Welcome aboard the home of Hype Train Football Club. Here, you can read the match reports from the train's outing across Saturday & Sunday League action throughout the 2023/24 season, with the team competing in the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL) and the Reading & District Sunday League (RDSL). All aboard.
Match Report: Hype Train FC
Date: Saturday 2nd September 2023
Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 3)
Opposition: Old Windsor FC
Location: Old Windsor Recreation Ground, Robin Willis Way, SL4 2PX
Final Score: Old Windsor FC 3-4 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Paige Alexander
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The train's encounter against Old Windsor FC was our third competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team involved in the East Berkshire Football League's Premier Division. The game was reversed last minute as the grounds team at our home venue at Calcot told us the grass was too long to play, meaning we made the visit out to Old Windsor for our 3rd away trip of the season.
The game started at a fast pace for both teams and we only had to wait 5 minutes for our first opportunity at a goal scoring moment. Will Longmatey initially won the ball in midfield for the team and played the ball down the right flank for Mitchel Saunders to chase. The Old Windsor goalkeeper was on hand to collect and casually dragged the ball into his own penalty area so he could pick up the ball, but was oblivious that Saunders was still chasing, and eventually winning the ball, with their shot stopper dragging down Saunders who had an empty net in front of him. With a penalty awarded, Phil Newport stepped up to calmly slot home the set-piece to give the team an early lead.
Hit back almost immediately in the 8th minute, after Windsor won a free-kick on their right wing, the set-piece was clipped into the penalty area and won in the air by their central defender, Chris Tierney, who nodded back towards goal for Dylan Harbridge to convert from close range completely unchecked.
In a game that wouldn't settle, the team would win a corner during the 13th minute when Windsor cleared a throw in down the left wing. Stepping up to take the corner, Dominic Eneh swung in an inviting ball that hit Longmatey inside the penalty area, with Longmatey unaware of the contact, though nonetheless the effort hit the inside of the far-left post and in for the middle's first goal for the club to restore our lead!
Having just restored our lead, a minute later the team won a second penalty kick, starting when great battling in midfield by Longmatey and Waqar Janjua to win the ball back led to Janjua delivering a sweet ball to Eme Boateng on the left wing. For the second time in the game, Old Windsor's goalkeeper was confident of claiming the ball, only to take out Boateng who was first to the ball. With a second spot-kick awarded, Newport stepped up again and struck a low drive past the opposing keeper and into the bottom corner to establish a good lead early in the half.
As the team battled and held a good shape for the first-half, fending off a series of long throws and set-pieces, Old Windsor were afforded a lifeline in the 44th minute when Windsor's right winger was clipped by Eneh on the edge of the penalty area and a penalty kick awarded. The challenge was borderline as to if it was inside of out of the penalty area, and after a period of deliberation a penalty was awarded and the resulting effort from Windsor's Joseph Allen was a good finish to his right to take the game to 3-2 at half-time.
The second-half saw the team defending a series of set-pieces and absorbing a lot of pressure from a pushing Windsor team, and in the 77th minute the hosts were given their way back into the game by the referee when Windsor's Allen was stood up on the byline by Shiloh Nduilor, who stood his ground. Making no movement towards the player, the Windsor player has gone down in an attempt to win a penalty and after 30 seconds of the referee thinking about what to do, after an agonising wait a penalty was awarded. It was a decision persuaded by the encouragement of the home support that led to Allen converting his second penalty right down Halsall's middle of the goal.
After spending the majority of the second-half defending, the team robbed Windsor of possession in the 79th minute when Anwar Mmanga intercepted a loose pass before playing in Saunders that then fed the ball to Newport, who when driving forward was fouled from 35-yards out. With the game now braced again, Newport stepped up from a long way out and absolutely leathered the free-kick over the wall as the ball swerved in the air and rocketed into the back of the net - a truly wonderful strike from range - to restore the team's lead yet again with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The final minutes of the game became open and end-to-end at the train fought for every ball and defended every set-piece and long throw to thwart the hosts as we held on to secure a memorable 4-3 win away from home against one of the EBFL's best teams!
Next up for the train, our Sunday League season in Reading & District Sunday League's Division 3 kicks off, with the team travelling out to Burghfield's CSA to take on Southbank FC in our opening fixture on 3rd September 2023.
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"Quite honestly, I've been absolutely buzzing since the final whistle to writing these words, it was such a proud day for everyone involved in the club. Without doubt, this is a statement win and our best ever in a Saturday League game. Nobody expected us to get a result and I've told the guys that results are secondary to performance and gelling as we have a new team, but ultimately we had the sweetest win as a club to date.
I spoke with Darren Wareham (Old Windsor's Manager) at the close of the game and said that his team were completely off it today and he was genuinely shocked that their unbeaten start to the season had ended, but said our team had managed to really frustrate them in key areas across the pitch. What we did do well after their first goal was shut down their set-pieces and reduce them to speculative shots from range. We set the team up to exploit weak spots down the channels and really made the most of our chances. The winning goal was also something special to watch and worthy of winning any game of football.
What I am most proud with of the team is how they took to the tactics I set out, and truly fought harder for the points in a game that I've ever seen before. We really scrapped and battled and showed some class on the ball when we needed too. We equally frustrated Windsor on an off day and thought we were worth the points on the day.
The biggest thank you to the day goes out to Old Windsor. Not only did they reverse our fixture on short notice, they accommodated us after and showed their class as a proper club in the area. The Birchmore's (Sandra, Dan and Brad) and the Wade's are really top people and volunteers in grassroots football for their club and the EBFL equally, and we are grateful for their hospitality on the day. We're already looking forward to the return game, and thanks for a competitive game of football!"
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Jamie Halsall
DEF: Anwar Mmanga
DEF: Shiloh Nduilor
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: Dominic Eneh
MID: Mitchell Saunders
MID: Cory McManus
MID: Waqar Janjua (Akinbola 86')
MID: Will Longmatey
MID: Emmanuel Boateng (Radwan 62')
FOR: Phil Newport
SUB: Hussein Radwan
SUB: Nifemi Akinbola
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Newport (goal), Saunders (assist)
Goal 2: Longmatey (goal), Eneh (assist)
Goal 3: Newport (goal), Boateng (assist)
Goal 4: Newport (goal), no assist
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and 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. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.
In 2021, we formed the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), a competitive Sunday League involving 8 teams in its debut season. During the 2021/22 season, we won our first-ever trophy, lifting the East Berkshire Football League's Presidents Cup!
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, visit our club's dedicate website, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk
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