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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

EBFL Premier Division Match Report (18/11/2023): Hype Train FC vs. Southcote FC

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 18th November 2023

Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 11)

Opposition: Southcote FC

Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Off Highview, Reading, RG31 4XD

Final Score: Hype Train FC 6-2 Southcote FC

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Southcote FC was our 22nd competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team involved in the East Berkshire Football League's Premier Division. Our latest outing against Southcote was the return fixture at home against Southcote, having been caught cold on the opening day of the EBFL Premier Division season in August in a 7-2 loss at Hugh Farringdon School.

With many postponements across the Berks & Bucks FA region, our game against a local Reading based team beat the weather, and it was the visiting Southcote that struck first. After winning a free-kick on their left flank just inside the attacking half, the resulting set-piece was deep into the penalty area and headed home by Rocco Sofroniou at the back post - catching keeper Robert Austin cold to give Southcote an early lead.

With a few nearly moments as Southcote put pressure on the team, a second goal eventually arrived in the 17th minute and was a classic route one goal. Austin dropped kicked the ball into the opposing half, with Southcote winning the initial ball. Falling out to their right back, a simple long ball over the top reached Sofroniou again as he beat the keeper to the ball to loft the ball over and into the net to double their lead.

The train were slowly building into the game, and we were on the scoreboard after 20 mins. Starting when Mitchell Saunders collected a loose pass by the Southcote right back, Saunders found Nick Parfitt-Bowers, who then turned and spread the ball down the left flank for Padraig Gorman, who ran at the defence. Squared up with his marked, Gorman fed the ball across the box to Ciaran Carolan, who set himself in the box to get away from a central defender, before placing a soft into the far left of the goal to give the team a way back into the game.

More pressure was built by the team throughout the remainder of the first-half, with Jas Le Paih firing over from a set-piece, whilst Gorman had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, whilst Phil Newport drew a good block when charging down at goal, but the team would go into the second-half a goal behind.

The second-half changed the flow of the game, with the team coming out firing, and were able to draw level in the 50th minute. Jenson Mansel initially won the ball in midfield, feeding the ball to Carolan, who heel-flicked the ball to Saunders, who then guided the ball high over the Southcote right back. Gorman was on hand to collect the ball, before cutting in and striking low at goal, with a deflection taking the ball away from the goalkeeper as he creeped over the line to draw the game level at 2-2.

With the team in the ascendancy, good work from Parfitt-Bowers drew a foul just outside of the penalty area, slightly to the left of midfield, which gave the team a golden opportunity from a dead ball to take the lead for the first time. Carolan's set-piece would be saved by the gloves of Southcote's shot stopper, but only palmed in the direction of Joe Sawyer on the six-yard-line, who was able to find his feet and guide the ball past a couple of markers and the keeper and into the net, to place the team in the lead - which was Sawyer's 3rd goal of the season from defence this season!

More goals arrived in the 67th minute for the hosts as we won a free kick for a handball inside our own half, which Sawyer would deliver to the penalty spot inside the Southcote penalty area. Saunders showed great footwork to control the ball, twisting the turning before rolling the ball away from two defenders, which freed space for Carolan to fire home on his left to double our advantage.

With the visitors rushing the play, during the 74th minute when playing the ball around the back, a loose pass on their right back towards goal was intercepted by Newport, who was instantly collided into the back of by a Southcote central defender. The visiting team protested that the initial foul occurred outside of the penalty area, but on reflection the challenge happened just inside the penalty area, though with long grass and faint lines due to rain overnight, we understand their appeals on the sidelines - though ultimately the referee decided to award a penalty. Newport then no mistake from the spot, rifling the spot-kick centrally and high giving their keeper no chance as the game was taken to 5-2.

Enjoying our football, and 6th and final goal put the cherry on top for us in the 77th minute when more battling play by Mansel in midfield won the ball, with the midfielder then gliding forward and laying the ball off to Gorman, who when faced up with a defender struck an initial shot off his marker, but the second attempt that fell to the winger's feet was guided into the back of the net, sealing another top afternoon at the office in EBFL's Premier Division, and ensuring our first ever win over a Southcote team on either Saturday or Sunday League action.

Next up for the train, we were in action in Reading & District Sunday League's Industrial Cup, hosting Rose & Thistle FC in the Last 16 of the competition the following day on Sunday 19th November 2023!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Our returning season to the EBFL has certainly been challenging, but games like those on Saturday make all the hard work and effort worth the effort that goes into the club. We're the only club to beat Old Windsor so far, we have got wins against top teams in Britwell and Frontline, we won the first Showcase match of the season at Burnham FC, and today we triumphed against Southcote for the very first time.

We started very slowly in the game and had to fight back from 2-0 down. In goal, I was particularly cold and in my own head and cost us a couple of goals and was fuming with myself, but as we grew into the half and the game, getting the goal to get back to 2-1 was so important as we looked to build on momentum into the second-half. I told everyone at half-time the game was there for the taking and to just go for it, attack on the front foot and put pressure on against a team that was wilting, and the players went out into the second period and dominated the half. We were ruthless across the pitch, ran away with the game and then played the ball around to end the game.

I'd largely like to thank a wider team effort, everyone played their part in the win on the day and it is a rarity that we have a squad of 16 available, so it is always difficult to manage more available players, but when we have 3 more subs who are fresh, it really made the difference in shutting down the game and allowing us to not fade, so it was a very good afternoon at the office, especially as we avenged a 7-2 loss to them on the opening day of the season when we were all out of sorts.

The referee also had a difficult game managing the spectators, but thought he did a good job at managing the game and upon review on our VEO camera, made some correct key calls in the game that at the time our opposition were protesting. Thanks to Southcote for the game and we're wishing Teresa and her squad the best for the remainder of the season."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Austin

DEF: Anwar Mmanga (Laryea 64')

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Jas Le Paih (Longmate 46')

DEF: Tom Dalgarno (Boateng 46')

MID: Phil Newport

MID: Mitchell Saunders

MID: Jenson Mansel

MID: Nick Parfitt-Bowers (Heinau 60')

MID: Padraig Gorman (Carolan 78')

FOR: Ciaran Carolan (Janjua 68')


SUB: Waqar Janjua

SUB: Benjamin Heinau

SUB: Jeffrey Laryea SUB: Eme Boateng

SUB: Kie Longmate

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Carolan (goal), Gorman (assist)

Goal 2: Gorman (goal), Saunders (assist)

Goal 3: Sawyer (goal), Carolan (assist)

Goal 4: Carolan (goal), Saunders (assist)

Goal 5: Newport (goal), no assist

Goal 6: Gorman (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

Believe The Hype!


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