Alex moves Templars Close-r to county final

Baldock Town Youth Templars 9 Barnet Azzuri 1 AN Alex Close hat-trick saw Baldock move easily into the next round of the county cup. Close opened the scoring with a fine individual goal after five minutes as Baldock took control early on in the game. G

Baldock Town Youth Templars 9

Barnet Azzuri 1

AN Alex Close hat-trick saw Baldock move easily into the next round of the county cup.

Close opened the scoring with a fine individual goal after five minutes as Baldock took control early on in the game.

George Higginson added a second 10 minutes later before Barnet pulled one back.

A clever pass from Mark Rogers put Connor Gray in to score Baldock's third.

Most Read

Oliver Foster made a good tackle to deny Barnet a second goal and then Nicholson sprinted through to score Baldock's fourth and effectively finish the cup tie with the score at 4-1 at half time.

Barnet started the second half well and Baldock's goalie Sam Kendle was called on to make a good save in the second minute of the half.

But this was to be Barnet's last attack as the wind and tired legs from a league game the previous day told on Barnet.

A George Higginson cross found Close who made it 5-1 to Baldock and then a pass from Close put Rogers in for 6-1.

Nicholson's run and cross set up Close for his hat-trick and then Baldock added two more late in the match from Matthew Judges' corners.

The first well struck by captain Corey Rodgers and then Gray finishing the game with his second goal.

Melbourn Dynamos Panthers U-11 8

Letchworth GCE Yellows 3

MELBOURN were quick out of the blocks and were two goals up straight away as Nathan Henry sent Byron Lawrence clear with just the keeper to beat, he calmly skipped round him and passed into the empty net for the first.

The second followed soon after, when Andrew Wilkins sent Alex Martin on his way and he slotted home from 15 yards into the bottom left hand corner for number two.

Letchworth, to their credit, began to create some excellent chances, but keeper Nick Thomson was in great form and denied the away strikers on every occasion during Yellows' best period of the game.

With half-time approaching the next goal was going to decide the outcome of the game and it was Lawrence who did the damage for Dynamos with two quick goals just before half time.

The first came from a short corner with Toby Jackson, who set the ball for him to strike a fierce shot, from the corner of the box into the net.

Straight from the kick off Melbourn won possession and good work from Patrick Hopper and Craig Stalker created space for Lawrence to claim his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time.

Melbourn took the opportunity to change their formation and to make some substitutions, this made the game very open and chances were being created at both ends, each team seemed to take it in turn to score.

Martin added his second of the game from close in, before Letchworth pulled one back, then a great run and cross from Sam Webb allowed Jack Richardson to prod home for number six.

The away side grabbed their second when Adam Morris curled his shot into the top corner, then Martin claimed his hat-trick when reading a short goal kick and lobbing the keeper from outside the box with a fine deliberate chip.

Letchworth got their third, when the striker broke clear to finish well into the bottom corner giving Thompson no chance.

Lawrence claimed his fourth of the game late on when Henry broke up an attack in his own box, played the ball to Lawrence to run the entire length of the pitch and smash home into the top corner.

Bassingbourn Youth U-10 A 6

Bishop's Stortford Athletic 0

WITH both teams still awaiting their first win of the season, it was Bassingbourn who started the game more upbeat and from the off surged forward into Stortford's half.

Having crossed the ball twice in front of the goal, Pearce finally saw the opening he needed and scored with only three minutes gone.

Bassingbourn kept up the pressure from the re-start and Holcroft quickly added another with a clean drive passed the keeper then following a poor clearance scored his second four minutes later.

A composed Holcroft added another two before the break, giving Bassingbourn a good cushion for the second half.

The second half continued in a similar fashion, Bassingbourn players surging forward as soon as they had possession of the ball and kept constant pressure on the Athletic defence.

At the other end Manuel and Fox were able to hold back the Bishop Stortford attacks. Strong runs from Smith and good work from Lovejoy led to Holcroft getting his fifth of the day to wrap up the scoring.

Royston Town Colts U-15 7

Letchworth GCE Rangers 2

A SPECTACULAR double hat-trick - his third treble in three games - by Colts' super striker Connor Barnard helped Colts blast their way through to the next round of the county cup.

It was a game of two differing halves, with the first close-fought and evenly matched.

After applying some good pressure Rangers took the lead with a fine strike, before Barnard notched up his first to level the scores at the break.

When Letchworth took the lead in the second half things temporarily looked ominous for Colts.

The turning point came when Dominic Oxenford broke through from midfield and slotted the ball coolly across the keeper into the far corner, levelling things at 2-2.

After that Colts never looked back, their confidence growing as Rangers' resistance crumbled. In the end the visitors simply had no answer to the awesome Barnard, who used his strength and skills to decimate the defence and convert no fewer than five more times, rounding off an impressive individual and team display.

Bassingbourn Youth U-10 B 1

Bishop's Stortford Colts 1

BASSINGBOURN'S B team started their game slowly and early pressure from Stortford was rewarded when a poor clearance from the defence gave the visitors the opening goal.

Colts kept the pressure up during the whole of the game, but the Bassingbourn defence and especially their goalkeeper Jordan were able to keep the visitor at bay.

The hosts' attacking build up started to develop as the game went on. With Smith and Bromilow working hard in midfield, persistence paid off.

A long pass through to Cook gave him the space he needed and having side stepped the defence he scored the equaliser.

A number of other opportunities were created from corners, long balls and as a result of some poor clearances from Stortford, but Bassingbourn could not convert these into any more goals and the game ended 1-1.

Melbourn Dynamos U-9 A 3

Royston Celtic A 0

A disappointing result for the Celtic A at Melbourn saw them lose 3-0.

