On a fresh Sunday morning at The Bury Buntingford Cougars Under10’s Blues played with attacking intent from the kick off. George Brownless; Cougars’ guardian was hardly required in the game and when called to action did so perfectly. The defensive pairing of Sam Miles and Sam Maley held strong and let the midfield of Stan Gurney, Ben Maley and Oliver Baker control the game with high work rates and quality passing of the ball. Dexter Cumberland up front chased hard latching onto some great through ball passes. Cougars had lots of shots on goal, the difference this time between other games was that the hosts made the most of their chances. Left footer Gurney scored two high quality goals from distance over the visitor’s keeper to compliment a stunning Baker effort as he slotted home. Further great team work led to another goal for the home side when a move was finished off well with a fine strike from Dexter Cumberland, who doubled his tally for the game when he scored again with a well struck long range effort. Maley was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as he had several good efforts on goal including one hitting the cross bar. Cougars star reporter Joshua Maley aged ten was delighted after the match saying “Cougars are definitely ending the year strongly and playing much better as a unit. It would be great if the management duo of Danny Miles and Richard Bentley could keep this going to the end of the season.”
Buntingford Cougars Under10’s Whites seeked to avenge an Arseley defeat earlier in the season and needed to be at their best at The Bury and from the off it looked like they were determined to do well. The early exchanges were played out in midfield with neither goalkeeper being troubled. Jamu Ajassa and Noah Gibson where battling well and along with Fred Bentley were certainly holding their own. The first attacking chance went to Arlesey with a corner followed by another but no shots on goal and good defending by Jack Hedge and Jake Craddock. Cougars were then on the attack winning a corner but again nothing came of it. As the first half drew to a close there was a flurry of activity, firstly a great one handed save by Tom Betley in goal diverting the ball over the bar and then a quick break by Cougars and some fine interplay between Bentley and Douglas who then dribbled his way past the goalkeeper to fire in the first goal, it was as if the ball was stuck to his foot, great goal. A few moments later Douglas and Bentley were involved again resulting in Noah Gibson putting away a great goal. The second half was very similar to the first, Cougars always looked like they were going to get a third but at the other end Arlesey continued to trouble Betley in goal. Harry Leach came off the bench and straight away got himself in the thick of the action and along with Ethan Vater continued to cause trouble for Arlesey going forward. Man of the match was awarded by the TV pundit and England football coach, Gary Neville to Fred Bentley for his tireless running and nonstop enthusiasm regardless of what team he plays for. Neville also added it was a fine all round team performance and he can certainly see Cougars Whites getting stronger as a unit as the season progresses.
Buntingford Cougars Under11’s had a good weekend with the Blues comfortably beating Bedwell Rangers at London Road with five goals to no reply. The Blues leading scorer Jack Gurney with a double strike notched his sixteenth and seventeenth goals of the season to compliment goals from Lily Hall and Charlie Fountain. It was not all plain sailing though as in the Cougars goal Sam Daly worked hard to keep a clean sheet and earned himself the man of the match award.
Cougars Under11’s Whites travelled to Bishop Stortford and beat their Wanderers in a tight game. Casey Heenan with a brace took his season’s goal tally to seventeen and it was enough to secure the three points with a two – one victory.
Cougars Under11’s Stripes led by Ian Jenkins went three games unbeaten as they returned from Bassingbourn with all three points. Stripes top scorer Yann Boulter notched his fourteenth of the season along with Tom Ryman who scored his first league goal. The ever improving Adam Richmond won the man of the match award for the third time this season.
Cougars Under15’s hosted Hemel with a squad after some injuries. Chris Adams’ home side started well; getting hold of the ball and putting some good service into Archie Rhodes and Josh Bradfield. Matt Inman looked in supreme form and was creating openings before Buntingford scored on twenty five minutes when Matt Adams won the ball in the centre and played a through ball to Rhodes who was bundled over. From the resulting Sid Arnold free kick the ball dropped to the quick footed Inman who jinked and shot forcing a great stop from the keeper, unluckily for him it fell to the feet of Arnold who drove it home one. Both sides had no more than half chances for the remainder of the half. In the second half the hosts started on the front foot again and really took the game to Hemel, Inman and Groves both had shots well held by the Hemel stopper. Then five minutes into the half Adams picked the ball up on the half way line and drove at Hemel beating 4 players on a mazy run before playing in Rhodes, who adjusted his body and chipped the onrushing keeper with super skill to double the lead. Soon after Adams had a header excellently tipped over from Arnold’s free kick and James Parkins header was blocked well from a Liam Smith corner. Mid way through the half Cougars tired a little and Hemel capitalised on this, twice creating chances but found Jay Caine out sharply to block. With ten minutes left Hemel got one back as Cougars failed to clear and a smart finish flew into the corner. The hosts then knuckled down and with Josh Bradfield operating as a lone striker keeping the ball deep into Hemel’s half for the final few minutes Cougars ran out two win victors. After the match Gaffer Chris Adams told Sky Sports “That’s three in three in the league and although today probably wasn’t one of our most polished performance no side in this division will roll over and Hemel once again proved tough opposition. A few of the lads felt their own performance were a little below par, and they may be right, but that said they should take nothing away the shift and commitment they put in. And when it mattered most we found enough quality to deservedly take the points. Special mentions today to Matty Inman a joy to watch play football, talent on the ball tenacity off it and James Parkins held us together at the back when we needed it.”
Elsewhere at the weekend Cougars Under6’s played their second match in their Cougars careers and had a great time at Fairlands Youth FC. Cougars Under 7’s did well at home to Shefford Saints with Dempsey Crace and Ben Lewis (pictured) getting man of the match awards. Buntingford’s Under8’s had two great matches with Stevenage Boro Juniors. Cougars Under12’s had a rare goalless draw at Hitchin whereas in the under thirteen section Cougars Blues won 8-1 at Baldock and Cougars Whites comfortably won at Stevenage Boro. Cougars Under16’s Blues also had a comfortable victory at The Bury against Hertford Town whilst Cougars Under16’s Whites went down by the odd goal in five at Knebworth.