Hype Train FC will be playing across both Saturday and Sunday next season, with the team competing in the East Berkshire Football League and the Reading & District Sunday League. You can follow all of the team's season coverage right here as we provide match reports and photo galleries from our third season as a club! All aboard.
Match Report: Stoke Poges FC vs. Hype Train FC
Date: Wednesday 20th March 2022 (6pm kick-off)
Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 10)
Opposition: Stoke Poges FC
Location: The Edward Parry Ground, Bells Hill, Stoke Poges, SL2 4EG
Final Score: Stoke Poges FC 3-4 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Our encounter against Stoke Poges saw the team take the trip out to Slough for our first-ever 6pm midweek kick-off, with our contingent from Reading heading out for a sunset game against a familiar foe, who last time out in EBFL's Premier Division overcame a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at Calcot Recreation Ground last November.
The game's first goal only took 10 minutes to arrive and the move started when Shane Cooper-Clark's initial out-swinging corner was cleared away from goal by a Poges defender at the near-post, though Phil Newport won the race to the ball and beat a couple of players down the line on the left, eventually cutting the ball back to Matt Snell. The midfielder took his time inside the penalty area to pick out Cooper-Clark at the back-post, who took a touch to set before burying a great strike into the back of the net to open the lead - with this being Cooper-Clark's goal for the Saturday side this season.
The hosts were able to draw level in the 37th minutes and the leveller began on a counter attack when the eventual key pass was a a cross-field pass that saw Poges' Sam Manton rise highest to win the initial header with the ball in the air, with their Number 12 nodding in the knock down and past Jack Roche in goal to tie the game up.
Minutes later in the 42nd minutes, Poges turned the game around when a bouncing ball cleared our defensive line, with Manton in on goal on the left again. The winger cut in on his right, took a low shot that looked to everyone as if it was going out, though somehow diverted everyone's attention as it hit the post, with the ball falling out to their Number 12 on the right, who played a forward pass to a player two-yards-out from goal to convert, to give Poges a 2-1 lead heading into half-time.
The break in play was a huge benefit to the team as we reshaped and addressed a few faults in the first-half, all which led to an equalising effort in the 58th minute. The attack started when Snell passed to George Fradgley, who picked out Dany Setiawan on the right. Moving infield with the ball, Setiawan curled a lovely pass into Leon Mannion's feet inside the penalty area, with the Number 9 using his strength to turn the Poges defender before squaring the ball to Newport, who set himself and calmly finished in the bottom corner to draw the sides level at 2-2.
The turnaround for the team in green was complete in the 61st minute when Newport took a quick throw on the left to Mannion, who returned Newport the ball with a delightful touch, which allowed Newport to beat a few Poges defenders down the left, before running to the byline with the ball and cutting back to Mannion, who on his left, picked out the far-corner with a composed finish to give the team a 3-2 lead.
We had to wait until the 74th minute of the game for the next goal, which arrived from a corner kick, with a whipped delivery from Cooper-Clark bouncing off a Poges defender and then the side of Joe Sawyer, which fell perfectly for Mannion to stab home from close range to see the game start to run away from Poges at 4-2.
Unable to rest on our lead, Poges did manage to pull a goal back to set up a grandstand finish and all happened when the ball was coming back into Roche's possession as he had Sam Manton chasing the keeper down. When picking up the ball, there was a slip of the gloves as the ball fell to Manton to tap into an empty net. Though, despite coming back, Poges were unable to add to their lead and the final whistle was blown just seconds after Mannion was wiped out inside the penalty area, denying the attacker his chance at a hat-trick!
The win moved the team up to 15 points from 11 games in EBFL's Premier Division, with multiple games in hand on the teams above. Next up for the team on Saturday's, we play AFC Cressex at home for a dress rehearsal of the EBFL Presidents Cup final on May 7th 2022, in the league on Saturday 23rd April. On Sunday's the following day, we host FC Whitley Wood in our final home outing of the season in the Reading & District Sunday Football League for the season.
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"Every single game is a learning experience, and this game was a very unique experience of sorts as we haven't gone through the motions of a 6pm kick-off before. Poges went through a full warm up, whilst we were still arriving 5-10 minutes before kick-off, and that showed in our preparations and the first-half. We weren't quite at the races and gave away a couple of really sloppy goals - their second goal to go 2-1 up though shouldn't have stood as the ball was played forward with a man virtually standing on the line.
We sorted out our issues though at half-time, had a few senior players put the fire up our asses, and we came out in the second-half a much improved side and really took the game to them. Phil and Leon combined to score two wonderfully worked goals, and we were dangerous from set-pieces again to score the vital 4th goal. Overall, we couldn't have been happier with our application to win in the second-half, and we have learnt from the experience from an early midweek kick-off, which is all you can ever ask as we look to continually grow and develop as a club.
Best of luck to Stoke Poges for the remainder of the season, and here's hoping we meet again later down the line. It was nice to get a first win at their ground, and they have a good bunch that I respect behind the scenes, so here's hoping to more games between these two rivals in the future.
Lastly, I'd just like to say that it was a difficult day for the entirety of the EBFL family and the wider Thames Valley football community as Robin Woolman, a legend of local football in the area, sadly passed away this week. Robin was a great guy and welcome us with open arms to the EBFL, and was serving Chairman to two local football leagues, he loved football and the outpouring of messages that we have all seen about him has been a wonderful sight to see a person in football rightfully celebrated for his dedication to the game. We pass on our best thoughts to Robin's family and friends in this difficult time."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: George Fradgley
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Chris Marshall
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Dany Setiawan (Ali 74')
MID: Shane Cooper-Clark
MID: Matt Snell
MID: Owen Jones (Akemche 46')
MID: Phil Newport (Jones 81', Newport 83')
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Ash Ali
SUB: Colins Akemche
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Cooper-Clark (goal), Snell (assist)
Goal 2: Newport (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 3: Mannion (goal), Newport (assist)
Goal 4: Mannion (goal), Sawyer (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.
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
Believe The Hype!