Cougars Pounce Panthers

Cougars RoundUp

Buntingford Cougars Under9’s Whites had stand in Manager Darren Wennington to thank as they hosted Bedwell Rangers Panthers at The Bury. Cougars players put in alot of effort in what was a very close match and the home side opened the scoring with a great goal by Magnus Coates who went onto score the second too. Some great play by Kaan Taz, Jake Garner, Oliver Heather and Dylan Hayes created more chances but none were converted. Lucca Hedge put in a great display both in goal and on pitch with some great balls forward. A brilliant defensive display by Charlie Gerring, Luke Dunkerley Jake Mac kept the score level at two apiece. Man of the match was awarded to Kaan Taz for his great effort and determination.


Meanwhile Cougars Under 9’s Blues saw returning coach Wes Cook resume the helm as his side hosted Hitchin North. Cougars started impressively led by captain Blue Salmon, indeed the team were on form with two goals from man of the match Austin Cook, three from Lal Wennington, one from Blue Salmon, one each from Liam Neill and James Tungurt.  Fantastic defensive tackles and ball control from Mason Pugh, Aiden Nash and Bear Wennington as well as Oliver Mckinley making some vital saves when required kept the away side’s goal tally on the low side.


Cougars Under 7’s Stripes travelled across the Bedfordshire to play Shefford Saints on Saturday and worked their socks off on a bright blustery day against an accomplished Saints

side. Cougars showed determination, teamwork, running and no small amount of skill. Johnny Nicholas, Rubi Marley Pryke and Noah Benton took turns in goal and all contributed with some good movement, brave keeping and good saves. Distribution from the back was snappy, usually through Finlay Tanner who put in a performance that earned him player of the match with some great tackling and fantastic passing. Cougars’ first goal came from a Tanner throw in that found Jack Nicholas down the right flank. Nicholas cut inside and ran into the Saints’ area before sliding the ball into the back of the net through the smallest of gaps between keeper and post. Jack Nicholas was almost on the scoresheet again just moments later when brother Johnny won the ball in the centre of the park before releasing Jack through the middle, he carried the ball into the area but this time his shot was kept out by a great save from the Saints’ keeper. As it looked like the chance was gone, Tanner charged into the area and slotted home. By now Tanner and Johnny Nicholas were bossing midfield with good running and effort in attack from Benton and Marley Pryke. Another goal game when this time Jack Nicholas fed brother Johnny with another sweet pass. Johnny Nicholas rode a few Saints’ tackles and kept his nerve as the keeper charged out, calmly slotting the ball away with his left foot. Benton and Marley Pryke were unlucky not to get the goals that their effort deserved, but the Saints’ goalie and defence remained resolute.


Buntingford Cougars U7s Royals travelled to The Valley Academy to play Stevenage Borough Storm. The match began with the home side on top with several efforts on goal, however none of these found the net thanks to many fine saves from Cougars first half keeper Tasha McNamara. Also doing great work early in the game was Henry McAllister who put in some great tackling. Cougars gradually fought their way into the game and were rewarded when Kyson Man ran on to the ball and slotted home nicely to put Buntingford in the lead. Cougars then conceded before Ryan Gasson, playing his first ever Cougars game scored with a low effort into the right corner. The first half ended with a strong run from Man, a great shot from Keiran Bliss and more good defending from McAllister. The second half got underway with Cougars re-starting a little slow but soon got organised and rallied again. McNamara now on pitch continued her great work from the first half by getting very involved in play, tackling well and getting on the ball, putting the Boro under pressure. Cougars had a good spell on top battling well and keeping possession in the opponents half. As the game drew to an end Cougars Ben Gower and McNamara combined well in defence to deny Boro another chance. Player of the match was awarded to Kieran Bliss.


Cougars Under12’s Blues hosted FC Comets at London Road at the weekend and enjoyed an emphatic four – one victory. Jack Gurney opened the scoring as the first half closed out as he slid the ball past an oncoming keeper. In the second half Hitchin based FC Comets equalised with an outstanding strike from just inside the box. Cougars then went ahead with a double strike from Lily Hall, both of which would have been Match of the Day contenders as she hit a 25-yard strike into the top corner and then a long range lob over the keeper. The fourth came courtesy of a Sam Daly strike from the edge of the box. Cougars could have scored more with player of the match Cosmo Melvyn and Jake Vottariello coming close.


