EBFL Presidents Cup Match Report (02/04/2022): Old Windsor FC Reserves vs. Hype Train 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: Old Windsor FC vs. Hype Train FC
Date: Saturday 2nd April 2022
Competition: EBFL Presidents Cup (Semi-Final)
Opposition: Old Windsor FC Reserves
Location: Chicken Ranch, Britwell, Slough, SL2 2PH
Final Score: Old Windsor FC Reserves 2-5 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Our encounter against Old Windsor FC Reserves was the third time we have played the outfit (and the second time in a competitive match) and was in the semi-final of the EBFL Presidents Cup. The game was hosted by Britwell FC, whilst the other semi-final between Chalvey Sports and AFC Cressex took place at Old Windsor at the same time, with both sets of teams looking to qualify for the final at Burnham FC.
Enroute to the final, the team beat Sandhurst Town (8-0) in the Preliminary Round, before a dramatic victory away at Harts of Bracknell (3-2) in the Last 16 took us to the quarter's, where we advanced against a strong Frontline outfit (3-2 AET) away from home again, to set up the meeting against Old Windsor, a club side that we had not managed to beat as of yet.
The team flew out the gates in a competitively fierce start for both teams, and were able to open the scoring in the 14th minute when Robert Austin intercepted a through ball on Windsor's right flank. Austin cleared his lines, which set free Shane Cooper-Clark inside the penalty area to collect the ball and turn, squaring the ball back to Phil Newport to strike a finely timed first-time effort with his right foot into the far-left corner to give the team a 1-0 lead - a very, very good finish by our Number 11!
The ideal start for the team got even better in the 22nd minute when Newport and Cooper-Clark combined on the left, with Cooper-Clark eventually cutting into shooting range from distance, forcing the Windsor keeper into a stinging save to his right. The following corner was whipped in with serious pace by Cooper-Clark and all the way to the back post, where Jon Watkins was on the line to tap home to double the team's lead! Cooper-Clark was adamant the ball had already crossed the line before the touch by Watkins, but either way we looked at it, we held a strong 2-0 lead.
Windsor, who were effective from long throws, did have a couple flashes at Jamie Halsall's goal, but were unable to test the shot-stopper, with the team's third goal starting from a Halsall goal kick that is won by a Windsor head in the middle of the park. Only headed towards Chris Marshall in the middle of the park, Marshall put the ball over Windsor's defensive line, with Cooper-Clark on hand to collect again. Squaring up against two Windsor defenders, one clips the attackers legs, bringing Cooper-Clark down to win the first of many penalties on the day! On the stroke of the 41st minute, Newport stepped up to the mark and calmly placed the spot kick low and to the keeper's left to put the team in a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time.
The start of the second-half was set the tone for a frantic 45 minutes and started right from kick-off, which saw the team now battling against the wind against a team with nothing to less, with Old Windsor scoring a header at the far-post from a corner, with their Number 11 powering low and hard to give life to the game straight away in the half.
Windsor's luck and optimism in the game by the 56th minute was then fully restored when they were awarded a penalty in the most bizarre way. It all started when Vince van Lembergen was chasing down a through ball by the team in black and red, before the Belgian turned to clear the ball and was adjudged to have committed a hand ball offence. The ball was bobbling on the pitch, but there is no way our captain handled in the box, the ball just bounced in front of the central defender. Either way, after much protest and shock over the penalty award, an Old Windsor substitute at half-time stepped up to the mark, struck his penalty low and hard to the right, though the excellent Halsall dived quickly to make a top-draw save to keep the game at 3-1, before we were able to clear our lines - a crucial save at a pivotal stage in the game where we were put under some serious pressure!
With a penalty for each team, a third was awarded in the 64th minute and this time to our benefit. From a Windsor throw in their own half, Gino Izzo won the initial header, before Leon Mannion won the ball before driving infield, eventually finding Austin with a pass. Stopping the ball dead, the Number 29 found George Holloway in an advanced position with a through ball, with Holloway winning the race to the ball before being wiped out inside the penalty area for another pen award. This time, Mannion stepped up for his moment to grab a goal, also calmly slotting his penalty calmly into the corner of the goal to restore the team's 3-goal advantage.
