Cougars Under10’s End on a High

U9's 2013

Cougars Under10’s End on a High

The last match of the season for Cougars Under10’s travel to Arlesey on Sunday. A solid team effort from the visitors saw Buntingford have the better of the games. Goals from Ethan Vater, Ollie Baker, Noah Gibson and Stan Gurney Gave Cougars a one goal advantage when the final whistle went in what was an exciting match. The BBC’s Garth Croods described the Cougars performance as “a commanding team performance and made special mentions of the the two players who received Player of the match awards; Ethan Vater and Will Greathead.



Buntingford Cougars Under 15’s played Broxbourne Borough in the Mid Herts Rural premier league play off on Tuesday night but it was not meant to be for Chris Adams impressive side that has done so well this season.

The game at Ware Youth’s Trinity Ground was a tight affair with both sides having won a game each against each other in the regular season. Cougars started the stronger side and carved out a number of opportunities with Matt Inman finding time and space on the right and delivering some excellent crosses. Buntoingford’s best chance of the half was an excellent header by Archie Rhodes that crashed back off the bar. Before the interval Broxborne also came close with a header but from point blank range it was brilliantly saved by Jay Caine low to his left

Ten minutes before the break Broxborne took the lead with a smart finish and it really took the wind out of Cougars’ sails before and after half time and then ten minutes into the second half the Cougars deficit doubled.

In the last thirty minutes Adams restructured to go three at the back and had a real go. A Sid Arnold free kick went over the defensive wall and was heading for the top corner but the Broxborne keeper produced an absolutely fantastic save. Eventually time ran out and Broxbourne ran out deserved two nil winners.

After thye game Cougars Under 15’s Manager Chris Adams told Sky Sports “Let’s put aside any disappoint from this play –off match and celebrate runners up spot in the top division of Mid Herts League. Last season we finished in the bottom half of the table with the same squad, of which the vast majority  have been Cougars players right from Under7’s. They battled and have done us proud against big town teams which have multiple squads at each age group. The boys have sought to improve themselves individually and collectively. They should be very proud of their achievement this season.”




Buntingford Cougars Under7’s pulled off a “first” in Cougars history on Saturday as both the Blues team and the Stripes team walked away with the silverware at the Royston Crow league Mini Soccer Tournament held in Stevenage.

Cougars Stripes led by Tom Curtis and Sean Curran lifted the cup in the afternoon section in Stevenage. Tom told Sky Sports after the victory “Well done to the children today, I am so proud of them all.” Cougars started slowly with a one all draw but then won two games two-one and pulled off a four nil victory to win the cup.


During the day the side scored some great goals, with TJ Curtis netting an important winner in one game. Alfie Vottariello was great in goal for the last two games and Beau Lampard made the pass of the day when he set up Jamie Coote for one of his goals in one of the two – one victories. In the final game goals came courtesy of Jamie Coote, Luke Ross and Jonny Rolf and goal of the day from Olly Curran who deftly chipped the keeper”

Cougars Stripes followed the impressive Buntingford Blues team led by Luke Fone and Rikki Crace who won the morning section. Dan Fone, Rylee Kitteringham, Dempsy Crace, Fraser Finlay, Lui LoConte and Oscar Kay played some great football over four matches. They were joint top of their group so played a play-off with Stevenage which ended in a one-one draw so it was the dreaded penalties. Cougars had the better of the shoot-out scoring four out of the five. Luke Fone told BBC’s Gary Linekar after the match “I know I speak for Rikki and all of the parents when I say that the boys did us so proud today.”


Cougars Chairman Richard Daly was delighted saying “What a day for Cougars Under7’s, they are a great bunch of children and they have rightly received lots of plaudits so I will congratulate and thank our team of Managers, Coaches and Staff for this age group. This is the largest group of players that we have ever had at Under7’s and that has its challenges however Tom Curtis, Sean Curran and Matty Adams have done a fantastic job developing our Stripes and Royals teams and of course Luke Fone and Rikki Crace with the Blues and Whites teams have continued to improve an already strong squad. When you add to that formula the strong organization skills of Jo Vottariello this makes for an impressive team off the pitch as well as on it – well done to everyone involved.