Buntingford’s Under12’s Whites hosted Harpenden Colts and played out an entertaining match which went to the Colts with the odd goal in five. For Cougars Tom Carter and Josh Lucas netted.


Cougars Under8’s Whites played out a great game at Hitchin. William Brown notched a very creative hat-trick which was followed by Beau Quinn netting two goals, one of which was from the halfway line. Adam Sleath got his name one the score sheet, and to finish off the match Miles Arnold scored a screamer from the side line. Manager Tom Curtis told the BBCs Match of the Day “The boys have all stepped up their game this week with excellent passing and through balls to get past the team, all said every lad had a strong game but man of the match was William Brown with a superb midfield performance not allowing anything to pass him.”


trophy first


Buntingford Cougars U14 Whites celebrated becoming 3rd Division champions on Sunday with a resounding 7 – 1 victory over Fairlands Youth. With a game in hand and an unassailable two point lead on their closest rivals, Cougars cemented their place at the top of the table.  Offensively, the penetrating runs of Will Roads were the highlight of the game and the spread of goals throughout the Cougars team demonstrated depth in attack. Despite the scoreline it was Cougars stalwart defence of Ben Hawthorne, Matthew Baker, James Hart and goalkeeper Ewan White who deserve greatest credit for their season-long solid performances on which the offence could build. Scenes of the boys spraying (non-alcoholic!) champagne over their coach, Bobby White, provided a fitting climax to the post-match celebrations for the new Division 3 champions.

Meanwhile Cougars Under14’s Blues in the top division secured a second placed finish as they won 3-1 away at their rivals for runners up spot Baldock Town.


Cougars Under10’s Blues were away at sunny Shillington and started well with Jake Lemay causing trouble down the flank. Early on Spencer Sendall was linking up well with Finlay Walker but the home keeper leapt into action well to deny the visitors an early goal. As the half progressed Cougars started to dominate with Lucas Reay bossing the midfield and Freddie Arnold and Joseph ‘Rocky’ Mckinley keeping the defence tight. The deadlock was broken with a defensive mistake, leapt upon by the in form Walker who ran at the keeper and slotted the ball into the bottom corner. After the break the home team started to raise their game and have more possession. Cougars keeper Luca Rigolli made a string of fine saves to keep Cougars in the game. Shillington’s possession paid off with 5 minutes to go as a well worked goal got them back on level terms. The final minutes were end to end but the game ended level with both teams happy with their performance. Coach Dudley ‘Duds’ Sendall told Sky sports Jonathan Pearce “the boys battled well today, we had our chances to win it but overall I’m happy. Some great individual battles took place and Cougars Blues were a credit to the Cougars badge.”


Cougars Under11’s blues hosted Whitethorn Wanderers on Sunday and delivered an impressive display of passing and goal scoring. Samuel Miles hit the post 3 times and had several attempts saved. Rocco Douglas, Sam Maley, Freddie Bentley & Jack Hedge were all strong and Ethan Vater did well when called on to make a couple of saves. In attacking positions Stan Wennington, Olly Baker, Dexter Cumberland and Ben Maley caused the visitors trouble throughout the game with penetrating attacking runs. Goalscorers for Cougars were man of the match Stan Wennington with four, Olly Baker with a brace and Dexter Cumberland and Ben Maley with one each.


Buntingford’s Under12’s travelled to West Hertfordshire to play out a very even match with Harpenden Hurricanes. There were some fine performances from Tom Carter and Evan Howard early on that dominated the first half but despite chances falling for Carter, Kameron Weston and Max Young both sides went into the interval goalless. Cougars opened the scoring in the second half when some fine interplay between Carter, Sam Daly and Tom Ryman released Archie O Connor who slotted home from ten yards. The hosts scored late in the second half to even up the score and then twice in the dying minutes. Cougars players of the match were Tom Ryman and Evan Howard.

Cougars u7 Whites faced Shefford at the Bury


Overnight rain left a slick surface for Shefford to get their passing game together early on, Cougars did not see much of the ball first half and it was lone striker Oliver Tallis who had the only shot which was well saved by the visiting goalie.

Coach Craig Ivison gave his team “an inspirational team talk” at half time and the team sprung into life.

