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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

EBFL Division 1 Match Report (10/10/2020): Hype Train FC vs. Hambleden FC

Hype Train FC played our second competitive game of the 2020/21 as we continue life in East Berkshire Football League's Division One, with the team hosting Hambleden FC. Read the match report from our first home game of the season at Calcot Recreation Ground. All aboard.

Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Hambleden FC:

Date: 10th October 2020

Competition: East Berkshire Football League, Division One (Game 2)

Opposition: Hambleden FC

Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Reading, RG31 4XD

Final Score: Hype Train FC 1-0 Hambleden FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

Returning to competitive football at Calcot Recreation Ground for the first time in seven months, we welcomed EBFL newcomers Hambleden FC in our maiden home match of our Division One campaign. On opening day, Hambleden drew 1-1 at home with Stoke Poges Saints, whilst we suffered a narrow 2-0 defeat at Iver Heath.

The first major chance opened for ourselves just after five minutes when good one-touch play down the right-flank freed Callum Fox-Spence at the edge of the box. Fox-Spence ghosted past the last central defender with his eventual shot, low and hard to the keeper's right saved well, with the Hambleden shot-stopper recovering well to save Chris Marshall's follow-up from eight yards out to keep the game goalless.

Hambleden's number 14 came closest to scoring for the visiting side when he hit a sweet free-kick to his far-right, though Jack Roche was at hand to get two strong hands on the ball to clear the ball away for a corner.

We threatened to score again when Phil Newport turned a central defender after collecting a long Roche kick up the pitch, though Newport's left-footed effort was dragged wide. Jon Watkins, starting on the right of midfield then tested the Hambleden keeper with a left-footed effort, but the strike didn't have enough bend to uproot their custodian.

After testing the visitors with several set-pieces, the opening goal of the game arrived after twenty-seven minutes when Rod Stevens flashed a corner across goal, with Newport losing his runner and sweeping the ball into the net for his first competitive goal for the club.

Just two minutes after finding the net, Newport had the ball in the net again after Robert Austin did well to win back possession of the ball from a Hambleden attacker before finding Jamie Carter on the left-wing. Carter's inch-perfect through ball found Newport who stabbed past the keeper, though the Hambleden linesman, who wasn't keeping up with play, flagged for offside despite Newport being level with the last defender when the ball was played.

With the score still 1-0, Hambleden had their best chance to equalise when a mix-up at the back freed their number 14 who had the mercy of the goal to aim at, though his shot was dragged wide as the shot was into the ground, with the hosts getting away with one.

The second-half's first major action saw our Bulgarian central defender, Marin Pendov, carted off the field after a long stoppage in play after a cleared ball smacked the defender's light out. Fortunately, Pendov has recovered well and is in good health after a horrible moment.

Searching to extend the lead, Marshall went close to adding a second goal, before Colins Akemche put the ball agonisingly wide after the keeper parried a shot in the area, with Akemche's snap-shot from eight yards missing the mark.

Playing in to the wind in the second-half, Stevens whipped in a free-kick to the back-post with the ball catching some serious air before crashing off the underside of the crossbar. The follow up couldn't be converted by either Sam Bolwell or Dany Setiawan, as the game somehow was still only 1-0.

Hambleden's best chance to equalise fell ten minutes from the end when Chris Marshall, who filled in at central defence in the absence of Marin Pendov, collided with Roche whilst clearing a ball, though Hambleden's number 9 couldn't convert after Akemche and Austin pushed the attacker wide to limit his angle at goal.

As the game whittled down to its final moments the team did excellently to keep the ball penned in the left-flank and when Hambleden finally won the ball back, Austin intercepted a final long ball into midfield before the referee blew the final whistle, meaning we kept our first clean sheet of the system and managed to get off the mark in EBFL Division One with three points.

Man of the Match: Dom Clarke (LB)

Formidable in the air and a leader at the back on the day, Dom Clarke put in a solid shift at left-back and encapsulated a solid, gritty team performance. Clarke was worthy of his Man of the Match award on the day, whilst there were other notable nominees, with opposite full-back Rod Stevens, and the midfield trio of Colins Akemche, Chris Marshall and Callum Fox-Spence, all putting in big performances as we won our first game of the season.

Thoughts from Player Manager, Robert Austin:

"After a narrow defeat on opening day, the squad was desperate to atone for our opening day loss and for the first time as a club I had the exact same squad available to make that happen. From the first beat of the warm up, the entire team was focused and calm, and even though there were some shaky moments that could have cost us, I believe we had the same application and fight from last weekend and were fully deserving of our win.

We had to dig in at times but our midfield were fantastic all afternoon and unlike last week, we had a dozen chances to have been out of sight, though our shooting boots weren't quite on to see out the game with some level of comfort. We lived on the edge though and got across the line, and that is what is most important in games like this.

In general, the performance was improved in the sense that we got the ball down more and put their defensive line under some serious pressure. This win is a big boost to the team and we needed it massively as we head off to Stoke Poges next week for another crunch league game.

Thank you to Hambleden for the good game, you've got a good squad and hopefully will do well this season. Good luck until our reverse fixture later down the line."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Starting 11:

GK: Jack Roche

DEF: Rod Stevens

DEF: Marin Pendov (Bolwell 53')

DEF: Robert Austin

DEF: Dominic Clarke

MID: Jon Watkins

MID: Chris Marshall

MID: Colins Akemche

MID: Callum Fox-Spence

MID: Jamie Carter (Seville 56')

FOR: Phil Newport (Setiawan 65')


SUB: Sam Seville

SUB: Dany Setiawan

SUB: Sam Bolwell

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Newport (goal), Stevens (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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at

All aboard.

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