On a morning that gave us sunshine, wind, cloud, warmth and was a touch chilly, Cougars U8s Blues had a tough match up against Letchworth in front of a passionate crowd. Charlie Wick up front, Sebbie Ivison wide left, Tom Flanagan centre, Thomas Deane right, Ronnie Hennessy at the back and Oliver Tallis in goal was the line-up. In the first half the Blues were playing up hill, into the wind, with the sun in their eyes – the odds were certainly stacked against them! It was a tight first half with the Blues having to demonstrate great defence with blocks, tackles, closing down, harrying and never giving up. They managed to repel everything thrown at them early on. And when they got forward, Deane with a Claudio Cannigia moment, breaking down the wing despite several attempts to fell him, won a corner from which Flanagan passed to Ivison for a cute finish and the lead. Letchworth got an equaliser with a lofted shot over the keeper to leave it level at the break. In the second half, the blues came tearing down the hill from the whistle. Straight from kick off, a beautiful threaded pass from Ivison to Flanagan. One touch and slotted in the corner. Then Tallis found space on the right wing. The lad who only scores worldies spotted the keeper out of position and floated one in from 25 yards, with his proud dad shouting “you should pass from there OT”. Despite Letchworth getting one back with a great run from deep and finish, the Blues were using the conditions well and more attacks followed. Wick had a shot just saved and from the corner, a fine left foot strike from Ivison outside the area went through a defender’s legs, then Tallis’ legs and in. Further pressure saw Ivison draw a triple save before great Tallis work for another chance for Ivison but just wide. There was still time at the other end for Deane to make a double save before Letchworth got another back from a great corner. There was plenty of added on time due to stoppages whilst the ball was lost in the various hedges. Late on, a great run by Ivison drew a cracking save. And right at the death, Hennessy made a couple tackles that Brentford captain, Harlee Dean would have been proud of. Corker of a game. Deserved man of the match award for Hennessy for a defensive masterclass.

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