Striker Tallis swapped the goalies shirt with Tyler Cole for second half. The midfield duo of Sebbie Ivison and Thomas Deane were creating more chances and Cougars came back into the game. Ivison junior started the fight back with a neat shot from the edge of the area. He followed with another long range effort which inspired his team mates.

Noah Benton and Rubi Pryke came on to keep up the pressure. Benton was put through on goal by Cole, Benton kept his composure to slot home and even up the game. Thomas Deane added another and it was Cougars on top. With Joseph De Monte in fine defensive form as the game neared completion, Tyler Cole added the final goal. He was put through one on one, beat the keeper, and instead of tapping home, he launched what can only be described as a net buster high into the net. Careful Tyler, Barry will have to invest in new nets if you keep blasting it that hard! Hotdogs were enjoyed at the end of the match.

Player of the match: Thomas Deane


Cougars RoundUp



Buntingford Cougars Under12’s hosted Shefford Saints on Sunday and put in a good all round performance. The first fifteen minutes started evenly with both sides posturing but creating little before Kameron Weston and Tom Carter hit the woodwork. Skipper Jake Vottariello then put a through ball to man of the match George Godfrey who slotted home cooly past an onrushing Saints keeper. The visitors soon equalised with a similar strike at the other end. On the half hour Cougars went ahead again when Weston rifled home from just inside the box and then came one of two superb goals as Tom Carter saw the Shefford guardian off his line and from 30 yards hit a sublime lob shot into the goal. The away side had a chance to get back in the game with a penalty but the spot kick was well saved by Will Lewis. Weston added his second and Cougars fourth of the game before the visitors pulled one back and then Charlie Fountain notched another stunning goal as he side – stepped a challenge and from 25 yards hit a screamer into the roof of the net to make the final score five – two for Cougars. Manager Richard Daly was pleased after the match saying “All the players did well in some unfamiliar positions and roles. It was a good game.”


Buntingford Cougars Under9’s Blues travelled to encounter a tough Manuden side on Saturday.  Lucca Hedge in goal kept out several early shots whilst the defence of Aiden Nash, Bear Wennington, and Mason Pugh worked hard to keep Manuden shots from range. The hard working midfield of Liam Neill, James Tungatt and Blue Salmon also played their part along with Austin Cook who did well aerially in the middle. Lone striker Lal Wennington kept the Manuden defence busy at their end. Net bulging goals into the top right hand corner from outside the area courtesy of Austin Cook and man of the match Blue Salmon complimented goals from Lal Wennington and Liam Neil. 


Cougars Under9’s Whites played Wymondley Park with man of the match Jake Garner displaying some great skill up front in what was a tight game.


Buntingford Cougars Under 7’s Stripes hosted Hitchin based FC Comets at The Bury on Saturday and perhaps in tribute to the Dutch footballing legend, Cougars started with a Cruyff-esque Total Football set up as Coach Rod Tanner rang the changes; with Noah Benton in goal, Thomas Deane at the back, Tyler Cole in midfield and Finlay Tanner up front. Johnny Nicholas, a last minute replacement for brother Jack due to a laces malfunction, also played in a more advanced role than usual. The visitors were quickest out of the blocks and before Cougars had time to settle, they were a goal behind, the Comets’ impressive No11 finishing a swift attack from the kick off. If Stripes were rattled they didn’t show it. Playing the assured passing game that has become so familiar in recent weeks, the home side quickly grew into the match. The first half developed into an end to end contest with Cougars’ best move starting wide left as Johnny Nicholas won the ball high up the pitch, made himself space with a sharp turn and laid the ball back to Finlay Tanner who switched play wide right with a delightful cross field pass finding Cole marauding forward. The chance was smothered by the Comets’ defence and with both teams restricted to long range efforts, there were no more goals in the first half. After the break, the Cougars surged forward again and again. Despite plenty of goal mouth action, the home crowd were uncharacteristically quite, perhaps the tension was getting to them! Then a breakthrough. Just when it seemed there was no way through, Thomas Deane came off the bench to hammer home. Comets scored again, denying Cougars’ second half goalie Johnny Nicholas a clean sheet, before Cole somehow beat everyone to score straight from a corner. Sensing more goals, Dawson, Jack Nicholas, Deane and Benton worked both channels, putting some great crosses into the mixer while Cole and Tanner dealt with any trouble that came their way. Before long Jack Nicholas found the back of the onion bag before Deane scored his second to earn himself a deserved player of the match award.



