EBFL Premier Division Match Report (30/10/2021): Pundit FC vs. Hype Train FC
Updated: May 12
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: Pundit FC vs. Hype Train FC
Date: Saturday 30th October 2021
Competition: EBFL Premier Division (Game 1)
Opposition: Pundit FC
Location: George Pitcher Memorial Ground, Britwell Rd, Slough SL1 8DL
Final Score: Pundit FC 2-2 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Elisha Morris (_@elishamorris_)
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Our encounter against Pundit FC was the team's maiden outing in the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL) this season, with the team competing in the Premier Division. This was the first time we competed in the league since May 29th 2021 against Townmead at home, making the step up from Division 1 the season prior.
The first-half would ultimately end up a goalless affair, though there were a host of chances from both sides to open the scoring, with the hosts going closest around the half-hour mark when their right back maurauded forward for forced a good save from Ben Parkhurst on his debut at the near-post. The hosts had a lot of shots from range, and probed continuously, though were unable to break down a rigid defensive line.
Our best chances in the first-half were various, with Leon Mannion going close twice when he was isolated one-on-one with a defender, on both occasions Mannion beat the defender and got a shot off, though the Pundit custodian was equal to Mannion's efforts. Paul Hatfield was also able to test the opposing keeper twice from range, whilst Vincent van Lembergen connected with his head from a corner, though again all the efforts so far didn't have enough sting in them to find the net.
The most comical moment of the first 45 minutes was when Chris Marshall was shown a yellow card and told to go to the Sin Bin for 10 minutes when the referee overheard a conversation between the team after the official had called back an advantage for Pundit after 15+ seconds, an attacking play in which they lost the ball after a loose pass. The aftermath has the ref overhear Marshall say to our team that 'we know the referee is bad', a statement strong enough to see the midfielder on the side for a period of time.
Shortly after the second-half started, the game opened up when Pundit opened the scoring in the 49th minute of the game, when a quick throw-in to a midfielder saw a clip to the back-post, with the race being won by their Number 4 who prodded home a header to opening the scoring.
The scores were drawn level not too long later in the 59th minute from a set-piece opportunity. Right on the halfway line, Robert Austin delivered a dead ball to the edge of the penalty area, with Mannion flicking the ball on for Phil Newport to hit a first-time left-footed volley past the Pundit keeper to put the team level.
With the team in the adcendancy, we were able to turn around the game and went ahead in the 64th minute after some good build-up player after winning back the ball. Danny Basden at right back started the play by winning the ball back, before feeding Newport who had acres in the middle of the park to find Mannion. The Number 9 had 4 players around him with the ball returned to Newport, who fed Ross Elliott, who then provided a sly pass into space for Newport to then finally free Mannion, with the attacker taking two touches before placing the ball through the keeper's legs and into the net. A deserved lead given the number of clear-cut chances the team had created.
Pundit did find a way back in to level the score though and it arrived from the penalty spot in the 80th minute. A minute prior, a shot at the edge of the box was parried, with Pundit's Number 9 going down when back into by Austin to stop the attacker ball-heeling the ball into an empty net. The attacker went down softly and the ref adjudged that Austin carried his right-leg through their Number 9. The resulting spot-kick was buried high into the roof of the net to level the scores at 2-2 with a little over 10 minutes to play.
It was the away team who had the three chances that could have sealed the win, first in the 87th minute when a Hatfield free-kick was whipped towards the back-post and nodded towards goal by Newport, though the effort was saved. Abz Raisa in the 89th minute when beat the defender with some fine footwork before cutting a shot towards the near-post. Lastly, in additional time Mannion had another one-on-one with a Pundit defender, beat the player beore hitting a leggy shot that didn't trouble the keeper.
The draw means that we managed a point in our very first Premier Division fixture, which puts us at 9th place in the table, half-a-dozen games behind the rest of the teams in the division. Next Saturday, the team welcome Iver Heath FC at Calcot Recreation Ground in our second league game of the campaign.
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"I'll be honest and admit that behind the scenes the club has had a lot of struggles getting Saturday football going ahead and we were the subject of an SGM (Special General Meeting) in the middle of October, 5-6 weeks into the season already. We lobbied clubs to move into a more localised division that would suit our small Saturday squad, and though we ultimately didn't get what we wanted, I'd like to thank the clubs that supported us in that moment, I am grateful that these clubs took the time to come and hear us out nonetheless. It's been a long, at times frustrating, road to this moment - one I didn't think we would get to a few weeks ago, all of which makes today such a big win for the club, and at least a step in the right direction.
On the pitch, we fought and scrapped and were defensively astute all afternoon. Our gameplan was well-executed and we actually had the more clear-cut chances in the game and left pondering that we could have snatched the 3 points. We all left with a positive vibe having earnt a good point in our first-ever Premier Division game, were finally able to get across the line to play and then did the entire club proud today - the boys there this afternoon, some making their debuts and some stepping up last minute, really came through when the team needed them, and all performed at a good level.
I'd also like to give credit to Lloyd and the team at Pundit. They were a great bunch of lads and played on the front foot all afternoon, and were one of the nicer clubs we have visited in the area - they're a credit to the league having jumped up from Division 2 last season, and have started the season strong. We're looking forward to the return fixture at Calcot later down the line!"
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Ben Parkhurst
DEF: Daniel Basden (Hatfield 65')
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Vincent van Lembergen
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: Sam Paddon (Ali 78')
MID: Chris Marshall
MID: Ross Elliott
MID: Phil Newport
MID: Paul Hatfield (Raisa 46')
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Abz Raisa
SUB: Ash Ali
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Newport goal, Mannion assist
Goal 2: Mannion 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.
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!