Buntingford Cougars Under9s Blues travelled to Biggleswade for their last game of the season on Saturday. The game was tight throughout and it took a long distance strike from Captain Freddie Arnold to break the deadlock. The match was still extremely close and it was only thanks to some good work in goal from Cougars Guardian Luca Rigolli that kept the hosts at bay. Ten minutes from the end Buntingford doubled their lead when Ollie Hay notched his second in as many games to effectively seal the win despite a late consolation goal from Biggleswade. Freddie Arnold’s impressive performance was awarded with the man of the match accolade.

Fred Arnold


Meanwhile Cougars Under6’s travelled away to play a strong Letchworth Eagles team in a training game on Saturday. The visitors started nervously and were out muscled in the early exchanges and despite trying to play passing football found themselves a couple of goals down. The strong Eagles continued to dominate by pressing the ball and not giving Cougars time to play.

As the game went on cougars started to grow in confidence and troubled Letchworth with their quick passing, some good goalkeeping was the only thing stopping the Buntingford boys from scoring. An end to end game of fast attacking football saw the hosts come out on top in the quarter.

The next two quarters saw Cougars step up again, they moved the ball faster and tried to play from the back as instructed by their coaches. The encounter now was much more even and the children from both sides entertained the crowd with plenty of goals. Going into the forth quarter both teams had grown in confidence and some fantastic football was played by two very well matched teams.

Cougars Under6’s Coach Phil Allen saw “A great morning’s football was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Letchworth for hosting and playing us and well done to all the players from both clubs.”

Under11’s Finish On A Triple High


Buntingford Cougars Under11’s Stripes played their last match last week and went out on a high with a 13-2 victory. On Sunday it was the last match of the season for the Under11’s Blues and Whites and both matches were against Bishop Stortford.
Cougars Under 11’s Blues traveled to face Bishop Stortford United but did not start well as it took just three minutes for the hosts to score after a throw in from their own half put Cougars under pressure and their striker found himself with just the visitors guardian Sam Daly to beat which he did by sliding the ball under the advancing keeper. Cougars then got a bit more composed and created chances. It was a through ball by Nathan Anderson that created problems for the home side and after a failed clearance and a ricochet Cougars’ Lily Hall was on hand so slot home from close range for an equaliser. The second half started much the same as the first with Stortford scoring early after a through ball found Cougars napping and a striker went clean through to score under the advancing Daly. Five minutes later Buntingford equalised again after a good move involving Archie Vass-Smart and Jack Gurney ended with George Godfrey rifling in a great shot. Midway through the first half Buntingford went ahead for the first time in the encounter when Daly made a good save with his feet and the rebound found Anderson who hit an accurate through ball for Charlie Fountain who went on and scored with a rasping shot. Stortford then looked to equalise and nearly did when a good move resulted in a shot that hit the foot of the post and then soon after the equaliser did come from Stortford as some good passing resulted in a shot from the edge of the box that was well saved by Daly but the Stortford striker was first to react and put the ball in the net. With five minutes left the excited crowd felt there was another goal and indeed that was the case as man of the match Anderson played the ball from the back through the centre of the park and the effervescent Lily Hall took it in her stride and with her favoured left foot smashed the ball into the back of the net for what was to be the winner in a seven goal thriller. After the match Cougars Under11’s Manager Richard Daly said “we asked the players to put in a performance today to try to end the season on a high – regardless of the score – they did that and as a bonus got a good result too.”
So it was left to Cougars Under11’s Whites to make it three in a row for the final matches in the Under11’s section. Dean Howard’s side also faced Bishops Stortford with Stortford’s Wanderers visiting London Road. It was an important match for the Whites team as they were trying to secure third place after a great second half of the season. The match was played at frenetic pace from the start with both sides wide attacking players and strikers threatening. For Cougars Tom Carter and Casey Heenan were on form and troubling the visitors whilst deeper in midfield Brogan Fakhfakh, Evan Howard and Josh Neylour were marshaling the proceedings. The first half was very competitive and rightfully ended even with no side breaking the deadlock. After the interval the affair started as it had ended the first half with both sides playing well and a topsy turvy game but it was Cougars who eventually broke the deadlock and obtained all three points as Casey Heenan scored his twentieth goal of the campaign and his notch was enough to see Cougars victors by the single goal. After the match Cougars Guv’nor Dean Howard said “I’m really pleased for the boys. Before the New Year we would have probably lost this game but their determination and tenacity delivered a deserved victory. What is good to see is that they do it for each other. Their commitment must be admired and their enthusiasm for the game is infectious. I am so proud of them all.”

