EBFL Premier Division Match Report (30/04/2022): KS Gryf vs. Hype Train FC
Updated: May 19
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: KS Gryf vs. Hype Train FC
Date: Saturday 30th April 2022
Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 11)
Opposition: KS Gryf
Location: Polish Club, Church Lane, Slough, SL2 4NZ
Final Score: KS Gryf 3-4 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
Request Photos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our encounter against KS Gryf was the team's last game of April and our latest away trip in EBFL's Premier Division, with the team taking on KS Gryf at the Polish Club. This is the reverse fixture of the team's recent 4-1 home win, and an opportunity to complete a league double against a team in the league's top division for the first time.
The game sprung into life within the only couple of minutes as we defended a Gryf corner, with Jon Watkins clearing the ball to the halfway line. Collecting the ball, Leon Mannion turned, beat his man down the line, ran into the penalty area, skipped past another player before calmly rolling the ball past the goalkeeper, to open the scoring - a wonderful solo goal to set the tempo for the afternoon.
With the game at 1-0, Gryf did manage to break the lines of our defence a couple of times, though without avail, with their nearly-moments proving costly as the team doubled our lead in the 22nd minute. The move started when Gino Izzo and George Fradgley combined with some passes down the right, before Izzo found George Holloway, who battled through several Gryf midfielders. The hosts did win the ball back, but their loose touch actually played in Mannion to the right of attack, with the attacker sprinting clear, before squaring the ball back for Phil Newport to convert from six-yards-out with his left-foot to double the lead.
The game went in at the break with a 2-0 advantage, but the most bizarre part of the game arrived during the break. One of the EBFL's appointed league officials actually came over and squared up to the team, called us nothing, and then threatened to raise his flag in favour of the opposing team - all of this created a completely ridiculous second-half of action.
Of course, all the drama at the half spilled over into the game, with KS Gryf scoring within 2 minutes of the restart, when their Number 18, who switched from right wing to up top, ran behind after a ball over the top of our defensive line, lobbing a helpless Jamie Halsall in between the sticks.
A red-hot second-half when swung again in the team's favour in the 68th minute when we were able to restore our 2-goal advantage when Robert Austin intercepted a loose Gryf through ball, with Austin setting and quickly playing Mannion through, with the attacker having time to set himself before calmly finishing to the keeper's far-post to further extend our lead.
Then, the hilarity ensued. First, Watkins received a yellow card for kicking the ball away after the linesman flagged him for offside - the true crime is Watkins missed the target with his shot. Next, Gryf got away with several sin bin worthy verbal’s directed at the referee and linesman, which led to the most criminal yellow card and sin bin you will ever see. Mannion beat the offside trap for a through pass, was called back and said 'come on', aimed at nobody. The referee decided to sin bin Mannion for his two words, and when we tried to get an explanation from the officials, they said that it was unacceptable words aimed at the official - which is wasn't. This meant we played with a man less for virtually no reason, and then on top of that, Mannion was off the field of play for 14 minutes (not the 10 minutes as it is supposed to be).
The hosts in this time were able to get a goal back into the game, when their Number 18, who scored their first goal, ran off a central defender nicely to stab home from a cross on the left, to give Gryf another lifeline in the game.
Battling with 10-men, we were then able to extend our lead yet again against the run of play when Joe Sawyer played a simple pass to Paul Hatfield in the middle of the park. Hatfield turn, ran at the Gryf defence, beat several players with some great skill, before gliding into the penalty area and finishing off an excellent run with an equally good finish - again, another wonderful solo goal to cap a good day on the road (so far).
With the minutes winding down, the refereeing really was getting on top of the fixture, with their linesman who called us nothing, repeatedly trying to get our players in the book, with Gryf able to pull the game back to 4-3 just as Mannion was allowed to re-enter the pitch when a counter led to a shot being parried, and their Number 6, on as a substitute on the right wing, converting the second's to take this game to the wire. Fortunately, for our sanity, the game came to a swift close and the team were able to secure a good away win a week before our cup final.