The officials were busy against just a couple of minutes later when Old Windsor were given their second penalty of the afternoon, and it all happens when their Number 11, who had scored their only goal, was running for the ball against Joe Sawyer in the penalty area, with their player going down after getting in front of Sawyer with the slightest contact - this time Windsor wouldn't be denied as they planted their kick right down the middle to take the game to 4-2 with 20 minutes left to play.
The cherry on the cake for the team arrived in the 78th minute when the team were applying good pressure off the ball, with Dany Setiawan running his heart out to deny Windsor a route up the pitch, which meant they played the ball inside towards a central defender. Not quick enough, Newport robbed the Windsor player, then beat the final covering defender for pace, before prodding the ball past the stranded Windsor keeper to complete his hat-trick and to give the team breathing room as we set course for the final in May!
The win for the team means that we have advanced through to the final of the competition, our first final in the East Berkshire Football League, and will play AFC Cressex at Burnham FC's 1878 Stadium on Saturday 7th May 2022!
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"For me, this team and football is my entire life. I am obsessed with this team, this big and ambitious project, and it's days like this that this club needs and deserves, and today across the board the entire squad played their part in reaching a cup final this season!
It's strange to look back and realise that we were on the verge of folding our Saturday season, we didn't start our season until late October and had to go through a Special General Meeting (SGM) about our league status and division, and at one point I was one call or WhatsApp message away from calling time on a season that didn't look like it would ever get started. Now, I'm glad we have had the experience of challenging ourselves against some fantastic teams like Singh Sabha, Frontline, and Old Windsor - those experiences have made us stronger and given us the belief that we can get results against the best, which has been invaluable on our cup run against some of the best sides in the competition.
From minute one before the game, the team applied themselves from the minute they stepped out of their cars, we did the hard work and were well prepared, and brought that attitude and application into the match from the get-go. We started strong for a change and really took the game to Old Windsor, who in the past is a team that has had our number on the pitch, as we refused to be beat. We were competitive across the park, supportive and organised on the sideline, and put in a solid performance.
I also don't think it was Windsor's day at the office, they were lacking a few players and took them some time to wake up and we exploited our opportunity. On the whole though, our place in the final is fully deserved, we were clinical in the final third and gave them problems all afternoon - it felt like another goal was never far away for us.
I'd like to give a massive thank you to John Brennan and to Britwell FC on hosting us at The Chicken Ranch. The morning after having a pro boxing fight, John was up at the ground putting up nets and hosted both teams excellently - we have nothing but the upmost respect his John's efforts on the day. It was also great to see both sets of teams and officials all mingling in the Chicken Ranch after the game too - it was a proper day for football, and a great occasion for the team – I couldn’t be prouder of our run in the cup so far!
Now it's the case of the final against Cressex on 7th May at Burnham FC. Cressex were the first Premier Division side we ever beat, and to us it is considered a hallmark game where we first felt like a team that could do something, so to play them in the final is special to me and an occasion that will see our journey in the EBFL come full circle."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Jamie Halsall
DEF: George Fradgley (Basden 75')
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Vincent van Lembergen
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Jon Watkins (Setiawan 65')
MID: George Holloway (Fox-Spence 72')
MID: Callum Parr-Jones (Izzo 61')
MID: Chris Marshall
MID: Phil Newport
FOR: Shane Cooper-Clark (Mannion 63')
SUB: Danny Basden
SUB: Dany Setiawan
SUB: Callum Parr-Jones
SUB: Callum Fox-Spence
SUB: Gino Izzo
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Newport (goal), Cooper-Clark (assist)
Goal 2: Watkins (goal), Cooper-Clark (assist)
Goal 3: Newport (goal), Cooper-Clark (assist)
Goal 4: Mannion (goal), Holloway (assist)
Goal 5: Newport (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.
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!