Mini Soccer Rocks



Cougars Under 9’s Blues played at home against Bishop Stortford United in what was a ten goal thriller with both sides contributing multiple goals. Cougars first strike was from defender Aden Nash netting his first goal of the season. James Tungatt then netted a goal before a great pass from Bear Wennington set up Liam Neill. The Cougars Under9’s veteran then added another three soon after.  Goalkeeper Lucca Hedge made a couple of great saves with Mason Pugh putting in a great performance in defence. Austin Cook worked tirelessly throughout the game and Captain Blue Salmon had a great game before scoring the last cougars goal. Man of the match was awarded to Aden Nash (pictured).

Cougars Under9’s whites also played Bishop Stortford United. Goalkeeper Jake Mac had a great game & made some great saves. The team as a whole battled really hard & put in a superb defensive performance. Man of the match was awarded to Magnus Coates.

Buntingford Cougars Under7’s Stripes welcomed Morden Magpies for what transpired to be a close match of high quality with plenty to keep the crowd entertained.

For Cougars, Tyler Cole was tenacious in midfield both linking defence to attack and resolute with his tackling. When the Magpies did break through, Finlay Tanner showed great positional sense and all round defensive capabilities to limit the attackers to just a few scoring opportunities, which were well dealt with by Jack Nicholas in the green jersey. The goalie was quick off his line when needed and a safe pair of hands with all that came his way. Up front, Thomas Deane set his stall out early with incisive runs and and some stinging shots from deep, but the Magpies goalie was up to the task. Noah Benton grew into the game for Cougars with neat footwork in the area to carve out a number of good chances. Coach Rod Tanner must have been pleased with the Pochettino style  “high press” Cougars used throughout which nearly came to fruition when Cole turned smartly to release Benton who turned quickly himself only to see his shot deflect wide off the post. But Cougars were not to be denied for much longer. Again Magpies were robbed of possession deep in their own half and this time forced to concede a corner. Cole clipped in a testing cross, which was headed clear, only to fall to Finlay Tanner who had pushed up and was surely waiting for such a chance. Tanner kept his cool and thumped the ball through a crowded box into the back of the net. The Magpies keeper was having a great game but this time had no chance. The Magpies fought back hard. Johnny Nicholas came on for Benton and was quickly into defensive duties as Cougars found themselves under mounting pressure. But Stripes held the line and saw the game out until half time. In the second half Tanner mixed things up with Cole then Deane each taking a turn in goal while defensive and attacking roles were rotated in front of them. The pattern of play matched the first half. If anything Cougars pressed even harder than before and it was not long before Benton carved out a series of chances, each blocked before he calmly slotted home. Again the Magpies responded only to shoot wide. Cougars continued to push forward as a team, but Magpies held firm. Then a break! Magpies No. 5 showed strength, pace and composure to take the ball the length of the field and find the back of the Cougars net. Cougars came so close to a third as Benton weaved into the box only to be denied by a great save. Both teams had good chances on the break only to shoot wide. After giving a good account of himself in midfield Stripes debutant Johnny Nicholas gave way to brother Jack, also making his first run out for the Stripes. Jack slotted into midfield duties, time after time charging down the Magpies full backs to starve them of an out ball. Cole and Deane both broke clear in the final few minutes and the Magpies also pushed for more goals. In the end both teams left the field with heads held high. Cougars man of the match was Finlay Tanner for a solid defensive display, excellent passing out of defence… And a cracking goal!

Cougars Under7’s Royals hosted Letchworth Greens and started at a frantic pace which resulted in plenty of early chances for both sides. Henry McAllister made an early run on the right hand side which was defended well by the opposition. Jake Cole stood firm in the goal and made a number of impressive saves. Kyson Mann worked hard and pushed forward to take the first shot on goal. Henry McAllister soon found the ball again and this time made a run through the middle and when the defender mistimed his challenge, McAllister was awarded a free kick, which was unfortunately saved by the goal keeper. Johnny Nicholas worked hard making many runs on the right and made a number of passes to Jack Nicholas before Tash McNamara came on the pitch and paired up nicely with Kyson Mann in as relationship that worked well together and created a number of opportunities. The tenacious McNamara fought hard in the midfield for the ball and made a pass to Jack Nicholas who then made a pass to Johnny Nicholas who’s shot hit the back of the net. Kyson Man soon after made a solo run which hit the target but the keeper made the save. Jack Nicholas made a run on the left and passed to McNamara who then made a quick pass to Johnny Nicholas who scored again. McNamara made an impressive run through the middle and made a firm strike on goal. In the second half Jake Cole made a number of impressive saves to keep the visitors at bay before McAllister made another impressive run through the middle but again was brought down by the opposition, the free kick resulted in a missed opportuity. Soon after McNamara  made another controlled run through the middle, sailing past defenders, she briefly lost the ball but then regained possession and her powerful shot hit the back of the net to notch Cougars fourth goal in a hugely entertaining and high scoring match. Cougars player or the match was Tash McNamara.