A goal in the first half from Melbourn was followed in the second half by a second goal and finally a penalty from the home team.

George and Green had a couple of near misses in the second half for Celtic but the score finished at 3-0 to Melbourn.

Melbourn Dynamos U-9 B 0

Royston Celtic B 6

CELTIC B team had a better game beating the home side 6-0.

A near miss by Kuenzi early in the first half was swiftly followed by two goals from Filby and a third from Hargreaves.

The second half saw an excellent save from Mills and some close attempts at goal from Celtic, and their efforts were rewarded by further goals from Watson, Smith and Pinner with some well-aimed crosses from Hargreaves.

Baldock Town Crusaders U-13 4

Royston Town Colts A 1

AFTER the last week's heroics, Colts came back down to earth with a bump with a disappointingly lacklustre performance away to local rivals Baldock Crusaders.

The home side began the better of the two teams squandering several gilt-edged chances to take the lead early on.

Colts rode their luck but struggled against the slope to play any meaningful football, eventually succumbing to the inevitable after failing to deal with the loose ball on the edge of their box.

Conor Saggers almost put Royston level just before the break, his low drive well saved by Crusaders 'keeper.

Colts began the second period in optimistic mood, playing with the slope but they were in for a rude awakening as the home side took the game to them from the off.

A quick break saw Baldock go two-up before a long clearance from Crusaders deceived the defence and keeper to bounce agonisingly into the vacant net.

Colts finally found their rhythm, Lucas Sekobawane seeing his shot saved on the line after good work from Matt Cooney and Jake Benstead, Jack Bailey suffering the same fate with his well-timed strike.

Bailey then pulled one back from the penalty spot after a foul on Sekobawane and nearly scored again from a goalmouth scramble after good work from Harry Stafford.

At the other end, John Middlemass produced a string of fine saves but a quick break from Crusaders against the run of play sealed Colts fate.

Royston Celtic U-15 5

Wheathampstead Wanderers 2

THE game opened with both sides evenly matched. However a free kick just outside the Celtic box was followed by poor defending to allow the visitors to take the lead.

Royston responded well and two minutes later they equalised with Ryan Waller's corner curling into the Wanderers net.

Both sides played good football until a penalty restored the visitors lead. In the second half Celtic got into their stride and Mitchell Cooper equalised after 50 minutes.

Wanderers attacked but Tom Higton and Craig Ransley in defence quickly stifled any efforts.

In the end Celtic got the victory they deserved from a Ransley goal on the hour immediately followed by a Dion Jones header, both goals provided by Cooper.

The game was wrapped up with Will Dickerson nutmegging the keeper in the 75th minute.

Austen Arrowheads U-10 2

Melbourn Dynamos Panthers 1

PANTHERS' trip to Austin started full of purpose and with some fluent passing the account was nearly opened with a shot that was a fraction wide.

Eventually a corner was won on the second attempt Matthew Goodfellow's cross was tapped back into the goal mouth by Josh Joyce where Stephen Beattie powered the ball into Austen's net.

Austen where soon on the attack and some purposeful goal keeping from Scott Magee denied them the equaliser but the pressure from Austen was relentless.

The second half began with chances for Harry Carter and a chip over the bar from Stephen Beattie and a solo effort from Daniel Allison full length of the pitch up hill shot just wide.

Austen where quick to break and soon the equaliser, more pressure and some frantic end to end play resulted in Austen grabbing the winner after some poor defending.

Austen Arrowheads U-10 B 7

Melbourn Dynamos Tigers 1

A SECOND half collapse gave Austen the points, on Sunday.

The Tigers started full of promise had had some good runs at Austen with Cameron Short testing the keeper early on.

The second half Austen switched up a gear and so did the Tigers with Cameron Short finding the goalmouth with his left foot.

This goal spurred the Arrowheads to ratchet up another gear and a few defensive error saw the equaliser and it was not long before 2-1.

Austen's third and fourth came in quick succession, despite some good blocking by the keeper Austen got into a scoring rhythm with quick breaks and some defensive errors.

Royston Celtic U-11 4

Herts Rangers Yellows 0

AN Ollie Sole hat-trick saw Celtic safely through to the next round of the county cup.

Celtic took the lead midway through the first half after a fine move which saw Lane put Sole through to finish well. The rest of the half was an even affair with both defences playing well.

In the second half Celtic gradually got their passing game together and sealed the tie with two quick goals. The first was fired home by Lane and Sole got his second with a header.

The visitors never gave up and home keeper Jordan Cooke had to make some good saves. Sole finished off the scoring with his third when he raced through and drove the ball home to cap a good performance by Celtic.

Buntingford Cougars U-13 Blues 3

Sherradswood & Birchwood Rangers 4 (after extra time)

COUGARS gave their all in this enthralling county up game.

The visitors took an early lead, and despite Buntingford creating plenty of chances, the score remained 1-0 at the break.

The Blues started the second half strongly, and Sam Deville levelled the score with a header.

The visitors went ahead again, only to see George Duffin strike to take the game into extra time.

Sherradswood grabbed the lead for the third time early in the first extra period, and quickly doubled their lead.

But Blues battled back and reduced the lead with a Harry Tuttle strike.

The final minutes were frantic as Cougars desperately searched for another goal, but the visitors held on to progress to the next round.

- Cougars' under-15s allowed a 2-0 lead to slip away as they were forced to share the spoils with Bishop's Stortford Athletic.

Joshua Wagstaff and Jack Clark-Ward put Buntingford ahead, before Stortford took advantage of two disallowed goals to snatch a point.