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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

EBFL Premier Division Match Report (23/03/2024): Pundit FC vs. Hype Train 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 23rd March 2024

Competition: EBFL Premier Division

Opposition: Pundit FC

Location: Cherry Orchard, Burnham, Slough, SL1 8DF

Final Score: Pundit FC 2-3 Hype Train FC


Match Report:

The train's encounter against Sandhurst Men Reds was our 39th competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team travelling to Pundit FC at the Cherry Orchard on23rd March 2024 in EBFL's Premier Division. This was the team's first encounter against Pundit FC since the squad's 7-4 home win against Pundit in November 2021 in EBFL's Premier Division.


The game's opening minutes were back and forth between both sides, though it only took until the 20th minute to shape the game's first change, starting when Mitchell Saunders was shoved on the halfway line following a goal kick, to win a free-kick. The resulting free-kick from Robert Austin was deep and put on the keeper inside the six-yard-box, with the Pundit shot-stopper fumbling the set-piece and helping guide Austin's set-piece into the goal to open the scoring - with this being Austin's 4th goal for the club, and his first of the season!


With the train on top, Jamie Halsall was called into a couple of good diving saves to deny Pundit, before the game would witness a controversial moment that put the game back on the edge. Pundit were attacking down the left wing during the 35th minute, running the ball to the byline, when they checked back and hit a low cross that struck Joe Sawyer inside the penalty area from close range - and after waiting for the home team to call for a penalty, wouldn't you know it, a penalty was awarded. The penalty award was simply incorrect as Sawyer had his arms tucked right besides his body in a natural silhouette when the ball struck him - never in a million years was this a spot-kick, with the referee buying the calls from the home team, who had been searching for an equaliser, which they found when they converted their spot-kick.


With the game level heading into the second-half, there was a brief pause in play as hail rained down fiercely with both the referee and players unable to look up and see what was happening in the match - which unfortunately impacted our VEO camera on the day, stopping our recording from this moment forward.


After a brief pause in play, the resumption of the game led to Pundit completing their comeback, again in controversial fashion when the referee adjudged that a 50/50 shoulder tackle between two players was a foul against ourselves 20-yards-out from goal, to the left of Halsall's goal. Despite the soft call, the team found ourselves behind when the resulting free-kick was thundered home well - we can't take anything away from a top, spinning set-piece - just the nature of the award, that had the team looking for a way to turnaround the game as we had gone behind.


With the team under constant pressure, there was a further twist in the tale in the when two debutants combined to tie the game up. Starting when Nadim Gharabli, won the ball back in midfield and gave the ball to Ahmed Aremu, who on the turn, played a through ball to fellow newcomer, Bradley Burles-Nash, who used his strength to fend off the duelling defender, before calmly slotting the ball past the opposing goalkeeper to score on his Hype Train debut!


The game then had a dramatic end when in the 94th minute the team won a corner after Christian Freemantle drew an incredible save from the Pundit goalkeeper from close range following a counter attack, which led to a corner that was saw a whipped and pinpoint delivery from Luke Follington meet the head of Joe Sawyer, who powered home his attempt at the near-post to win the game at the death in dramatic fashion!


Next up for the train, we're hoping to bring you more coverage from our Saturday & Sunday League campaigns, though with poor weather conditions calling off every game for weeks after the game, we will keep everyone posted online with our next upcoming fixtures.



Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"After weeks of frustration with rain and cancellations, it was nice to get back out on the field, and for us it was another classic Hype Train performance when our backs were against the wall. We only had the 11 players, had several players limp over the line, sustained a broken ankle to a key player, weathered a literal hail storm that broke our VEO camera's connection on the day, overcame a couple of poor refereeing calls that led directly to Pundit's goals, and came back to win in the last minute from a set-piece!


From our perspective, we had a good first-half and on the run of play edged the game and we were well worth our lead, only to be pegged back when the ref called for a penalty when the ball hit the arm of a player, which was turned behind his back in a natural position, and then had to weather a storm as we were under pressure for most of the second-half, and even when going behind we stayed resolute and believed. So, the tide had turned and we had to muster a comeback, even when it seemed unlikely in the second-half, with the team showing a great spirit to vanquish some recent demons.


With the game running away from us, we hit Pundit on the counter, and then completed the smash and grab with a winner in added time - it wasn't a day of classic football for both team's, but we really dug in and came away with the points to redeem ourselves after a few tough games to start 2024 in the EBFL.


Best of luck to Pundit for the remainder of the season, and here's to more competitive games between both sides down the line."



Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin


Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall


DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Robert Austin

DEF: Luke Follington


MID: Jon Watkins

MID: Mitchell Saunders

MID: Nadim Gharabli

MID: Ahmed Areumu

MID: Bradley Burles-Nash


FOR: Christian Freemantle


Goals & Assists:


Goal 1: Austin (goal), Saunders (assist)

Goal 2: Burles-Nash (goal), Aremu (assist)

Goal 3: Sawyer (goal), Follington (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

Believe The Hype!



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