Meanwhile over at Saffron Walden based Plantation Youth It was a game of two halves for Cougars Under7s Blues away to a strong Plantation team. The visitors started slowly and soon found themselves behind as the hosts pinned Buntingford in their own half. Playing up the hill against the wind the Blues conceded more goals before half time despite a top performance from Billy Hedges pulling off some fine saves in goal. In the second half Cougars also starting slowly conceding another early goal before a fine piece of individual skill from Oscar Allen turned heads as playing in defence he turned and played a fine ball to James Willis on the left who slotted Aaron Nash in for a well executed first time finish with the outside of his foot, it was the goal of the game and then Cougars woke up. The rest game was mainly played in the Plantations half except for the occasional counter attack, only some fine saves from the home teams keeper denied Cougars closing the deficit. Oliver Beall came close to scoring on several occasions to see his shots go narrowly wide or well saved. Another fine move from cougars playing out from the back saw Charlie Grima slot home after some good play from Lewis Abdul-Karim and Jacob Baldwin. Despite a poor first half performance and a defeat the second half was encouraging and saw Charlie Wicks putting in a good shift on his debut, welcome to the club charlie. Man of the Match was Billy Hedges (pictured).

Buntingford’s Under7s Whites, also at Plantation welcomed two new arrivals as well as coach Craig Ivison and his Son Sebbie. It was a nervous start for Cougars Whites but despite conceding an early goal Cougars were in control from start to finish playing away. Up the hill against the wind cougars scored their first goal when Oliver Tallis made the save of the day and the ball fell to Joseph De Monte who’s lovely footwork got him out trouble allowing him to play wide right to Sam Dawson who played the ball to Rafael White who slotted the ball home. Some more fine football from the visitors led to goals for Billy Hedges with the Plantations defence struggling to deal with his silky skills. The second half saw Tallis come out of goal to be replaced by Fin (the rock) Steadman and with the hill and wind behind them the Cougars were too strong for their opponents who despite working hard struggled to live with the away side. Some fine unselfish play by Oliver Tallis passing the ball when many would choose to shoot led to some more goals seeing Cougars take a healthy lead. Plantation did not give up and hit cougars on the counter only to be denied by a fine one handed save by The Rock Steadman pushing the ball round the post. The home team did manage to score up the hill with some hard work and persistence but Cougars came out on top with some more goals including a screamer from White and four from Hedges. Man of the match was Oliver Tallis pictured with coach Craig Ivison and Son Sebbie Photo bombing Olivers moment of glory.

Cougars Under8’s Whites and Stripes had a couple of good matches hosting Stotfold. Some great football was on display from both sides and for Cougars Jamie Coote scored two goals to compliment a strike from Jessica Page.

In the Under 12’s section it was penalties all round as Cougars Whites played well despite having some key players unavailable to win two – nil against Harlow based Paringdon, scorers were Max Young from the penalty spot and Yann Boulter. Buntingford’s Under12’s Blues played at Bishop Stortford United and after a goalless first half went down to a penalty halfway through the second half, Buntingford then was awarded a spot kick too but saw the effort strike the post. Stortford scored a second courtesy of an unstoppable free kick before the final whistle. In what was a good Cougars performance despite the defeat the man of the match award went to midfielder Brogan Fakhfakh.

Elsewhere Cougars Under14’s Whites scored seven and conceded one at Royston whilst the Under15s were defeated at Fairlands. Cougars Under16s lost three one at home to Norsemen and Buntingford’s Under18’s Whites lost to Potton. Cougars Under18’s Blues though went to Letcworth and returned with all three points following a three two victory.