Buntingford Cougars Under9s Blues (pictured) had their first Local Derby against Hormead Hares for over two years on Saturday. It was an exciting game with end to end action for the first ten minutes before a marauding run down the left from Ollie Hay set up Fred Arnold to opening the scoring. Cougars then stepped up a gear scored several more time with Finlay Walker netting four to add to strikes from Spencer Sendall, Orran Taylor and Ollie Hay who’s outstanding performance earned him the man of the match award. In between the goal fest a terrific penalty save from goalkeeper Luca Rigolli kept the enthusiastic keeper smiling with a clean sheet.


Cougars Under7’s Stripes and Royals also had a great Saturday in a match that included and epic goal from Beau Lampard to add to hat tricks from Jamie Coote and Henry Turner. There were also goals Tj Curtis scoring for the second consecutive week and Oliver Curran who buried the ball in the back of the net with a great strike. After the match Under7’s Gaffer Tom Curtis told TalkSports Alan Brazil “It was an excellent performance all round, I am so proud of the lads.”

Walker and Grinyer Keeps Cougars Smiling

U9s Walk Grin

Walker and Grinyer Keeps Cougars Smiling

Cougars Under9’s faced Shefford Saints at The Bury enjoyed two great games, both decided by a single goal. Cougars Blues played out a nine goal thriller in which Finlay Walker bagged a brace,  a double also was enjoyed by Spencer Sendall and Joseph McKinley  chipped in with a goal too. Walker also scooped the man of the match award along with his 38th goal of the season.

Buntingford’s Under9’s Whites put in another determined performance also against Shefford Whites and enjoyed a brilliant game with Mike Cannel netting his first goal for cougars. The hard working Carrie Grinyer took home the player of the match award.

U9s Walk Grin

Meanwhile Tom Curtis’ Cougars Under7’s played one of the performances of the season with Austen Arrowheads. Cougars Under7s Royals were up first and started well with  Jamie Coote scoring a quick first goal. Luke Ross was having a great game winning tackles all over the park, he came close to scoring before setting Coote up for his second before he bagged his hat trick with a third before Ross scored a deserved goal. Tj Curtis in the Royals goal was rarely troubled mainly due to the assured performance of Alfie Vottariello at the back. After the break Tyler Jordan was between the stick playing well and the whole team were communicating well as the game got very even. Arrowheads pulled a goal back before Curtis – now out on pitch – produced some impressive fancy footwork to score before the end of the game. Man of the Match for Cougars Royals was Jamie Coote.

Cougars Under7s Stripes also faces Arrowheads and started well with Ronan McGuire and Henry Turner working well together promoting a great passing ethic throughout the whole team. Tyler Jordan was playing well in goal as was Turner who’s tenacious runs troubled the opposition before Turner scored the first goal and then sends an audacious chip over the keeper for a second goal before going onto scoring a third and fourth. Following the interval Aiden Broci started to have a great influence on the game and helps Turner score another couple of goal and scoop the man of the match award.


Cougars lined up on Sunday against Steeple Morden for what was always going to be a close match, Cougars are on a good run of results and therefore confidence was high but Morden have been a bit of a bogey team this season. The match started in drizzly conditions but it soon dried out and the umbrellas came down on the touchline. Both teams were playing well but very few chances were being created with neither team being able to find the break through, good defending was the order of the day with most attacks being cleared or the attacker shepherded out of play. Long range efforts were dealt with calmly by Tom Betley in goal and Noah Gibson and Jack Hedge looking solid at the back. Ben Perryman came on midway through the first half taking up his now familiar position out wide on the right and started to cause issues for the Morden defence with his pace, creating chances for Thomas Norris up front. Despite all of the energy clear cut chances were very limited and as we headed towards half time all eyes were on the coaches to see what tactical masterclass they would devise to make the difference in the second half.


As the team trotted out for the start of the second half it was clear the coaches had got their heads together, Ollie Baker and Fred Bentley came off the bench and Noah Gibson had been pushed into midfield. It was clear from the first whistle this change had really made a difference and now Cougars were getting chance after chance. Rocco Douglas had a great chance that went just past the post early on and then Cougars had a series of corners that never dropped in quite the right place for anyone to get a good strike on goal. It looked like the game was going to run out as a draw when an attacking move through the centre of the Morden defence came to Noah Gibson on the edge of the box, a great touch to get the ball under control and then a shot of pin point accuracy rattled the woodwork and nestled in the back of the net , 1 nil to the Cougars.


