Unlucky seven for battling Panthers

Knebworth Youth Wildcats U-11 7 Melbourn Dynamos Panthers 0 PANTHERS suffered only their second defeat of the season as a strong, well-organised Knebworth team demonstrated exactly why they are currently top of the table. With the Melbourn squad re

Knebworth Youth Wildcats U-11 7 Melbourn Dynamos Panthers 0

PANTHERS suffered only their second defeat of the season as a strong, well-organised Knebworth team demonstrated exactly why they are currently top of the table.

With the Melbourn squad reduced to only 11 players for this fixture, it was always going to be a tough outing, and Knebworth wasted no time in controlling the tempo of the game.

After seven minutes a well-worked Knebworth attack hit the woodwork, and with the Panthers unable to clear the ball convincingly, Knebworth drew first blood with a low shot into the right hand corner shortly afterwards.

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Despite being pinned in their own half for long periods, the Panthers managed to break free through Patrick Hopper's pace, winning a corner that failed to penetrate Knebworth's solid defence.

With the ball back in the Panthers' half, Knebworth launched a series of attacks down the right hand side that eventually won them a second goal after 15 minutes.

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Panthers' keeper Nick Thompson limited the damage through some great saves, but Knebworth pushed players forward relentlessly and were rewarded with three more goals as the Panthers' defence found themselves outnumbered.

Regrouping at half-time, the Panthers approached the second half with much more determination, with Joe Carrington breaking from defence to attack down the left, shooting just wide.

Hopper again threatened down the right flank, but Knebworth countered twice and further extended their lead to 7-0.

Byron Lawrence caused the Knebworth midfield a few problems with some solo runs, but the Panthers were rarely allowed the space to pass fluently, and Craig Stalker and Jack Richardson had little chance to influence the game up-front.

The Panthers' defence coped better with the pressure in the second half, and some stout defending relieved some of the pressure on busy keeper Thompson, who earned a well-deserved man of the match award.

Melbourn Dynamos Panthers U-9 2 Hormead Hares 1

MELBOURN prevailed in an entertaining match against a gallant Hormead side.

The home side started brightly with Ben Webb showing great mobility and awareness to release Charles Johnson, who went close twice.

Hormead were always willing to pass the ball on the break, but strong tackling in midfield by James Rushton and fine covering by Eddie Twyman and James Fowkes limited Hares' chances.

The deadlock was broken as Webb won a free kick just outside the box and Rushton's powerful strike gave the keeper no chance inside the left upright.

Panthers were pushing hard for a second, which soon followed as Sam Bedlow's left foot was first to the loose ball following a Rushton corner, to slot the ball through a crowded goalmouth.

Alex Maskell then pinged a shot just wide. But Hormead showed great spirit and brought a fine save from Ross Cockburn, parrying a well struck shot to his right. In the dying minutes Hares got their goal, with a cool finish following an intercepted clearance.

Melbourn Panthers U-10 0 Buntingford Cougars A 2

PANTHERS were up for this game following a decent display last week. Intense early exchanges led to a break by the Panthers which saw Daniel Alison let loose a thunderbolt from the edge of the box which was well saved by the keeper.

Cougars countered with a sustained period of pressure that saw the Melbourn keeper, Scott McGee, keep them in the game along with some strong defending from Cameron Short.

Early into the second half saw a simple break down the left by the Cougars who made a fine cross which was met and neatly slotted home to make it 1-0.

Some further good saves by Scott McGee kept the Panthers in the game as they began to string some good passes together and apply some pressure to the Kruger goal.

As they pressed they began to second guess the Buntingford keepers goal kicks and broke through on a number of occasions only to see some clear chances missed from a couple of yards out.

As the game near the end a series of corners resulted in the Panthers conceding a second.

Melbourn Tigers U-10 0 Buntingford Cougars B 6

THE first half saw the Tigers set themselves up for a decisive defeat by conceding four goals.

Despite a more battling performance in the second half and a couple of great efforts on goal by Conner Brand, the Tigers were not as hungry as last week and conceded a further two goals.

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