Cougars U8s Royals welcomed Stotfold for their new year fixture and there was no sign of too much turkey as they all players started brightly on a heavy winter pitch. In the early stages of the game both teams seems evenly matched but the Royals gradually impressed themselves on the game. Henry McAllister showed what a great engine he has with impressive work all over the pitch, he was always willing to defend resolutely, often quickly recovering back to help out his defence. McAllister was even more effective going forward, making lots of great runs. It was thanks to one of his early runs that the first goal came. After a strong run from one end of the pitch to the other he passed the ball into the opponents box and the ball was bundled in. It was McAllister who scored three early goals, getting his team off to a great start.
Cougars kept up the good work with a notable performance from William Brown, showing real improvement recently with his foraging runs up front and down the wings, keeping the ball superbly under pressure from his opponents, showing his strength holding off defenders and fighting hard from beginning to end. Brown scored also bagged a hat trick, his most memorable goal was scored when he intercepted the ball on the right wing by the halfway line and made a direct run, straight for goal, finished off accurately into the net.
Cougars defended well too, with Archie Beattie keeping goal for the Cougars. Beattie played a massive part for his team with many goal-bound shots stopped with good reflexes. He also displayed great timing, knowing when to come off his line to close his attackers down, often intercepting the ball or forcing his opponents to shoot wide. As part of the defensive unit Ryan Gasson was his usual dependable self, always in the thick of it, doing his all to stop his opponents getting shots away and making several important tackles and interceptions. As the game progressed his distribution improved, getting his head up early and regularly finding his team mates with good passes out wide. He made progress forward to midfield and found passes in his opponents half. His battling in midfield often won the ball and got his team on the offensive!
Jake Cole, in a centre forward made himself available in midfield by finding space and made regular attempts to get into the box, trying to get on the end of passes and crosses. This paid dividends as Cole got onto the score-sheet twice. His first goal was started off by Ben Gower, with great work in defence Gower won the ball back and passed forward, getting his team on the attack. The move ended with Cole’s first goal, for his second he intercepted the ball in the other half, turned, ran with the ball under control and looped it slightly over their keeper foot, showing cool composure.
The most pleasing thing about the Cougars performance today was their teamwork. They all played for each other, passed well to each other and all worked really hard.