Extra special four-goal blast clinches cup win
Buntingford Town Youth 5 Cogenhoe United 2 (AET) FOUR extra time goals saw Town power their way into the semi-finals of the Eastern Junior Plate. In windy conditions the teams struggled to really grasp the game by the neck but both played with immense en
Buntingford Town Youth 5 Cogenhoe United 2 (AET) FOUR extra time goals saw Town power their way into the semi-finals of the Eastern Junior Plate. In windy conditions the teams struggled to really grasp the game by the neck but both played with immense enthusiasm and both teams created good chances. Tim Jarman blazed over when through on goal and Ashley Townsend mis-kicked after a good run and cross from Jamie Morriss. Cogenhoe's vibrant side had chances as well. Town goalkeeper Stuart McHale was taken ill 15 minutes before kick off, so Luke Robins deputised between the posts for the first time this season. He did well to save a firmly-struck free kick, and 10 minutes before the break a forward was unlucky to see his shot strike a player and roll along the goal line before being scrambled away. With the game goalless at the interval Town took the lead just two minutes after the restart when Robbie Wilmott crossed for Townsend to convert from close range. Cogenhoe equalised with 20 minutes remaining when Town were caught on the break away after losing the ball around the visiting penalty area and a forward fired home from 16 yards in the clear. Boss Paul Attfield gambled with a three-man attack and a more direct approach with the windy conditions, and the move paid off as Town began to get more control over the visitors. Will Turl had a good header superbly tipped over, Townsend hit the crossbar and Robbie Wilmott twice shot agonisingly wide when clear on goal, but Town couldn't find the breakthrough and the game went into extra time. The home side continued to pressurise and had the game sewn up in the first 15 minute period with a quick three goal burst. Within a minute of the restart, Town gained a corner a Robbie Wilmott's floated cross was headed in by Turl. Another cross from Wilmott was headed by Tom Malins aginst a defender and into the net for the hosts' third and a stunning piece of control and composed finish by Ashley Townsend gave Town a comfortable cushion. Wilmott completed Buntingford's scoring five minutes into the second period with a fine individual goal before Cogenhoe added a late goal following a defensive mix up, but it was too late to prevent Town reaching their fourth semi-final of the season. Buntingford Town Youth 2 Heybridge Swifts 3 A CATALOGUE of missed chances and defensive errors cost Town this game in which they had largely dominated throughout. As this was Town's fourth youth team game in a week there were debuts in this fixture for Joe Shaughnessy, Angelo Wallace and Jack Bradshaw who all gave good performances with the stretched squad only having 11 players. A fierce wind blew directly down the pitch and Town defended into it but played some good football in the first half. Bradshaw, who looked skilful and composed on the right side, shot just over after a neat move, and Ashley Townsend fired into the side netting when well placed. Swifts took the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes. John Bitting was robbed of the ball outside the area and a cross was fumbled over the line by keeper Stuart McHale. The lead was doubled 15 minutes later when a wind-assisted 35-yard free kick was fired into the top right-hand corner giving McHale no chance. Town continued to press and always looked dangerous. Gary Christie fired over when through on goal before Phil Fisher reduced the deficit three minutes before half time after rounding the keeper from Christie's through ball. Town started the second half with a spring in their step and equalised on 50 minutes when Bradshaw outpaced the full back, cut inside and pulled back for Ashley Townsend to fire high into the net from 12 yards. With the wind behind them this should have been an incentive to really push on but the equaliser had a negative effect on the side and they began losing control of the game. Just four minutes later Swifts regained the lead when a hopeful free kick was poorly cleared and an 18-yard shot went into the net. Several Town players became visibly tired but with no substitutes there were no get-out options and the scoring was completed with 20 minutes remaining - John Bitting's throw back to Stuart McHale held up in the wind a forward nipped in to roll the ball into the empty net. Town continued to create chances with Phil Fisher and Ashley Townsend both missing the target when through on goal, and Jack Bradshaw was unlucky to see a thumping 25-yard effort cannon off the top of the crossbar, but this was not to be the home side's day. Buntingford Town Youth 3 St Ives Town 2 ANOTHER important three points but this was a game Buntingford were left hanging on until the end as a sloppy second half performance nearly cost them dearly. The home side dominated the first half with Paul Attfield rotating his squad