Buntingford Cougars Under10’s Whites (pictured) enjoyed a deserved win over Hatfield Youth on Sunday, their first of the season. Cougars started the livelier side and had three chances in just the first five minutes for Ben Hume, Mike Cannel and Jacob Robini-Brand.  Despite the early misses Buntingford continued to pressurise and when Toby Weston was introduced the visitors won a penalty as he made a great run and was bought down. Hume stood up to take the penalty and he coolly slotted home to put Cougars one up.  The away side continued to play well in the first half with the defensive trio of Paddy Mitchell, Lewie Sullivan and joint man of the match Dylan Jelley doing a great job keeping the hosts at bay, giving keeper Oscar Kennedy little to do in goal. The midfield maestro Robini-Brand was immense running box to box and generally causing the opposition lots of problems. After the break Hatfield started the second half brightly and pushed for an equaliser but the Cougars defence kept the hosts in the game. Cougars then started to build attacks with Isla Eveleigh introduced into the midfield and when Finley Chapple found himself in the box he pulled the trigger and scored a cracker to double the lead.  Cannell and Weston were reintroduced and more attacks and chances followed so it was not surprising when Hume wrapped the game up by being in the right place at the right time to slot the ball into the net with his left foot at an acute angle.  Match Reported Michelle Hume said after the game “All the team were fantastic today. Players of the match went to Dylan Jelley for his fantastic performance in defensive midfield and Ben Hume for his 2 goals”.

Cougars Under7’s Stripes at Bedwell started as they were to continue by dominating proceedings.  Rubi Pryke playing on the left had four early shots all straight at and saved by the keeper however it seemed just a matter of time before Cougars would take the lead when totally against the run of play, Bedwell went in front with their first attack. Despite this early scare Cougars soon drew level. The goal came from a corner taken by Finley Tanner that found Sebbie Ivison on the egde of the box who was able to guide the ball low into the net. As the second half commenced and with Tyler Cole swapping his striking role with goalkeeper Thomas Deane, Cougars went from strength to strength with Ivison adding another five goals to take his tally to eight in two matches and Deane adding another, scoring now in four consecutive matches. Manager On Man told BBC’s Match of the Day studio after the game “This Cougars side is really gelling well now with Finley Tanner secure at the back, Cole and Deane sharing striker and goalkeeping positions plus the flare of Pryke and the all-round awesomeness of Sebbie Ivison running the show”.

Cougars Under13’s travelled to Stevenage based Bedwell with Ross Craddock taking the reins in the absence of Gaffer Paul Skinner. It was a day of missed chances in a game dominated by Cougars. Patrick Cahill quickly got the opposition keepers gloves warmed up with a low drive and then Jack Piggott hit the cross bar shortly afterwards. The same pair had two more chances to open the scoring, with Cahill’s effort cannoning off the post. There were three further half chances for Cougars before, against the run of play, Bedwell broke and forced a corner which they scored from. Within a minute Bedwell scored again. Marcel Zakrewski in the Cougars goal made a magnificent save despite being ankle deep in mud as Bedwell broke again. Josh Chappel had a shot go just over the net and Cahill had another great shot saved before he finally got his well earned goal in the second half. Bedwell came back strong in the goalless second half, but it was Cougars who had the better chances to score with Freddie Payne having two efforts fly over the cross bar. Nathan Lynch, Jack Piggott, Patrick Cahill, Max Coutts and Jake Premadasa all had further efforts to get on the score sheet but it wasn’t to be Cougars day as the game finished two-one with Cougars pushing for the equaliser.  Patrick Cahill received the well deserved man of the match.

Buntingford’s Under9’s Blues went to Sawbridgeworth where James Tungatt netted three goals to add to a brace from Lal Wennington. Man of the Match was Bear Wennington.

Cougars Under9’s Whites also played Sawbridgeworth Juniors and netted two great goals courtesy of Austin Cook. Man of the match was awarded to Dylan Hayes.

Cougars Under12’s Whites climbed up the table as they earned a home draw against high flying Pin Green. Cougars went ahead courtesy of a close range volley from Max Young before the visitors scored twice. It was Tom Carter though who scored the equaliser in the second half.

Elsewhere for Buntingford Cougars the Under14’s Whites won three nil away at Pin Green but for Sean Curran’s Under18’s Blues it will not be three consecutive cup finals as they were eliminated at Bishop Stortford Swifts by a solitary goal.


