The first Game of the new year saw Cougars U7 Blues take on Royston Town Crows U7 at the Bury, after an early morning pitch inspection the game was on and the Blues players arrived ready for action after their Christmas break. Ryan Neill and Hadley Anton got the game under way and before the crowd had finished taking their seats the Blues were ahead, a good passing movement involving all the outfield players was finished off by Matthew Murphy. The Blues were looking slick and two quick goals from Billy Lacey extended the lead further. Royston responded with some neat play of their own and only a fantastic save from Dylan Burtenshaw kept them out. The Blues kept their passing and dribbling going and Royston were struggling to retain the ball, after another good tackle and pass this time from Anton, Lacey found himself in space, he rounded the keeper to slot home for his hat trick, another two quick goals within a minute saw Lacey get his fourth and fifth before half time. With the half time whistle looming the crowd were treated to possibly the goal of the game when Burtenshaw, now on pitch made a great tackle and passed to Neill, he beat one player and played the ball to Ethan Doughty who only had one thing on his mind and from 20 yards unleashed a shot that found the bottom corner, the goal was only bettered by his celebration. The Blues went in at half time in a comfortable position.
The second half got underway and it was clear that Royston were not giving up as only good saves first from Neill and then from Lacey who were taking their turn in goal kept the score as it was. Anton was looking comfortable in possession and the Blues looked dangerous every time he was on the ball. Royston now with five outfield players started to really cause some problems. Burtenshaw, Murphy and Neill all had to make good tackles to keep them out. Finally though the pressure told and Royston pulled a goal back. This seemed to spur Royston on and they added another with a great finish the keeper could do nothing about. Another last ditch tackle from Murphy and a one on one save from Burtenshaw stopped Royston from adding further goals to their total. It was only fitting that the last talking point of the game was for the Blues Hadley Anton who had been impressive throughout; he took the ball off a Royston player, beat two opponents and gave it to Doughty, who from fifteen yards found the back of the net for his second goal. Shortly after came the final whistle. Boss Ross Murphy told the BBC’s Jermaine Jenas “It was a fantastic first performance of 2017 from all the players. Player of the week for a good all round performance, great listening and five goals in the first half was Billy Lacey.”