Thunders. The home side in their traditional red and black started the stronger but were thwarted in their attempts to score early by Tyler Cole in goal who was faultless and Sebbie Ivison who made crucial tackles and played some searching passes toward Thomas Deane and Noah Benton in attack. Gradually Cougars got a foothold in the game with Benton playing some intelligent passes. Coach Craig Ivison introduced Rubi Pryke and Thomas Deane to the fray and Cougars soon had their first shot on target from Benton. At the back Finley (The Rock) Steadman was looking sturdy and Pryke was winning everything. After the interval and some personnel changes a well defended Stevenage Corner saw Deane collect the ball and outrun everyone all the way to Stevenage’s penalty area where he fired low into the net. The triumphant scorer was soon replaced by Ivison to sure things up as Stevenage were once again looking very dangerous. Man of the match went to Rubi Pryke who played his best ever game for Cougars. After the game Coach Craig Ivision told BT Sports “It was an even and enjoyable game where all the players gave their best, it was played in good spirit by both sides.”
Buntingford Cougars U11’s Blues travelled to Baldock for the quarter final of the league cup against Letchworth on Sunday. The hosts got off to a great start by scoring but soon after shots from Dexter Cumberland and Stan Gurney went close before Stan Wennington scored the equaliser. Jack Hedge, Sam Miles, Sam Maley and Rocco Douglas were solid in defence and Freddie Bentley made some strong runs to keep Cougars on the front foot. Cougars conceded again when an unpredictable bounce caught out goalkeeper Ethan Vater but Cougars kept pressing and hit the crossbar, had shots go narrowly wide and then with goals from Olly Baker and Ben Maley bought the score level again. However it was not meant to be for Buntingford as in the dying seconds of the match Letchworth scored the winner.
For Cougars U10s Whites it was a closely fought encounter at Bedwell. The match started lively with Buntingford enjoying lots of possession and a goal for the ever energetic Bear Coates. After pushing for a second Bedwell equalised and it changed the game. Tiredness at the end of the first half then let Bedwell in to score again before Cougars got going again in the second half. Cougars scored again courtesy of a goal by the busy Jacob Robini-Brand. Man of the Match went to Lewie Sullivan on his away debut as he was an absolute rock in defence. Cougars match reporter Michelle Home told BBC’s Gary Lineker “We couldn’t fault any players efforts but special mentions go to Jacob Robini-Brand for another great performance. Isla Eveleigh may also have found a new position on the wing as she was great running with the ball and beating defenders today. “
Cougars under 8 Blues took on Baldock in their first game this year in perfect footballing conditions. The game started well for both teams with inspired goalkeeping from Cougars Lui Lo Conte and a great defensive display from both teams in the early stages to keep the score even. The breakthrough came as a through ball found the ever reliable Rylee Kitteringham who slotted home to put Cougars in front. Within minutes the same player doubled his tally to put Cougars in the lead at half time. The second half saw Baldock score two quick goals to even the score line before Gaffer Luke Fone rallied the troops which saw some great moves before a bullet-like strike from Dan Fone to put Cougars ahead again. Kitteringham scored again to complete his hat trick. It was a great team performance from Cougars with some great opponents. Dan Fone won the man of the match accolade.
Buntingford’s under 12s won their third consecutive match at Wymondley Park. The Hitchin based side went ahead after ten minutes only to be pulled back as George Godfrey slotted home from a tight angle. In the second half Cougars stepped up a gear and on 40 minutes went two – one up courtesy of a screamer from the in form Charlie Fountain. Nathan Anderson then added a third before Jack Lally slotted home with his right foot to make it a flattering four – one score line. Manager Richard Daly said afterwards “It was a good performance overall but particularly pleasing was the way the guys kept patient even when things weren’t going our way”
Page Opens a New Chapter for Cougars Under8’s
Buntingford Cougars Under 8’s Royals started the new year well in driving rain and stunning rainbows (see pic) at Stotfold with goals from Henry Turner and Jessica Page who scored her first Couars goal for Dale Brett’s side. Turner secured a hat trick in just ten first half minutes but the hosts kept battling back and could have got back in the game if it were not for the stoic defending from Jonny Rofe, Aiden Broci and Ronan McGuire. Turner added another two goals in the second half before Stotfold pulled two back then Jessica Page opened up her Cougars account with a cool calm finish set up with a beautiful through ball by Jamie Coote. Beau Lampard in between the sticks pulled off some great saves to keep the hosts at bay. Cougars Guv’nor Dale Brett was happy telling Match of the Day’s Gary Linekar “All round it was a great performance, everyone showed everything they had and enjoyed their football. We cannot ask for more than that”
Cougars Under8’s Stripes travelled to Stotfold for their first match of 2016. Wet and cold conditions didn’t stop the visitors from playing some great football. Beau Quinn troubled the hosts early on, his shot was saved but the rebound was slotted home by William Brown. At the other end Tyler Jordan was making some awesome saves to keep Cougars ahead before Brown doubled his tally and then got his hat trick. Some good solid defensive work from Miles Arnold kept a clean sheet before half time.
