Cougars Under 8’s Stripes welcomed Lea Sports Pumas Whites U8’s to The Bury on Saturday and really did rise to the challenge against a tough team. It was a wet drizzly morning as Buntingford eyed up their Hitchin based opposition, who appeared to be a tall, athletic, fit team of players so the Stripes were in for a tough game.
The game kicked off in wet conditions and the Pumas were on top straight away putting Cougars under pressure early giving the home team’s keeper and defence lots to do. Archie Beattie, keeping goal for the Cougars, showed good goal keeping instincts, making saves with his body, being dominant during tussles in his box, kicking the ball clear and making one great early save palming the ball on to the crossbar, the ball rebounding out to safety for a great save!
Soon after the pressure told with Cougars conceding a couple of early goals but the home side were not dis-heartened, their efforts ramped up and continued to try to play their football. Ryan (the Sythe) Gasson in defense showed his usual qualities with his hard-hitting well-timed tackles, winning the ball again and again, breaking down the the Pumas attacks. Gasson’s passing has developed recently with accurate, confident passing out of defence, finding his team mates in good positions. One such pass found Henry McAllister in midfield who went on a good run, with the ball at his feet, weaving left and right, trying to get his team back in the game. Henry worked tirelessly showing good skills in a tight midfield, always battling and tracking back well helping out his team. Well played!
The Cougars kept defending well against this strong team as the game progressed and created some chances with all the boys putting in a shift. When the Cougars won the ball back they attempted to get the ball wide whenever possible, bypassing the packed midfield. This worked well with Noah Benton getting on the ball, driving his team upfield. William Brown was also very keen to get on the ball in advanced positions, making good runs forward. In one move Rubi Pryke collected the ball beautifully in midfield, turned and ran with the ball in close control and made good headway up the pitch. Keiron Bliss displayed strong desire with good running. It was tough for the Cougars against a strong Pumas defense, bolstered by a ball-playing keeper.
All parents watching the Cougars were proud of the boys efforts, keep it up Cougars!