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 25th November 2023
Competition: EBFL League Cup (Last 16)
Opposition: FC Riverside
Location: Palmer Park, Wokingham Road, Reading, RG6 1LF
Final Score: FC Riverside 2-4 Hype Train FC
Request Photos: email@example.com
The train's encounter against FC Riverside was our 24th competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team involved in the second round of the East Berkshire Football League's League Cup. This was the team's first outing against FC Riverside, and the follow up to our opening round 4-2 away win against Real Saracens FC.
The opening several minutes of the game were marred with chaos in a game that had no referee as the home team didn't organise the match official, with Riverside scoring a trio of clear offside goals, and arguing with the volunteer referee and linesmen that they were onside - with the game still at 0-0 5 minutes in when the first goal of the day arrived. Riverside were playing out from the back after an offside call, but one of their central defenders held onto the ball in a central area, then when clearing the ball panicked and just smacked the ball into Phil Newport - the chasing attacker was in the right place at the right time as the block took the ball into a completely unguarded goal as the team took the lead.
The first-half struggled to calm down as both teams looked to calm down into the game, with Ben Heinau shooting low and just wide at the edge of the box, whilst on the half-hour mark Jon Watkins has fired over the bar from the 6-yard-line when Heinau crossed low into the penalty area - though another opening would arrive in the 37th minute. Starting with scrappy defensive play to win the ball back, Anwar Mmanga collected the ball and played Waqar Janjua, who directly on the centre spot at the halfway line, curled a perfectly timed pass to the left for Newport to chase, with a first-time finish rounding the keeper and finding the back of the net to double our lead.
The team would take a 3-0 lead into half-time when on the 43rd minute Mmanga played a simple through ball on the left to Mitchell Saunders, who ran directly to the byline, beating several Riverside players, before squaring the ball back to Newport to sweep home the ball to complete his first-half treble.
A new referee for the second-half actually calmed down the game, though it was the hosts who managed to get a goal back in the 65th minute. The Riverside goalkeeper, who started the half by making a top diving save to deny Newport a 4th after a central defender slipped on the ball, distributed the ball after collecting a loose cross. The follow up pass to a Riverside player was offside but wasn't picked up at the time, which led to them attacking down our left flank and cutting the ball to a midfielder who took one touch to set, before lofting a ball over Robert Austin in goal to the top corner!
With a glimmer of hope back in the game, the game turned once more in the 70th minute to poor cold water on hopes of a Riverside comeback. Initially winning back possession of the ball at the D by the halfway line, midfielder Jas Le Paih carried the ball passed the central midfield and Riverside defence, calmly placing his shot low and past the opposition goalkeeper, scoring his first goal for the club - a great run and finish by one of our new recruits!
A 6th and final goal arrived during the 82nd minute, this time again in favour of Riverside. Working a thrown down their left flank, a midfielder worked the ball down the line to an offside player who collected the ball and cut the ball back, and despite Josh Robertson's best efforts to clear the ball at the last, Riverside tucked the ball home at the near post to take the score to 4-2. With time up, the win means we have qualified for the quarter-finals of the EBFL League Cup, winning both games 4-2 away from home, without a referee in either game.
Next up for the train, we're set for three weekends of Sunday League football in December, starting with a home tie against Barkham United at Calcot Recreation Ground on Sunday 3rd December 2023!
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"Let's get frank and to the point, this was simply a game to get over the line with and move on from. For whatever reason, we ended up with no referee, the game started late as a result, and we were left not only supplying the only footballs for the game, but also officiating the first-half. On top of that, the pitch wasn't in a good way, and the ball just loved to bounce off the mud. It was a Sunday League game, just played on Saturday. I just think my team and grassroots football in general warrants more respect from sloppy organisers that can't organise basic details for a game - it's not respectful to have the away team pick up your slack, and generally better football players and clubs just don't want to be playing at that low level and avoid games like this as it can be a waste of time.
As for the game, we go away the better of the two sides and were ahead due to another hat-trick from Phil Newport in attack, who keeps dragging the team through games. We didn't get to grips with the first-half in a slog of a game due to the cold weather and pitch conditions, which bred in some frustrations from ourselves, particularly when our lino has correctly ruled out a goal for a clear offside, but was encroached by the entire opposing team. If they can't organise the referee, or want to ref the game themselves, they have no right approaching anyone that is being a volunteer to their poor habits. I may sound too negative, but largely we tried to play on the Palmer Park pitch the best we could, but ultimately managed the game and clocked on that we just had to play the pitch and not be too fancy with the ball. We also should have had a host more goals, and to their credit the Riverside keeper made some terrific saves and was their best player by a country mile.
Hats off to my squad though for getting through the game, trying their best to play in tricky conditions, and showing maturity when it mattered.
We're looking forward to a few weeks off from EBFL action and are delighted to have advanced to what will likely be a competitive quarter-final in the new year!"
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Robert Austin
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Callum Gibbons
DEF: Jas Le Paih
DEF: Anwar Mmanga
MID: Mitchell Saunders
MID: Waqar Janjua (Marshall 46')
MID: Jas Le Paih
MID: Benjamin Heinau
MID: Jon Watkins (Follington 53')
FOR: Phil Newport
SUB: Chris Mashall
SUB: Luke Follington
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Newport (goal), no assist
Goal 2: Newport (goal), Saunders (assist)
Goal 3: Newport (goal), Janjua (assist)
Goal 4: Le Paih (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
Believe The Hype!