EBFL Division 1 Match Report (01/05/2021): Hambleden FC vs. Hype Train FC
Hype Train FC played our 11th competitive game of the 2020/21 as we continue life in East Berkshire Football League's Division One, with the team travelling out to Hambleden FC. Read the match report from our fixture at The Dene. All aboard.
Match Report: Hambleden FC vs. Hype Train FC:
Date: Saturday 1st May 2021
Competition: East Berkshire Football League, Division One (Game 6)
Opposition: Hambleden FC
Location: The Dene, Hambleden, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6RT
Final Score: Hambleden FC 0-4 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Our visit to the scenic town of Hambleden, the team's closest away fixture of the season, was our reversal fixture against Hambleden FC, with Phil Newport's goal enough for a 1-0 win back in October 2020 - the club's first win of the campaign.
Our 2pm kick-off started with the home side applying pressure down their left-channel, popping off a few shots that didn't test Jack Roche. Growing into the game, we went close to a first goal when Robert Austin's zipped ball fell to Sam Paddon, who teed up Jon Watkins on the right to fire just wide of the mark.
The game's first goal didn't take too long to arrive and was the product of a nice passing move down the right-flank, with Martin King firstly winning possession back. King fed Watkins on the right who then found the feet of Sam Paddon, with Paddon turning in and finding Sam Bolwell in the middle of the field. Bolwell's first time left-footed dink over the Hambleden defence found Callum Fox-Spence, with our Number 7 hitting a sweet strike on the half-volley - the opposing goalkeeper got a touch on the ball, though wasn't enough to divert the ball from the back of the net.
At the other end of the field we had the heroics of Jack Roche to thank for keeping the game at 1-0, with a Hambleden corner falling between defenders and attackers, with a strong stab at goal forcing Roche into a reflex save at the far right corner, an effort destined for the net had it not been for the great redwood in between the sticks.
Hambleden's goalkeeper was then called into action when Rod Stevens cross fell to Chris Marshall to head on target, forcing a good save from their custodian, before a Phil Newport low-cross from the left flew across the six-yard-line and agonisingly past the advancing run of Watkins.
We went into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead and it was all Hype Train in the second and only took until the 54th minute when the team were finally able to double the team's lead. A Stevens corner was whipped to the back post and only partially cleared by a Hambleden defender. Hot on the trail of the clearance, Paddon was first on to the loose ball and spun at the edge of the box and found the far-corner with his weaker right-foot, his first goal of the season!
Another set-piece in the 64th minute put the icing on the cake for the team when Stevens flashed a dangerous corner inside the six-yard box, with club captain Martin King the first at hand to power home a header from close range - King's second goal of the season for the club, both headed efforts from a Stevens corner.
Enjoying our football, Roche in goal had to make another two wonderful saves to preserve the team's clean sheet, before the team threatened with even more chances. A cross to the back-stick from Austin found the head of Colins Akemche, with the right-winger finding the advancing Vincent van Lembergen to control and volley inches, mere inches, to the right of Hambleden's goal.
The contest was then put to rest in the 78th minute when a good passing move between Stevens and Paddon found the feet of the lively Callum Parr-Jones, with the attacking midfielder finding Fox-Spence unattended on the left-wing with a left-footed through ball. Fox-Spence was first to the ball, tricked his way round the last covering defender before firing with his left-foot into the far-left corner of the goal - leaving the best goal of the day to last! This means that after waiting nearly two years for his first goal, Fox-Spence scored two in the same game.
There was chance for a late 5th goal for the team when another Stevens corner found the head of van Lembergen, though the Belgian's header rattled off the crossbar! Austin put the ball back in the box for a second stab at goal, though Stevens comically hit a shot into the sheep field behind the goal.
After a joyous afternoon at the office, the full-time whistle blew with the team registing our biggest win of the season to date, meaning we completed a league double over Hambleden - the first time we have ever achieved this feat over a club due to the Covid-19 pandemic destroying our opportunities of playing much league football since our debut in July 2019.
Next up for the team, we travel out to finally play Old Windsor FC's Reserves in a competitive match in EBFL Division One on Saturday 8th May 2021, whilst we continue our Reading Sunday Social League campaign by taking on New England FC at Linear Park in Reading on Sunday 9th May 2021.
Man of the Match: Callum Fox-Spence (CM)
Our 4-0 victory over Hambleden featured some standout performances that shouldn't go without mention. Jack Roche made three crucial saves when the game was 1-0, whilst Sam Bolwell and Chris Marshall ran the show in midfield for the team.
Callum Fox-Spence had an unforgettable afternoon with the team, scoring his first competitive goals for the club, both of them worthy of any highlight reel! Playing in central midfield in the first-half Fox-Spence supported Sam Paddon well, then in the second-half terrorised a tiring Hambleden defence on the left-wing, with his second goal the pick of the goals on a great day for the club.
Thoughts from Player Manager, Robert Austin:
"In the back of my head for a while, we've needed a big win on a Saturday to lift moral and I'm so happy that were able to execute a great performance for the team. We've been competitive in every match this season but have struggled to find the net far too often, which makes it so sweet that today we were clinical in front of goal and on another day could have had another two of three to add to the goals.
We need to use this win to kickstart the month of May - we're in a defining period for the club and our season's success will depend on the games this month. We have some crucial games in store in the Reading Sunday Social League, whilst we have some big games against Old Windsor, Iver Heath and Townmead in EBFL Division One - we have a lot to play for and hopefully this is a springboard!
Overall I am happy with the day's work, and have been extremely happy with how we've defended as a team in recent weeks. We have managed back-to-back clean sheets in the EBFL, whilst we have been a tough nut to crack on Sunday's.
I'd like to end by saying thank you to Hambleden - they gave us a good game despite missing some key players. They're a credit to the EBFL with a good group of players and managerial staff. Here's hoping we can meet further down the road."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Martin King
DEF: Vince van Lembergen
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Jon Watkins (Akemche 55')
MID: Callum Fox-Spence (Parr-Jones 46')
MID: Chris Marshall
MID: Sam Bolwell
MID: Phil Newport (Fox-Spence 60')
FOR: Sam Paddon (Newport 82')
SUB: Callum Parr-Jones
SUB: Colins Akemche
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Fox-Spence (goal), Bolwell (assist)
Goal 2: Paddon (goal), no assist
Goal 3: King (goal), Stevens (assist)
Goal 4: Fox-Spence (goal), Parr-Jones (assist)
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.
In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.