The win moved the team up to 19 points from 13 games in EBFL's Premier Division and into 5th placed in the table, with multiple games in hand on the teams above. Next up for the team on Saturday's, the team celebrate our 100th games as a club as we take on AFC Cressex in the EBFL Presidents Cup final at Burnham FC's 1878 Stadium on Saturday 7th May 2022 (2pm KO).
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"I'm not sure where to start with this game, other than to just highlight the main takeaway that was the talk of the team during and after the game - and it is a subject that nobody wants to ever pile stigma on, as referee's do a wonderful job on a week-to-week basis, but what we went through on Saturday was an absolute embarrassment. It's truly a landmark game as all of our squad will say when there's a bad refereeing performance, 'well, it can't be as bad as that Gryf game'.
What it all started over was the team raising their arms in the air and getting confused and annoyed at clear offsides that were clearly on and daylight robbery - and having looked back at the VEO footage, the nature of decision making and the sheer ridiculousness of the linesman in the game to physically confront us at half-time is without doubt the most bizarre moment of refereeing me and the squad have personally ever witnessed. As for the decisions themselves, the lino is raising his flag before the ball is even kicked on several occasions, and is flagging people off who are on the opposite side of the pitch than when the ball is kicked - one instance is the lino flagging off Phil on the left, when the ball has gone to the far-right post. Instances where are attackers have run through players to be called back, and from every set-piece, trigger happy without knowing where the ball is going, who it is going too. We tried to talk to the officials, but to no avail, so no wonder why we were losing our heads.
But to then confront the entire team by himself at half-time, all caught on our VEO camera of course, and state that we are nothing, trying to get our players sent off for no reason, and even going face-to-face with our players, screaming sweet nothings, is just utterly embarrassing. We all had a little laugh when he said that as a team we were nothing, but then to state that he was going to put his flag up against us is just the definition of somebody who isn't fit for purpose, even at an amateur level - when you openly talk about cheating, just to get in a team's head (for literally no reason), at that moment he is done. I'm all for having personalities in sport at any level, but there is a line of no return and he jumped head first off that cliff on Saturday.
All of this created a chaotic second-half in particular, and when the sin bin to Leon happened, for saying some very calm words when an offside decision was taken - we knew that this game was about just getting out of their with a full squad of players intact, especially with a cup final the following week. Just incident after incident that the refereeing didn't need to interject on, really caused havoc for both teams, and yes it massively took away from what was a good game of football between two sides in good form.
Gryf were much improved from the first time we played them, they have a big open pitch that they were comfortable on, and created some nice chances - what was killer for them though was our quick start and a strong 2-0 lead heading into half-time. Then with each reply, to sound like Brendan Rodgers, we did showed great character to come through this game with a reply of our own, scoring two more well-worked goals in the second-half. It was a great win for our team on the day though, we had to really battle and show a lot of strength and concentration in a very open game of football, and are continuing to show that we're not a bad side at the top level in the league.
I'd like to thank Kris and the team at Gryf, they're a really good bunch of players and lads, for the game and the hospitality after the game too. They have a lovely set-up at the Polish Club and we are hoping to play you guys later down the line again.
Now it's just the matter of the cup final next week against Cressex, and we've hit some good form in the league heading into what will be our 100th game as a club, and an opportunity to win a first piece of silverware. We're really looking forward to the challenge in the Presidents Cup at Burnham!"
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Jamie Halsall
DEF: George Fradgley
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Vince van Lembergen (Snell 46')
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Jon Watkins (Ali 52')
MID: Shane Cooper-Clark (Izzo 52')
MID: George Holloway
MID: Gino Izzo (Hatfield 46')
MID: Phil Newport
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Paul Hatfield
SUB: Ash Ali
SUB: Matt Snell
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Mannion (goal), Watkins (assist)
Goal 2: Newport (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 3: Mannion (goal), Austin (assist)
Goal 4: Hatfield (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!