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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

EBFL Premier Division Match Report (27/11/2021): Hype Train FC vs. Pundit FC

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: Hype Train FC vs. Pundit FC

Date: Saturday 27th November 2021

Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 4)

Opposition: Pundit FC

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

Final Score: Hype Train FC 7-4 Pundit FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

Our encounter against Pundit FC was the team's third home outing in the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL) Premier Division this season, with this a follow up from last week's 3-2 defeat against Stoke Poges. This was the team's fifth competitive Saturday league outing this season, and our reverse league fixture against Pundit, which finished 2-2 on 30th October 2021.

With the game kicking off just after 2pm to do with a late call on the game due to the bad weather caused by Storm Arwen, the game against our visitors from Slough started at a rapid speed and nearly resulted in a goal for the hosts within three minute when Leon Mannion cut-back for Phil Newport in an unguarded goal, but Newport fired over thinking he had pressure from behind.

The first goal did arrive just after the 12th minute mark of the game when Pundit had a throw and played the ball back to their defence. Mannion robbed Pundit of the ball, intercepting a pass, before playing a delightful through ball that cut the visitors defensive line open, with Callum Parr-Jones springing through on goal, eventually burying his effort in the bottom right of the keeper's goal to give us an ideal start.

Just six minutes later during the 18th minute a gift from Pundit gave us our second goal when their attempt to play out from the back was intercepted by Parr-Jones 20-yards out, with CPJ picking out Mannion in the penalty area, who buried his left-footed shot to the keeper's right to double our lead.

Directly from kick-off, Pundit played the ball back and was chased down by Mannion and Newport. The team press saw Newport rob the opposing defenders of the ball, with Newport carrying the ball into the penalty area before being dragged down for a penalty kick. Calmly stepping up in the 20th minute, Mannion secured a brace when he tucked the spot-kick to the keeper's bottom left to give the team a 3-0 lead.

A little over ten minutes later, the game was running away from the visitors in the 30th minute when we were able to play with the ball from a throw in. Callum Fox-Spence and George Holloway in midfield combined, shifting the ball out left to Ash Ali who cut the ball back to Robert Austin to fire in a high, deep cross that put pressure on the keeper. Mannion won the jump and flicked the ball on for Newport to control down in an unguarded net, firing into the roof of the net with a defender on the line.

A 4-0 lead at half-time was kind on the visitors as we missed some chances to further increase our lead, with Newport brought down again in the penalty area, and the referee awarding a second penalty. This time though, Mannion's right footed penalty was equalled with a save from the keeper, keeping the score at 4-0.

Up the other end of the pitch though, Pundit did get a goal back in the 65th minute when a long throw in to the penalty area was nodded home by their Number 9 a few-yards-out from goal. Just four minutes later in the 69th minute Pundit then scored a carbon copy of their first goal, with a long throw bouncing in Pundit's favour in the penalty area, with one of their attackers mopping up on the six-yard-line to bring the score to 4-2 and provide the visitors a lifeline.

Much needed right from kick-off, in the 70th minute a 5th goal did arrive when Newport collected the ball on the left after regaining possession, placing an on-point through ball for Mannion to chase, with our Number 9 taking one touch before shooting across the keeper from the left, with the shot inch-perfect as it hit the inside of the net and made the net pop, bringing the score to 5-2.

Restoring our 4-goal lead in the 75th minute, Newport robbed a Pundit defender of the ball in their defensive half, then playing the ball to Mannion. Stuart Stannard got involved in the attack and was played in behind by Mannion, cutting the ball back dangerously, with a Pundit defender slicing the ball into his own net to make the score 6-2.

Not resting or giving up, Pundit did manage a 3rd goal during the 80th minute when their captain collected a through ball excellently, calmly putting the ball past Holloway. Then for a 3rd time in the 82nd minute the team were victim of Pundit's long throw routine as they won the first header and then pounced at the back-post to make the score 6-4 - meaning we couldn't relax.

Another Pundit long throw in the 86th minute was eventually cleared after Danny Basden, who battled in the second-half despite an injury, with his clearance finding the feet of Mannion. Cutting in, Mannion played in Fox-Spence who beat a Pundit defender to the ball and charged down the left with only one defender chasing him. There was an overload in the box, with the Number 7 cutting the ball back to Austin - who collected the pass with his right before calmly slotting past the Pundit keeper to his right - meaning the club's owner netted his first goal for the club, taking the Number 29 over two years and 71 matches to find his first Hype Train goal!

The win means that the team have begun our EBFL campaign with 2 wins, 1 draw and a defeat, which moves us up to 8th in the table after 4 games on 7 points, with games in hand on the teams above - with 7 points as many we managed during our 2020/21 Division 1 season.

Thoughts from Club Manager, Robert Austin:

"The morning of the game was frantic, with the game on, then off, then on again. It meant that both teams lost a few players due to the weather and the late call, though I want to first-and-foremost thank Lloyd at Pundit for getting the game across the line and making the journey.

The game itself was windy and bitterly cold, but played at high tempo, as we could have had a few more goals than we actually registered. Pundit didn't start well and that slow start saw them carry a big burden as they looked to fight back in the second-half, and they did put a few scares on us when they brought the game back to 4-2 in particular.

The application of my thread bare squad for the day though was excellent. Everyone stuck to task, fought for one another, and was on point all afternoon as we registered a very good win against a team near the top of the Premier Division table. Oddly enough, this means we now have as many points (7) as we managed last season in Division One - a season in which we only won twice and largely struggled with our squad. This season though the signs are more positive after a ridiculously long path to playing - especially at one stage it looked like we were going to be dropping out of the league altogether.

It was also a personal landmark for myself, scoring my first goal for the club - it's a day I'll never forget. Thank you to all of the squad for the celebration and for helping push the team in a good direction this season - I couldn't be happier with how things have started.

Good luck for the rest of the season, Pundit, and see you down the line!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jake Holloway

DEF: George Fradgley

DEF: Danny Basden

DEF: Vincent van Lembergen (C)

DEF: Robert Austin

DEF: Ash Ali

MID: George Holloway

MID: Callum Fox-Spence

MID: Callum Parr-Jones (Stannard 46')

FOR: Phil Newport

FOR: Leon Mannion


SUB: Stuart Stannard

Goals and Assists:

Goal 1: Parr-Jones goal, Mannion assist

Goal 2: Mannion goal, Parr-Jones assist

Goal 3: Mannion goal, Newport assist

Goal 4: Newport goal, Mannion assist

Goal 5: Mannion goal, Newport assist

Goal 6: Own goal, Stannard assist

Goal 7: Austin goal, Fox-Spence 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

Believe The Hype!

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