Royston Town Youth 1 Buntingford Town Youth 7 BUNTINGFORD returned from Garden Walk with the local
Royston Town Youth 1 Buntingford Town Youth 7 BUNTINGFORD returned from Garden Walk with the local bragging rights after hitting the hosts for six in the second half last Wednesday. Without five players missing through injury and holiday commitments, Bunt
Royston Town Youth 1 Buntingford Town Youth 7
BUNTINGFORD returned from Garden Walk with the local bragging rights after hitting the hosts for six in the second half last Wednesday.
Without five players missing through injury and holiday commitments, Buntingford boss Paul Attfield gave debuts to Matt Sockalingum and Jack Bradshaw in the second half, and both ended up on the scoresheet. But the first half was a tense, nervy affair from Buntingford's point of view.
A brisk opening from the visitors saw Ashley Townsend clean through on goal in the opening seconds, but Luke Howard blocked his shot, a Luke Robins cross just missed the head of John Bitting, and Robins shooting just wide when well placed.
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The missed chances proved to be quite costly because the home side began to sense they were well in the game and did enjoy plenty of good possession and some positive territorial advantage.
Buntingford struggled from set plays and Royston were unlucky to strike the woodwork on three occasions in the first half from set play deliveries.
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It was from the last effort off a post that Buntingford scrambled the ball away and broke to take the lead on 26 minutes.
A fine sweeping move from one end of the pitch to the other ended with Sockalingum crashing a 16 yard angled drive in off the right hand upright.
Royston had a couple of good shouts for penalties turned down as the visitors continued to struggle to get any control of the game until five minutes before the break, when the home side were awarded a spot-kick after Stuart McHale bundled over a forward.
Gregg Jackson cannoned the penalty in off the underside of the crossbar to leave the teams deadlocked at the half-time interval.
This break seemed to galvanise the visitors as they re-appeared with some purposeful vigour and intensity that saw them dominate large periods of the second half.
Straight from the restart Buntingford gained possession and the lively Luke Robins outpaced the full-back and pulled the ball back for Sockalingum to crash a left-footed 20-yarder into the top right-hand corner for a quite brilliant goal.
The intensity continued and the game was all but wrapped up in the next 10 minutes with two identical Robbie Wilmott goals from inside the six-yard box when he converted crosses from Ashley Townsend and Tim Jarman.
Bradshaw then scored a debut goal when he directed Dean Chaffey's goalbound header over the line mid-way through the half before Royston created some more good chances, hitting the bar from 18 yards and bringing two smart saves from McHale.
Buntingford finished off the scoring within the last few minutes, with first Gary Christie smashing an angled 12-yard drive inside the keeper's near post, and Robbie Wilmott completing his hat-trick by sliding the ball under the keeper as he ran through on goal.
Letchworth GCE U-12 1
Buntingford Cougars Blues 1
COUGARS produced a superb all-round team performance in a pulsating physical game to share the spoils with the unbeaten league leaders.
Blues harried and chased from the kick off and denied Letchworth any time on the ball.
The Cougars' defence was outstanding, restricting the home side to just a few long-range efforts in the first half.
Minutes into the second half, George Duffin latched on to a long ball and then fired in a shot from 25 yards that looped over the Letchworth keeper to give Cougars the lead.
The home side pressed forward, but the Blues defence held firm and AJ Curtis pulled off a terrific save
With 10 minutes left Letchworth equalised from a goalmouth scramble following a corner.
However the Cougars rallied and held on for a deserved point, which assures them the runners up spot in Division One.
Buntingford Cougars Girls 4
Hemel Hempstead U-12 1
A second-half hat-trick from captain and player of the match Chloe Camper secured all three points in an excellent 4-1 win for Cougars.
After a lacklustre first half in which Cougars went one down, the hosts produced an excellent display in the second half with an equaliser coming from a deflected shot from Alex Hunt.
Cougars continued to dominate and some excellent play out on the left from Megan Gilligan and Kirsty Hill resulted in Camper's first.
Camper's second came after rounding the keeper after some good work from Gabrielle Hodgson and Katie Jennings.
Good play down the right from Lucy Bell resulted in a penalty after the cross struck a Hemel player's arm which Camper slotted past the keeper for her third.
Royston Town Colts U-14 2 Knebworth Youth 6
COLTS struggled to get going in Sunday's Division One clash and were trailing by two soft goals within 10 minutes.
They did eventually wake up, with a lofted shot by Harry Noades bouncing off the top of the bar and Ryan Ingrey shooting just wide.
But just as they seemed to be getting on terms, Knebworth sliced down the right, slid in an excellent low cross and blasted their third from close range.
Knebworth always looked technically superior, showing good cohesion and close passing skills, in contrast to Colts who looked shapeless and continually gave away possession.
The second half saw more of the same.
Colts battled gamely and Mark Harper, standing in for the absent Tom Monti between the posts, pulled off a string of impressive saves.
But he could do nothing to prevent Knebworth's fourth after the defence failed to clear their lines.
Harry Noades pulled one back from the penalty spot after a Knebworth player needlessly handled inside the area, but a testing free kick led to the visitors' fifth soon afterwards, and Colts then conceded a penalty themselves to gift Knebworth a sixth.
Royston, to their credit, battled on and secured a final consolation.
Craig Lucken refused to give up on a no-hope ball and turned and crossed superbly into the Knebworth area.
The ball bounced around agonisingly in the resultant melee until Dominic Oxenford finally managed to prod it across the line.