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: Harts of Bracknell vs. Hype Train FC
Date: Saturday 5th February 2022
Competition: EBFL Presidents Cup (Last 16)
Opposition: Harts of Bracknell
Location: Braybrooke Recreation Ground, Makepiece Road, Bracknell, RG42 2HG
Final Score: Harts of Bracknell 2-3 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Our encounter against Harts of Bracknell FC was the team's first outing against the Bracknell outfit and our latest game in the EBFL Presidents Cup, a cup competition featuring lower-half Premier Division and Division 1 teams within the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL). This is a follow-up from the team's 8-0 home win over Sandhurst Town U23's at Calcot Recreation Ground in January.
The team started going uphill with the wind against us, and we had to weather the storm from a good Bracknell start to the game. The young hosts were dangerous from long throws and opened the scoring when their Number 11 rose highest from an aforementioned long throw from their right, nodding in at close range on 17 minutes to give the hosts their lead.
Slowly, the team grew into the game and after a few nearly-moments, the game changing moment arrived in the 41st minute when Phil Newport was fouled inside the penalty area after some nice build-up play in our attacking third, with Leon Mannion stepping up to bury his penalty down the middle of the opposing keeper's goal to give us an equaliser.
Before half-time, there were three big chances to potentially give the team the lead. The first came when a counter attack saw Mannion free Callum Parr-Jones through on goal, with the Bracknell keeper saving CPJ's effort from eight-yards-out. From the resulting corners, which were dangerous all afternoon by Callum Fox-Spence, Mannion won the resulting header, denied only by a man on the back-post who cleared the header off the line. From that corner, Fox-Spence delivered another fine ball, with Ash Ali unmarked and winning the header, though Ali's effort lashed wide right of the Bracknell goal, leaving both teams level at the break.
The second-half saw the train going downhill and changing shape, as we look to further take the ascendancy in the match. Limiting Bracknell, Mannion missed a guilt-edged chance from a couple of yards out, whilst Ali was inches from stabbing home a Robert Austin cross on the left, whilst Newport drew a save from the Bracknell keeper as the illusive second goal was building.
The final 10 minutes of the game were dramatic and it started in the 83rd minute when we finally found our second goal to take the lead for the first time when Parr-Jones wrestled the ball away from two Bracknell midfielders, playing the ball back to Chris Marshall, who delivered a ball in over the Bracknell defence, with Mannion first to the ball, chesting the ball past the keeper and allowing Newport to tap-in to an empty net.
With the game at 2-1, in the 90th minute the real drama began when Mannion rattled the top of the bar from close range, with the team punished for a miss that would have killed off the game. Bracknell went up the other end, collected the ball after an Austin clearance and delivered a deep cross that was flicked on and into the net to draw the game level at the death - with Bracknell's players celebrating wildly at the corner flag as extra-time loomed.
From kick-off in the 92nd minute, Mannion and Newport worked the right channel well, with Newport winning a corner. Sam Austin, the club's Chairman and photographer, quickly retrieved the ball from the bushes, with Fox-Spence's latest corner whipped in, dropping in the box off the back of Mannion, with Marshall on hand six-yards-out to power home an effort into the roof of the net, with the team scoring a last-gasp winner (which you can see below in the embedded TikTok post), with the team also celebrating wildly at the corner flag - what a dramatic end to the game as the team's sole 11 players advanced at the death.
The win means the club have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Presidents Cup for the first time, with the draw for the next round to be made on Friday 11th February 2022 during half-time at an EBFL Showcase match involving Britwell FC and Stoke Poges FC in Premier Division action.
Thoughts from Club Manager, Robert Austin:
"We went into the game with just 11 players against the team top of the division below, knowing we were in for a tough game against a young, well-drilled outfit. This was a classic cup game, with a lot of end-to-end attacking football, drama right at the death of the game, and luckily for us, a last-second winner to see us advance to the quarter-finals!
The first-half saw the team grow into the game and once we got to grips with how Bracknell played, we managed the game very well. For large periods, particularly in the second-half we stifled their attacking intent and limited them to very little, with the hosts only looking dangerous on long throws. On our end, we had a lot of chances to add to the lead, weathered an early storm, and ultimately I believe we edged a very strong, competitive game from both teams.
We have never experienced a winner with the last kick of the game! It was an incredible moment for those there to embrace, and really showed our fighting spirit on the day as we battled with no substitutes to call upon. It was such a good end to a good day, and the whole team were buzzing after the win.
A huge amount of credit has to go to David and his outfit, they're a strong, disciplined outfit and are a huge credit to the EBFL with this being their first season. They had a good showing in a recent Showcase match against Chalvey, and gave us a really good game of football until the very end. They'll be an even stronger unit next season and I look forward to meeting them later down the line as they surely advance from Division 1 this season.
We're already looking forward to the draw and the next game in the cup, it's going to be another great occasion for the club and I hope we embrace every second of it."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Manager: Robert Austin
GK: Daniel Bone
DEF: Jon Watkins
DEF: Chris Marshall
DEF: Vince van Lembergen (C)
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: Ash Ali
MID: Gino Izzo
MID: Callum Parr-Jones
MID: Callum Fox-Spence
MID: Phil Newport
FOR: Leon Mannion
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Mannion goal, Newport assist
Goal 2: Newport goal, Mannion assist
Goal 3: Marshall goal, Mannion 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!