but ended up with more injury headaches as David Cain, Luke Robins and Chris Moule all had to leave the pitch with knocks. Buntingford's first half domination paid off in the 30th minute when Will Turl headed in a Chris Moule free kick. Less than a minute later the lead was doubled when Sam Leader lobbed the keeper from Lewis Endacott's long throw and Phil Fisher applied the finishing touch from close range. In first half injury time John Bitting converted a penalty after a handball offence. Just 90 seconds into the second period the visitors reduced the deficit with a well-worked goal and finish. This certainly galvanised the Saints as the hosts struggled immensely to deal with the visiting intensity and all too often gave away cheap possession. With a little more luck St Ives could have scored more than an 88th minute penalty awarded after another handball offence but the home side hung on and were relieved to hear the final whistle. Leyton Youth 3 Buntingford Town 0 TOWN went out of the Magnus Cup, but the scoreline was harsh on their young side The result looks convincing enough but for anyone in attendance the scoreline was harsh on a young Town side that created enough good chances to have given them a shout by the end of the match. Intent on using this competition for more experimentation purposes boss Paul Attfield started with six of the under-16 squad to give them valuable experience for next season and again he was not have been disappointed with what he saw. "The effort and commitment given by the players tonight, especially in the second half has not been bettered this season" he said. "The scoreline looks poor but in my opinion is really harsh on the youngsters and there is nothing in their general performance I can fault tonight. "We had chances to score but just lacked a killer touch in front of goal when it mattered". Over the two legs Leyton have certainly been one of Town's toughest opponents as they currently proved by sitting top of their section in the Eastern Junior Alliance Sunday League. Town did start this game poorly and conceded on six minutes when a forward was allowed to control a corner too easily and turn and fire in from 16 yards in one quick movement. Attfield started with a 3-4-3 formation due to the lack of defensive players and Town eased their way into the game and created some good chances. Luke Robins had two great chances when he worked some space outside the area but the keeper saved each time and two goalmouth scrambles were cleared when on another day they may have ended in the net. With Town on top the home side doubled their lead 10 minutes before half-time when the visitors fell asleep from a quick throw-in near the area, and a forward ran unchallenged into the box before angling home a 14-yard drive. Being two down at half time did not affect the Town team as they continued to press hard in the opening stages of the second half. Three good crosses into the box from either side of the pitch were inches away from finishing touches by Town players as the home area led a charmed life. Robbie Wilmott ran through on goal but an outstretched goalkeeper's arm prevented the ball from entering the net. The next Town chance summed up their evening when Robins ran through. His lob was perfect but the ball bounced on the ground just before the goal and it continued up over the crossbar. With Town pressing forward, the hosts added a third goal after Dom Rea Long failed to hold a fierce angled drive, allowing a simple tap in with minutes remaining. Great Chishill 1 Withersfield 2 CHISHILL crashed to another home defeat on Saturday, despite dominating for long periods of the game. The hosts started brightly, Peter Jackson first opening the visitors up down the right hand side, but his low cross evaded everyone in the area. Elliot Drury had an excellent 20-yard shot tipped wide, when it seemed destined for the top corner. But as with the previous week, Chishill could just not find a breakthrough. Their luck got worse when a Withersfield shot took a wicked deflection to give them an undeserved lead. This really seemed to dent the hosts' confidence and they went two down just before half-time, the visiting striker firing home unmarked from close range. It took Chishill a while to recover from this in the second half, as they were kept on the back foot, but Gallagher in goal was still rarely tested. Substitutes Tom Hodge, Chris White and Steve McGee gave new attacking options to Chishill, but as the game wore on it looked unlikely they would ever find a breakthrough. With 20 minutes remaining McGee's cross was only half cleared, and new signing Luke Tyler drove in a low shot from the edge of the box for his first goal for the club. For the remainder of the game Chishill caused constant panic in the Withersfield defence. McGee watched his angled shot roll agonisingly along the goal line, but with nobody to apply a final touch, an equaliser never arrived. Chishill: Gallagher, R Drury, Gibson, Gardiner, Bramwell, Rogers, Tyler, E Drury, Jackson, Edey, J Drury. Subs: Hodge, McGee, White.