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.

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