Cougars RoundUp

Buntingford’s Under13 side came out on top in a nine goal thriller at Hithcin. It was an outstanding team performance despite the cold and windy conditions. Patrick Cahill kicked off the scoring after a well worked team move which was followed by two fantastic goals by Jack Piggott, the second being a solo effort. It was not all plain sailing though as the hosts equalised to make it three all. Within minutes though Cougars went ahead again when Ryan Skinner slammed in a fine effort. After a seven goal first half it was a tighter affair after the interval although both teams had opportunities to score. Alfie Clark made a number of stops before Piggott cemented his hat trick halfway through the second half. Hitchin scored their 4th with 15 minutes to go, which set up a great finish but Cougars held on to claim the win, Freddie Payne was the well-deserved Man of the Match despite losing half his boot in the second half and being able to play on when William Littleford swapped boots with him. Cougars Under13’s Boss Paul Skinner tried to help out but he found that not only was he the smallest in height there, he also had the smallest feet. However, the diminutive Manager was pleased with a great team performance.

Cougars Under7’s Blues travelled for an away day not to forget to Baldock with Gaffer Phil Allen and Scott Nash continuing to encourage a passing game. Many of the WAGS were complaining of the cold but it did not trouble the players as they dominated play from start to finish. Within seconds of kick off a fine goal from front man Lewis Abdul-Karim started proceedings well. New boy Sam Dawson and regular starter Jacob Baldwin made a great pairing in mid field with some sublime passes and good control. It was a rare appearance between the sticks for Oscar Allen and he put in a great performance, even dribbling the ball all the way from his own goal line around 4 opposition players and nearly scoring. Oliver Tallis and Sonnie Gumble were like Vertonghen and Alderweriald in disguise. They both demonstrated some great defensive tackles followed by perfect passes out. One fell to Abdul-Karim who found the back of the net again. In ultra bright green boots Aaron Nash made some great saves in goal in the second half and picked out some great passes. Cougars scored a few more goals as did Baldock for an entertaining match. Speaking to ESPN news in his post-match conference, Gaffer Phil Allen commented “It was a great team performance. The players are all doing well and the team spirit is great. Sam Dawson was especially very impressive in his first match for the Cougars, and Lewis Abdul-Karim was awarded man of the match for a selection of goals with both his left and right foot!”

Buntingford’s Under7’s Royals were determined to work hard and play well as they travelled to play Stevenage Boro Chieftains on a cold and wet morning. The hosts would have scored an early goal were it not for a Kyson Man last ditch tackle preventing the opposition striker from shooting. Cougars’ midfielders were well organised in what was an evenly matched game. Jack Nicholas and Johnny Nicholas worked well together and the pairing nearly made some goals for Buntingford. Finley Tanner held the defensive ranks together with his hard work and Sebbie Ivison made a number of excellent saves in goal. Johnny Nicholas made an impressive run through the middle to score the opening goal before Henry McAllister’s quick run almost added a second and then Johnny Nicholas forced a fine save from Stevenage’s Guardian. Goal scoring opportunities continued as Man made a run down the right producing a shat that just went wide. Eventually Cougars scored again when Johnny Nicholas made an impressive run through the middle finishing with a pass to Tanner who’s accurate shot found the back of the net. Jack Nicholas was now in goal and he played exceptionally well, making numerous saves for the Under7s Royals. The Cougars continued to work hard to find the equalizer, the work rate was impressive but the oppositions defense and goal keeper proved too solid

Buntingford’s Under12’s Whites came away from Ashwell with all three points despite an incredible nine minutes added time at the end of the match. Tom Carter bagged a hat-trick in the three – two victory.

Cougars Under8’s Whites went to DLFC hunters and put in a good performance. Alfie Vattariello, Luke Ross and TJ Curtis all played well but Man of the Match went to Beau Quinn who scored two brilliant goals and put in an all round excellent performance.




Buntingford Cougars Under7s’ Royals had a tough game hosting Royston Town Crows on Saturday. With heavy rain threatening in the dark sky over The Bury the game kicked off and the visitors started brightly scoring early. For Cougars Jack Nicholas performed hit a deft chip over the opposition to Tash McNamara who’s effort was just foiled. Nicholas continued to perform well as he preventing several Crows’ chances becoming goals as well as being involved with chances at the other end following some good work by Kyson Man. Jake Cole stayed strong in goal. The second half started well for the Cougars, Henry McAllister making some great forward runs, one of which resulted in a pass to Nicholas who would have scored if it wasn’t for an impressive save by the Crows goal keeper. McNamara had a chance again as she pushed further still, but unfortunately the build up of play didn’t result in a goal. After the game Cougars Manager On Man told Sky Sports “Royston are a good side but I was pleased with the way our players kept going, very impressive.”

