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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Pre-Season Friendly Match Report (13/08/2022): Southcote FC vs. Hype Train FC

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

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: Southcote FC vs. Hype Train FC

Date: Saturday 13th August 2022

Competition: Pre-Season Friendly (10:30am KO)

Opposition: Southcote FC

Location: Burghfield CSA, James Lane, Burghfield, Reading, RG30 3RS

Final Score: Southcote FC 3-2 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Southcote FC was the team's 6th match in pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 season, with the team taking on fellow EBFL Premier Division opposition, and the only other Reading based team in our division next season. This was the first time the team played Southcote after the team joined the East Berkshire Football League in 2021.

Our hosts in Claret started the strong of the sides, and were more comfortable on the ball in the opening stages of the match, though weren't able to create a scoring opportunity of note and actually nearly fell behind when Alvin Mugabe's corner kick was placed perfectly on the head of Joe Sawyer, though the central defender was only able to crash his header against the bar, much to Southcote's delight.

The 12th minute of the game saw the game's first goal and it arrived when a Southcote corner was cleared away multiple times, though not out of danger, with a third header falling backwards towards goal, with the ball falling to a Southcote player six-yards-out to the left of our goal, and was able to squeeze the ball past an on-rushing Robert Austin in goal and several defenders on the line.

One sloppy error in the heat would lead to a second during the 19th minute of the game, this time when Southcote robbed possession at the edge of their final third after a loose pass by Gino Izzo, with Southcote's Number 18 freed on goal with a through ball, with the one-on-one chance taken when the shot squirmed between Austin's legs in goal and into the net to double Southcote's lead.

The game remained 2-0 until the second batch of 30 minutes was live, and started when Southcote played a looping ball to their left-winger following some good pressure from the team. The pass had created a vacuum with Yazeed Alanazi having to chase the winger, who set himself in the box on his right and finished his chance to the far-left corner of the goal.

Chasing a big lead, the final set of 30 minutes was a rewarding one for the team as the team in green pulled a goal back in the 69th minute after Mugabe was fouled after being shoved in the back. Chris Marshall stood over the free-kick and delivered in a peach of a ball to the back-post, which was tucked home via the head of Phil Newport to reduce Southcote's lead.

More pressure was applied as the team hit the bar again, this time from range by Jack Lewis, with a 2nd goal for the train following up in the 84th minute. The move started down the left when Austin cut out a pass down Southcote's right, with Austin playing the ball off Nikhil Garg, before feeding Mugabe down the line, who turned in and played an inch-perfect pass that cut open Southcote - Newport was the only player near the ball (and onside despite cries of being off), taking the ball onto his left before finishing at our near-post, to give the team a second lifeline.

Despite more pressure and a strong finish to the game, the full-time whistle would cut short the final chance of a comeback, with Southcote winning the game on a stifling hot morning in Burghfield.

The result means that we have endured a back and forth pre-season to date, with 3 losses and 3 defeats so far in friendly action. The team would play our penultimate round of pre-season outings against the team we played in the RSSL final, Woodley Saints, on Sunday August 21st 2022!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Heading into this game, what we knew was going to be our hardest in pre-season to date, the team were patching up injuries and some tired legs in very hot conditions, and it took us a while to catch a break in the game, though we did well in stages in what was a competitive match between two sides in EBFL's Premier Division.

Southcote's team are young and they had willing runners all day and started strong as a result, taking command and playing some good stuff with the ball on the ground, and were ultimately deserving of the win, whilst we came into the game strong when they began fading. Every set-piece looked dangerous and we hit the crossbar twice at important stages of the match.

We are very much a team in transition though, and were just happy to come away from the game with everyone intact having gotten some good minutes under their belts. We have lost a lot of players, and are embedding in a lot of younger players this season, so it will take time for us to settle and develop as a team, but yes we are very much doing our best to ensure that we can be as ready as we can for the new season ahead.

Good luck to Southcote and we're looking forward to meeting them again in the league campaign this season."

The team assembles for a team talk prior to kick-off against Southcote. Photography by Sam Austin.

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Management Team: Kostas D, George Champion

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Austin

DEF: Gino Izzo

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Vince van Lembergen

DEF: Nikhil Garg

MID: Phil Newport

MID: Alex Ward

MID: Chris Marshall

MID: Callum Parr-Jones

MID: Alvin Mugabe

FOR: Graham High


SUB: Jack Lewis

SUB: Yazeed Alanazi

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Newport (goal), Marshall (assist)

Goal 2: Newport (goal), Mugabe (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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