This spurred Morden into action and they started to come forward and put some pressure on the Cougars goal, other than one corner that floated across the goal with no one making any contact, the game was seen out and a good away win was great reward for a very solid team performance. With so many managers and coaches on the Cougar touchline Sky were not sure who would be making the post match comment but in the end Danny Miles pushed his way through the crowd and to the microphone to claim all the glory for the half time tactical changes that turned the game on Cougars favour.

Double Ward Score for Sam

Cougars RoundUp

Double Ward Score for Sam

Peter Briffett’s Cougars Under16’s Whites delighted The Bury crowd by signing off their season in fine form with a six-nil victory over Barmond United. Cougars goal fest saw Charlie Murray net a hat-trick to compliment a brace from Sam Ward and a goal from Daniel Prior.

Cougars Under15’s played their last home fixture of the season at the Bury against an Enfield side that in a fixture that resulted in a 1-1 drew earlier in the season. It was a crucial match in Chris Adams’ quest to win the Mid Herts Premier League title and to add to the occasion there were cousins on opposing sides with Buntingford’s Sid Arnold facing his cousin from Enfield and his uncle in the dug-out.

Cougars started fast with Archie Rhodes getting in behind the Enfield back line with a couple of early chances that went just wide. On twelve minutes Rhodes won a corner, Owen Groves played a low delivery to the edge of the box which Min Lankester read perfectly and with a first time strike found the roof of the net to open the scoring for the home side. In the next ten minutes Buntingford pressured Enfield with Luke Garratt coming close and Josh Bradfield becoming a constant threat. The only real effort from the visitors was a shot that was well held low to his left by Jay Caine between the Cougars sticks.

In the second half Cougars emerged a much more positive side and really took the game to Enfield, creating some good openings. Liam Smith had a shot blocked on the line and Matt Adams saw a shot turned round the post whilst Matt Inman was at his creative best out right and was starting to dictate the game. Midway in the second half a five minute spell saw Cougars kill the game off as Rhodes found the bottom corner and then doubled his tally to put the hosts three up.

In the Sky Sports studio after the game Gaffer Chris Adams said “Today we weren’t at our best but we restricted Enfield to few chances and created plenty of our own. Our victory guarantees us a top two finish and it’s still all to play for the top spot. Special mention today to a player who showed desire, determination and a high work rate, he was a positive influence on the team and when we started to match what he was doing the game was ours and that is Matt Inman. The perfect way to tell the manager you should have started me!!”

Cougars Under10’s entertained Stevenage Cobras on an uneven pitch that resulted in a scrappy game of football compared to previous matches. The first half ended goalless despite Buntingford having several decent attempts on target from Ben Maley, Stan Gurney and Oliver Baker which commanded all demanded a good save from the Cobras keeper. In the 2nd half Stan Gurney and Ben Maley regained some extra control in midfield alongside Oliver Baker and this allowed the hosts to put pressure on the Cobras. Ben Maley opened the scoring and then for the second goal ran three quarters of the pitch to deliver a nice pass to the running Ethan Vater to slot home before the prolific Maley scored the third with a strong finish with some good running to get in to position in front of goal. Cougars did a good job of keeping the Cobras from scoring with man of the match George Brownless in goal making some good saves and having an assured performance. Reliable and strong tackling from Sam Maley and Sam Myles in defense kept the Cobras at bay many times whilst the forward line of Freddie Bentley, Dexter Cumberland and Ethan Vater applied pressure to their defense wherever possible. Cougars reporter on the sidelines Josh Maley told Match of The Day’s Alan Shearer “It wasn’t the prettiest of games but it was a solid performance and keeps Cougars on a winning run.”

Buntingford Cougars Under11’s teams all played well but were unable to gain a point as Cougars Whites Man of the Match Luke Goodchild could not stop Bassingbourn from securing three points, the consolation for Cougars courtesy of the prolific Casey Heenan with his nineteenth goals of the season. Boss Dean Howard remained positive singing the praises of Tom Carter and the team for what he described as a great performance. Ian Jenkins U11s Stripes went down three one at home to Bishop Stortford. George Hegarty was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding defensive performance and Yann Boulter added to his seasons tally.


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.