The second half began with the home side scoring in the correct goal and then their own and then added another two before the final whistle to make it a very close score line and seven goals. Cougars man of the match was Beau Quinn. Cougars Gaffer Tom Curtis was delighted telling Sky Sports News “It was a bit nail biting at the end but the lads did well enough early on to hold on.”
Cougars Under 9s Blues played away against Sawbridgeworth Panthers and enjoyed a high scoring victory. Skipper Blue Salmon opened the scoring as he netted his first of a brace before Austin Cook, Lal Wennington and James Tungett all netted hat tricks to compliment strikes from Liam Neill and man of the match Mason Pugh. Cougars Under 9s Whites then faced Sawbridgeworth Cougars and put in a great performance to draw one apiece. Oliver Mckinley scored the visitors goal and the man of the match award went to Alfie Bester for a great display of defensive prowess. Under9’s Boss Wes Cook told the BBC’s 5Live Show “Both Cougars teams put in a lot of effort today and deserved their results”
Buntingford’s Under12’s Blues went to Shefford Saints and put in a decent performance to move them third in the table. Leading scorer Jack Gurney scored all three with Saints unable to find the net in a game that Jack Lally earned the man of the match accolade. Manager Richard Daly said “It was a difficult match on a tiny pitch but we made the playing area as big as we would with intelligent play and our patience paid off. We did well.”
Cougars Under 7s enjoyed some fantastic matches at Letchworth with lots of goals and lots of progress. Cougars Manager Phil Allen said “It was a great days football that put lots of smiles on faces of players and parents from both sides.”
The 2016 Buntingford Cougars Youth FC 5 a side tournament will take place over two weekends on 4th / 5th and 11th / 12th June.
Our tournament is sanctioned by the Hertfordshire FA and is one of the most popular in the East of England. Places are sold out in some age groups as early as February so early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.
Teams book early to return every year for these reasons . . . . friendly and welcoming atmosphere, tournament results and tables updated online in real time, trophies for winners and runners up, a cup / trophy (to keep) for winning teams, FA qualified referees, a clubhouse with licensed bar, BBQ, fresh baguettes, ice creams, sweets, bouncy castle, stalls, free car parking, simple rules, a quick and simple online booking process.
In 2016 our tournament will host the following ages and formats (age groups as per 2015/16 season):
Under 6’s festival with every player receiving a medal. The Under6’s festival will take place on each afternoon 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th. There will be at least five teams in a group so every team will play at least 4 x 10 minute matches. There are no scores recorded or tables published.
Under 7’s to Under 9’s will be a tournament format with every team playing at least five group matches. The 1st & 2nd placed teams will go through to a knockout cup and the 3rd / 4th placed teams go through to a knockout trophy event.
Under 10’s to Under 15’s will play a tournament format with the best eight sides going through to a knockout cup competition.
Age groups and dates are as follows:
Saturday 4th June from 9.30am: Under 13’s, 14’s and 15’s (plus Under 6’s in the afternoon).
Sunday 5th June from 9.30am: Under7’s and 10’s (plus Under 6’s in the afternoon).
Saturday 11th June from 9.30am: Under 8’s and 11’s (plus Under 6’s in the afternoon).
Sunday 12th June from 9.30am: Under9’s and 12’s (plus Under 6’s in the afternoon).
All bookings for our tournament are confirmed and paid for online, booking fees do apply.
Maximum squad size per team is 8.
Entries are STRICTLY 1st come 1st served with confirmed online payment.
Earlybird Offer before 1st April: 1-2 teams £35 each team. 3+ teams £30 each team.
From 1st April: 1-2 teams £40 each team. 3+ teams £35 each.
To book your team please click on this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/buntingford-cougars-5-a-side-tournament-2016-registration-20419261561
FOUNTAIN SPOUTS STYLE
Despite the rainclouds doing their best Buntingford Cougars teams managed to get some games in before the Christmas break.
Buntingford Cougars Under12’s had a good morning as The Blues team (pictured) beat Stevenage based Bedwell Rangers in an exciting encounter at London Road. A goal-less first half was a surprising score line after both teams played good football in difficult conditions. Buntingford’s man of the match Nathan Anderson dictated proceedings in midfield and created chances for Josh Ridings, George Godfrey and Jack Lally who were unable to convert. At the other end the visitors could have scored if it were not for Sam Daly making some great stops including one near post effort that he stopped with this feet. In the second half Cougars started to look the better side and Charlie Fountain stepped up a gear and created havoc in the Bedwell defence in a fifteen minute period that saw his create four chances, with one well saved, another narrowly missing and one hitting the woodwork before he got his just reward and scoring on 45 minutes. The final ten minutes saw Gaffer Darryl Dean shore up his defence and midfield and try to hit the visitors on the counter which turned out to be a successful ploy as Buntingford collected all three points.
