A warm spring morning at The Bury, nice weather for football and for the parents on the side lines As Cougars Under8s Royals kicked off hosting Stotfold.

William Brown playing on the right wing for The Royals showed early intent hunting down the ball and heading for goal. As the game progressed it was clear Brown was in the mood, working hard to win the ball back for his team in midfield. Every time he got the ball he headed straight for goal, very direct, with one thing on his mind, scoring.

Archie Beattie keeping goal for the Royals in the first half seemed alert and switched on early in the game, making some good clearances and intercepting the ball well. There was some nice early passing between Henry McAllister in midfield and Kieran Bliss on the right wing.

The Royals conceded fairly early when the ball broke free just outside the Cougars box and a Stotfold player latched onto the ball and went for goal. McAllister’s fast committed run back to try to stop him was not enough to stop Stotfold scoring.

Kieran Bliss worked hard on the right wing, closing down Stotfold in their own half and doing his best to stop them advancing. McAllister and Brown worked well together a few times getting their team forward, Brown having some more efforts on goal, gradually getting closer to the target.

Ryan Gasson in defense listened well to his coach and got forward when his team were in the opponents half. He worked hard to get back on a couple of occasions saving his team from conceding.

The Cougars played some nice football from a corner with a lovely ball chipped in from McAllister to Brown. Brown got a shot away, just wide. Shortly after Brown controlled the ball with his head and ran onto the ball, but then lost possession in the box.

As the game developed it proved to be a good even contest, well contested in midfield. As the first half came to an end, the Royals were unlucky to be behind having had many more chances than Stotfold, most of the opportunities being created by Brown.

The Royals scored almost straight from the restart when Brown broke free from midfield with a bit of a shimmy and slotted the ball nicely into the net, putting his team back level.

Stotfold put themselves ahead again shorty after. Bliss in goal for the 2nd half, could not have done much about a well-directed shot into the corner of the goal.

As the 2nd half went on Bliss showed good skills in goal, staying cool, calm and collected under pressure a number of times. In one instance he charged forward to intercept one of their players and made a crunching tackle and then made a cool save into his body as the ball rebounded back to him. Bliss showed good confidence, making a number of nice saves, especially considering goalkeeping is not his usual position. He kept his head in a number of situations, displayed good distribution, passing the ball out and on top of all that showed bravery and determination not to let that ball past him.

Soon after Brown leveled the score again with his 2nd goal with a lovely shot straight into the middle of the net.

In the closing moments McAllister saved his team with a gut-busting run from one end of the pitch to the other and stopped his team from conceding.

Great effort Cougars in a well-contested battle.

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