Cougars Under7’s Stripes had the best of the early exchanges against Royston Town Blacks with Sebbie Ivison and Finley Tanner interchanging well at the back and an early speculative looping effort by Noah Benton that bounced just wide of the upright. Soon after Thomas Deane had a long run down the right flank and was able to get a hard shot in which wand his resultant shot was deflected for a corner, Deane repeated the move a few minutes later but no Cougars player was able to connect to his cross. Rubi Pryke also crossed from the right but his cross come shot ended in the side netting. Deane now was playing fantastic, Pryke was holding the ball up well in attack and any Royston attacks were few and far between thanks to the surety of Tanner at the back who was described as “technically our best player” by coach Craig Ivison. Finally Cougars broke the deadlock when Deane picked up a loose ball in the penalty box and scooped it into the right hand side of the net. Cougars nearly doubles the lead as firstly Pryke and then Deane came close. The second did come though courtesy of Benton slotting home an Ivison cross. The lively Ivison then turned on some class as he shot narrowly wide after dribbling past several visitor players and Benton had two further big chances one on one with the keeper. Despite a late dangerous onslaught involving last gasp saves from Cougars Guardian Tyler Cole, Ivison was able to calm the home crowds’ nerves with a real pile driver from the edge of the box which nestled in the bottom corner of Royston’s net. Cougars man of the match went to Sebbie Ivison. Cougars Coach On Man told BBC’s Garth Crooks “This is the best we have played, our passing was accurate and intelligent and we posed a real offensive threat for much of the game”.

Cougars Under7’s Blues dusted off the cobwebs after a wet weather gap and travelled to play a strong Royston Town team. An evenly matched encounter of different styles made for an interesting 40 minutes for Coach Phil Allen. Buntingford started strong and with their quick passing and movement soon had an early lead, The hosts battled hard though and with their pressing physical game they never let Cougars get out of sight. Half time came with cougars having the better of the game and some fine play from Oliver Beall (pictured) and Lewis Abdul-Karim. The second half saw Royston get back into the game as they pounced on Cougars attempts to play their passing game from the back however the visitors continued to pass out and scored the goal of the game when Oscar (Ossie)Allen calmly turned in his own box before driving forward, playing the ball to Beall who in turn played an inch perfect pass down the right to Aaron Nash who’s first time shot found the back of the net. The game continued to be a great battle of different footballing styles right to the end. Some fine performances from Billy Hedge and Oliver Tallis made for a great display from Cougars Blues. It was Beall who scooped the man of the match award as he returned back to the side following a long illness. Coach Phil Allen told BT Sports’ Gary Linekar “We will always continue to play the game with a fluid passing style despite the fact that some teams will be strong and physical because I believe it is the right thing for the players’ development at a young age.”


Cougar U7’s Whites started slowly against Royston who scored some early goals, Cougars continued to play the passing game they like to and began to grow into the game. Fin (The Rock) Stedman started to match the hosts physical presence and Cougars started to move the ball around the pitch with growing confidence. Cougars goal of the game came from some slick passing and a cheeky finish from Joseph De Monte. The second half was more even and with the introduction of James Willis Cougars enjoyed some more well worked goals. The game ended with Cougars Coach Phil Allen happy with Buntingford Whites’ footballing performance.

Buntingford’s Under 9’s Blues hosted Stevenage Borough PSG on Saturday. James Tungett scored twice and and Man of the match was awarded to Liam Neill. Cougars Under9’s Whites welcomed Bedwell Rangers and put in a good performance. Man of the match was given to Oliver Heather.

Elsewhere for Cougars the Under12’s Whites lost out to Letchworth after starting well, Tom Carter scored a consolation with a fine strike from the edge of the box. Buntingford’s Under13’s lifted themselves off the bottom of division two with a fine four two victory away at Biggleswade. And Buntingford’s Under15’s went down at Bishop Stortford.


photo 2

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.

WP_20160206_18_19_05_Prophoto 1



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.