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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

EBFL Premier Division Match Report (28/08/2023): Prestwood FC Reserves vs. Hype Train FC

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

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: Monday 28th August 2023

Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 2)

Opposition: Prestwood FC Reserves

Location: Burnham FC, 1878 Stadium, Burnham, SL1 8JG

Final Score: Prestwood FC Reserves 1-4 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Paige Alexander

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Prestwood FC was our second competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team involved in the East Berkshire Football League's first Showcase match of the campaign at Burnham FC's 1878 Stadium.

The first-half didn't take long to get going, with a minute on the clock Jamie Halsall saving well from a Prestwood free-kick, before at the other end, Cory McManus won a free-kick of his own on the left of the pitch in the 3rd minute. Will Longmatey stepped over the dead ball and his delivery was caught by the opposing goalkeeper, but only to be dropped onto the back of Mitchell Saunders, teeing the ball perfectly for Joe Sawyer to pounce on the six-yard-line to score the team's first goal, and Sawyer's first in Saturday football after the defender managed 8 goals in Sunday League last season.

A good opening spell for the team saw the train double our lead in the 13th minute, starting when Anwar Mmanga's throw down the right was initially won by Prestwood, though they would cheaply give the ball away to Padraig Gorman who fed the ball through an opponent’s legs to find Ciaran Carolan's feet. The Number 9 turned and picked out the pass of the on-rushing Phil Newport who beat the offside trap, who then calmly took one touch before finishing underneath the legs of the Prestwood shot stopper.

A spell of chances for both teams threatened the net several times before the half-hour mark, with Prestwood going close a couple of times from a series of corner kicks, whilst Newport has tested the Prestwood keeper twice with stinging shots from long range.

Prestwood did manage to get a goal back in the 31st minute when they worked the ball well down their left wing, creating an overlapped that stretched our pressing defensive line, with their Number 11 cutting the ball back on the byline to a teammate to convert from close range, bringing the score to 2-1 and installing belief in the High Wycombe based outfit of a way back into the game - and after hitting the post several minutes later, they were back in the game.

A 4th goal in the first-half would arrive in the 36th minute and it was much needed for ourselves as we won a corner kick after good work from Padraig saw him produce some skill before a shot at the edge of the box resulted in the effort being deflected over the bar. Gorman's resulting corner was deep and perfectly weighted for Mitchell Saunders to power home a header from close range - Saunders first competitive goal for Hype Train!

Into the second-half and a calming 10 minutes to start saw a chance for Carolan to score his first competitive goal for the team during the 53rd minute, but his shot after good work to find space in the box was dragged wide of the keeper's right post.

Shortly after our first chance of the second period, a game defining was made when Phil Newport was adjudged to have been fouled inside the penalty area after being taken down by the trailing leg of a Prestwood defender. The designated home team were in uproar as their central defender got a strong foot on the ball, and yes it was a harsh call to make in the 56th minute. Nevertheless, the penalty was awarded, though Newport's resulting kick hit the inside of the post, though remained in play as Gorman collected the ball, ghosted past several players on the left byline before scoring from an acute angle under the goalkeeper to take the game to 4-1!

With a host of substitutions and changes for both teams, the goals dried up in the second-half as the team did an excellent job at denying Prestwood to long shots, whilst Christian Freemantle went close from a header, and Gorman on the counter threatened again as his effort was just shy of the back-post - with Hype Train running out 4-1 winners in our 150th match as a club (we also played our 100th match at Burnham FC).

Next up for the train, the regular season starting in September is in full swing across Saturday & Sunday football with the team hosting Old Windsor FC at Calcot Recreation Ground on 2nd September 2023 in EBFL's Premier Division, before we travel to Southbank FC on Sunday 3rd September in RDSL Division 3.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Looking back on the game, I am nothing but thrilled that we've come away with a confidence boosting victory. The application from the team the minute the team talk was delivered was nothing but exceptional from all 15-players. We've somewhat struggled in places to click as we're a new bunch, but the setting of a Showcase match, played at a nice ground, took us to a new level we've not reached with the team before, so I am delighted. We had the majority of the chances, our tactics really punished their defensive line, and we had a good game as a defensive unit - it's something to build on for the weeks ahead as we approach a series of home games across Saturday & Sunday football.

I was able to speak to Rob Stevens after the game for the EBFL's own channel and will stress again that this is only a first step, though a very good step to take in our development. We've been working really hard to get a Saturday team revived for the season and I am stressing patience with the team. We're looking forward to the challenges of some tough fixtures in the weeks ahead, and we have nothing to lose on our return to the league.

As for Prestwood, they're a huge credit to the EBFL. Top guys and a top Management team on the day, we're really happy to see them in the league and wanting to test themselves right off the bat in the Premier Division. We're looking forward to welcoming you to Reading for the return leg, and until then best of luck for the season!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Anwar Mmanga (Follington 58')

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Shiloh Nduilor

DEF: Emmanuel Boateng

MID: Padraig Gorman (Longmatey 80', Mmanga 85')

MID: Cory McManus (Langa 50')

MID: Mitchell Saunders (McManus 84')

MID: Will Longmatey (Freemantle 58')

MID: Phil Newport

FOR: Ciaran Carolan (Choudhry 50')


SUB: Usamah Choudhry

SUB: Taren Langa

SUB: Luke Follington

SUB: Christian Freemantle

Goals & Assists:

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

Goal 2: Newport (goal), Carolan (assist)

Goal 3: Saunders (goal), Gorman (assist)

Goal 4: Gorman (goal), Newport (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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