Cougars Under8’s Stripes journeyed to the third generation artificial pitch at at Stevenage to play Stevenage Boro’s Storms out on a chilly, misty morning. It was Buntingford’s last match before the Christmas recess and was evenly fought although Stevenage started and ended the better side.

With just five minutes on the clock Tumi Awoyemi was introduced in place of the hobbling Rubi Pryke who had taken an early knock to the ankle.  Awoyemi immediately showed his strength with some decisive tackles before powering through the Stevenage backline after thanks to a through ball from Jack Nicholas, he ended his run by pinging the ball into the back of the net.  Inspired by his exuberance, Cougars began to assert their authority and Cougars scorer came close to adding a second with a left footed cross shot that flew past the far post.

Before long, Tasha McNamara, who had been busy in and around the opposition area, also opened her account. A typical poacher’s effort, close range and scrappy but Cougars now were in control and firing on all cylinders with Awoyemi fuelling confidence all round him.

The second half continued in similar fashion with Cougars pressing on. Kyson Man and Pryke were making important challenges while Johnny Nicholas added panache and breathing space with a right footed shot from the edge of the area.  The ball whistled past the keeper, low into the corner of his goal.

With five minutes to go however, Stevenage became stronger but Awoyemi again settled the nerves of the enthusiastic away crowd by adding to The Stripes’ tally, slotting in his second of the morning and a classic breakaway goal. At the end of the match there were handshakes and seasonal good wishes all round.

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