Cougars Under12’s Whites put in what Boss Dean Howard described as their best shift of the season and earned a draw against a strong Baldock side. Cougars were by far the better side in the first half and scored two goals courtesy of pocket – sized duo Tom Carter and Yann Boulter but Baldock showed their potential as they forced a couple of good saves. In the second half the visitors stepped up a gear and scored twice to equalise as the game ended in a fair two – two result.
Buntingford’s Under9’s Blues played at home against Bedwell Panthers and enjoyed a goal glut with James Tungett (five), Austin Cook and Lal Wennington (two each) and Blue Salmon (one) were all on the score sheet. Man of the match was Lal Wennington.
Cougars Under 9’s Whites also played at home against Letchworth Gold where all players played really well and had lots of chances but just couldn’t get the ball in the net!! Man of the match was awarded to Luke Dunkerley.
Cougars Under11’s Whites Guvnor Ross Craddock described his side’s performance at Stevenage Boro as “one of the best I have seen for a long time with through balls, skills, passing under pressure and a goal with the last kick of the match”.
Buntingford’s Under7s Manager Phil Allen had similar sentiments for the Under7’s Blues and Whites describing their display as “probably your best footballing performance to date”.
Not to be outdone in wet and very muddy conditions Buntingford U11’s Blues travelled to Baldock to play out a hugely tough but entertaining game which Cougars edged by one goal in a nine goal thriller. Great strikes from Freddie Bentley, Ollie Baker, Stan Wennington were complimented by the winner courtesy of Ben Maley. Stan Gurney, Samuel Miles, Jack Hedge and Sam Maley all battled non-stop for Cougars with Rocco Douglas and Dexter Cumberland providing some super runs and crosses. Ethan Vater in goal for Cougars made some heroic saves in the mud to keep his side in it. As Baldock pressed for an equaliser Cougars could have had two more goals with Wennington skimming the post and Ben Maley coming close for his second . Man of the Match for all his tireless running and effort was Dexter Cumberland.
Elsewhere Paul Skinner’s Under13’s went down five-one at Letchworth whilst Buntingford’s Under14’s Whites beat the same club two – nil at home. Cougars Under14’s Stripes put in a great performance but were unlucky to lose four-two at home to FC Comets. Cougars’ top Under14’s side continued their pressure on league leaders Hitchin as they travelled away to dispatch Letchworth three – two.
WENNINGTON BOOTS FOR GOALS
Buntingford Cougars U11’s Blues were at home in the first round of the league cup against Symonds Green on a cold and blustery morning in what was described as a great match from both sets of supporters and Coaches. It was a tough game for Cougars that saw great defending by Jack Hedge, Rocco Douglas, Freddie Bentley and Sam and Ben Maley. The tenacity of the defensive group was complimented by some accurate passing, tough tackles and nonstop running from Ollie Baker, Stan Gurney and Dexter Cumberland. The hosts’ goalkeeper Ethan Vater kept a clean sheet with Stan Wennington & Ben Maley hitting the woodwork. It took a goal by Stan Wennington to break the deadlock and take Cougars through to the next round. Cougars’ man of the match accolade was awarded to Jack Hedge.
Cougars Under 9’s Blues also played at home as they welcomed Bedwell Lions to The Bury and enjoyed a comfortable victory. Captain Blue Salmon scored twice to compliment a brace from Lal Wennington and James Tungett. Mason Pugh was over the moon to have scored his first goal of the season. After the game Cougars Coach Spencer Pugh said “Everyone played really well, there was lots of goals and also a few narrow misses.” Man of the Match was awarded to Austin Cook.
Cougars Under9’s Whites managed by Ken Hayes also entertained Bedwell as they bought their Bedwell Cougars side. In an exciting match Magnus Coates scored for Buntingford in what was a very close encounter. Man of the Match went to Charlie Gerring for his committed tackles. Manager Hayes said afterwards “The whole team played really well and put in lots of effort so really deserved the accolades and the result in this match.”
Elsewhere for Cougars Peter Briffett’s Under18s Whites had a great win over Manuden as they scored three times to Manuden’s two. It was a good day for the Under18’s sides as Sean Curran’s Blues team went to the top of the table courtesy of a four all draw at Sawbridgeworth. In the Mid Herts League Cup Bruce Knapp’s Under16’s progressed following their trip to Knebworth, coming away with a four-one victory. Archie Rhodes, Matt Inman, Joe Parkins and Liam Smith were on the scoresheet for Cougars. In the Under14 section Bobby Whites team lost two nil at home to FC Comets whilst the Under14s Stripes lost two-one to Royston Town. The Under13’s also lost out to Royston Town as Paul Skinner’s troops went down by five goals to one.