Cougars Under 10’s Whites kicked off the weekend under bright but very blustery conditions on a firm but sticky pitch at Sawbridgeworth and were full of energy although the early exchanges were played out in the middle of the park with neither goalkeeper being troubled. Samuel Miles and Jack Hedge in defence were playing well when a speculative chance fell to Sawbridgeworth who scored. Cougars kept battling away with some good passing between Noah Gibson, Will Greathead and Thomas Norris who really started to put the opposition under some pressure. Ben Maley was his usual competitive self in midfield winning all the 50:50 balls and making many good passes.
At the start of the second half Cougars were a little slow to get going and Tom Betley in goal made a number of good saves and one great save diving and stretching to his left to push a certain goal around the post. This spurred Cougars on and they really started to play and it was not long before Thomas Norris got on the score sheet when a clearance by the Sawbridgeworth defence fell at his feet and he slotted home with a great shot. It was all Cougars now as Ben Perryman on the right was doing well and the crowd felt certain an equaliser would happen. A fine run by Noah Gibson coming out from defence and a pass to Thomas Norris looked like certain goal but the shot went just past the post. Jack Hedge and Rocco Douglas at the back were playing with purpose and their solid defending was the platform for a number of Cougars attacks but despite the efforts of all on the pitch Cougars could not score a second. Manager Danny Miles interviewed by Sky at pitch side straight after the game praised the efforts of all the team saying “Today, against good opponents Cougar Whites had all the stats in their favour. Some great saves by Tom Betley in goal earned him the man of the match award in an all round team performance.”
On a bright blowy morning Cougars Under10’s Blues had a competitive game at Sawbridgeworth. It was end to end stuff in the early stages but Cougars showed their passing prowess and got some shots on target but couldn’t find the net unlike the hosts ended the first half one up.
After Cougars guardian George Brownless made some great saves Cougars enjoyed some great play with Stan Gurney doing well on the left wing delivering some dangerous crosses whilst the midfield duo of Ben Maley and Olly Baker won numerous crunching tackles. In defence Samuel Miles did a sterling job as last man.
Despite Cougars efforts Sawbridgeworth scored against the run of play Cougars hit a goal back with a shot from Sam Maley blocked by the keeper to rebound back for his twin brother Ben Maley to knock in. Cougars commentator Josh Maley told the BBC’s Football Focus “It was a good all round performance from Cougars in an evenly balanced game.”
Buntingford’s Under9s Blues did well at Manuden with two goals from Finlay Walker and a strike from Orran Taylor. Cougars Under9’s Whites meanwhile enjoyed a game against Manuden where Carrie Grinyer scored her first Cougars goal assisted by a skilful run by Archie Prior.
Buntingford’s Under11’s had a mixed Sunday with the Blues going down one nil at league leaders FC Comets in very difficult conditions despite a man of the match performance by Nathan Anderson and the Stripes losing at home to Stotfold; Ciaran Jenkins earning the man of the match accolade. Cougars Under11’s Whites though got a result in what their Gaffer Dean Howard described as their best performance of the season as they beat Letchworth Reds by a single strike courtesy of Casey Heenan’s sixteenth goal of the season.