Hype Train FC played our 16th competitive game of the 2020/21 as we continue life in East Berkshire Football League's Division One, with the team hosting Townmead FC. Read the match report from our fixture at Calcot Recreation Ground. All aboard.
Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Townmead FC:
Date: Saturday 29th May 2021
Competition: East Berkshire Football League, Division One (Game 7)
Opposition: Townmead FC
Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Reading, Berkshire, RG31 4XD
Final Score: Hype Train FC 1-2 Townmead FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Our home encounter against Townmead was our seventh outing of the EBFL season and the first time we have encountered our visitors since the first outing of pre-season last summer, and only the second game in club history that we have had assistant referees in a game due to the lack of fixtures over the bank holiday weekend.
The visiting outfit started the brighter of the two teams, with Jake Holloway tested on two occasions in the opening ten minutes of the game, with the shot-stopper making two good saves to deny Townmead. The visitors were able to take advantage of an early lead in the 14th minute when a cross from their left-flank was defended well by Rod Stevens, though a back pass to Holloway in the net was under hit, with Townmead converting from close range much to their fortune.
Eventually waking up to the game, we fashioned two first-half chances that on any other day would have resulted in goals. The first came when good build up play on the left saw Phil Newport unleash a shot that was eventually blocked, with the ball bouncing in the air - Newport won the header which cut back towards goal, with Sam Paddon's close range header being somehow cleared off the line. The second instance saw Holloway's goal kick flicked on, with Newport dragging an attempt wide when through on goal.
The second-half became a more tense encounter as we tried our best to equalise. Callum Fox-Spence was freed through on goal and cut back to Paddon, who only had to convert from a few yards out, though the forward fell on the ball as the West Drayton outfit counted their blessings that the game wasn't drawn level.
Club Captain, Vincent van Lembergen, then struck the top of the bar was a vicious header after a Stevens corner, with the ball bouncing on the line. With the team pressing more and more, Jon Watkins was then unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after a Townmead defender pushed Watkins in the penalty area when a low-cross was destined for the winger at close range.
Townmead then were able to extend their lead as they hit the team on the counter, with their substitute Number 14 running to our by-line and snapping a low-cross for their right-winger, Matt Sullivan to stab home off the far-post.
Fighting to the end of the game, we did claw a goal back when Newport controlled a Stevens corner that bounced off the knee of Walid Zaky, with Newport powering a left-footed effort into the net. With a few minutes to spare we did all we could to draw level at the end, though the visitors, worthy of their win on a hot day down at Calcot Recreation Ground, held out for all three points.
Next up for the team, we face Caversham United next Sunday in the last Reading Sunday Social League fixture. If the team get a win over Caversham, we will qualify for the league's grand final on June 13th 2021.
Man of the Match: Jake Holloway (GK)
Jake Holloway made his Saturday debut for the club and made a series of fine saves, including an incredible double save in the second-half, to deny Townmead's attackers. This is Holloway's second Man of the Match accolade since joining the club after the return of grassroots football in April.
Thoughts from Player Manager, Robert Austin:
"Our chances of competing in the EBFL this season have virtually diminished in what has been a difficult, drawn out campaign due to the pandemic. Every team and game has been at a high standard, and after we had to surrender our fixture against Iver Heath last Saturday due to availability, the only thing I wanted from my team today was the right attitude and application - and they delivered.
Besides a sleepy start to the game, we fought well, tried to play our football and made several chances, guilt-edged chances that we convert on another day and get the win. The positives I took from this game outweighed the final score for us - I am looking for development ahead of anything else and the boys really showed they could apply themselves at a good level and can definitely build on this performance.
The only downside was the goals we conceded - we gifted our visitors the wins with a few lapses of concentration - you get punished at every level for being sloppy, but it's something we will iron out over time!
Townmead have progressed well as a team since we first played them in 2019 and were very strong and resilient throughout the game - they have become a very good outfit and I am very much looking forward to our return fixture in a few weeks when we make the trip out to West Drayton."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
GK: Jake Holloway
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Vincent van Lembergen
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Jon Watkins (Zaky 75')
MID: Callum Fox-Spence
MID: Chris Marshall (Akemche 70')
MID: Sam Bolwell
MID: Phil Newport
FOR: Sam Paddon
SUB: Walid Zaky
SUB: Colins Akemche
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Newport (goal), Zaky (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.