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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Pre-Season Friendly Match Report (20/08/2023): Caversham United Reserves vs. Hype Train FC

Welcome aboard the home of Hype Train Football Club. Here, you can read the match reports from the train's outing across Saturday & Sunday League action throughout the 2023/24 season, with the team competing in the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL) and the Reading & District Sunday League (RDSL). All aboard.

Match Report: Hype Train FC

Date: Sunday 20th August 2023

Competition: Pre-Season Friendly

Opposition: Caversham United Reserves

Location: Mapledurham Playing Fields, Caversham, Reading, RG4 7LB

Final Score: Caversham United Reserves 1-1 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Sam Austin

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Caversham United Reserves was the team's 5th pre-season friendly ahead of the 2023/24 season, with the team making the short trip to Mapledurham Playing Fields in Caversham. This was the 1st time we had taken on Caversham's Reserve team, having played their first team on 2 occasions prior.

Finding our feet early doors, Caversham had a number of chances that threatened our goal, the first saw their Number 18 miss a vital one-on-one on the stroke of the 7th minute, before a long throw saw Callum Grover's close ranger saved by Robert Austin in goal with an outstretched hand.

Having survived a few close calls, the 9th minute saw battling play from Padraig Gorman drive the team high up the pitch, cutting in on the left and playing the ball to Ciaran Carolan who won the team a corner following a snapshot. After a fury friend tried getting into the box to join our central defenders going up for the corner, the team ultimately played the ball short with Gorman and Carolan combining, with Gorman eventually crossing in the ball across the six-yard-line with Kie Longmate on his first appearance for the club lifting the ball sweetly over Caversham's goalkeeper to open the scoring!

Prior to the first water break, Caversham broke down their left during the 18th minute and crossed in to their Number 18 who was inches away from reaching the flighted ball, whilst shortly after a shot from the edge of the box forced Austin into a save when tipping the ball over the bar. The following corner saw Rose win the header on the six-yard-line and crash on the underside of the crossbar and across the line (the hosts argued the ball had crossed the line), with the second header again tipped over and denied by Austin.

With 22 minutes on the clock, and playing from back for front, a sequence started with Waqar Janjua picking up the ball and finding midfield partner Mitchell Saunders, who was away and drove at Caversham at pace, unchallenged the entire way, Saunders eventually found Carolan with a pass on the right of the penalty area, with our Number 9 unleashing a fierce shot that was excellently saved by Caversham's keeper to prevent the train's lead from being doubled.

After being denied by the crossbar earlier in the half, Caversham's Number 18 wouldn't be denied again in the game during the 35th minute when the player made a diagonal run from deep and won the foot race with a through ball, and was able to get his eventual shot on target to draw the hosts level heading into half-time.

After weathering a storm, somewhat, in the first-half as the team were going uphill in the first-half, the tide of momentum certainly changed in the second-half and in the 55th minute were only a fraction away from restoring our lead when Carolan's free-kick 2-yards-out struck the upper-left of the woodwork to deny the attacker a goal! Furthers shots from Saunders, Taren Langa and Usamah Choudhry, all tested Caversham's shot-stopper, but without that clinical edge for a breakthrough.

70 minutes on the clock and Caversham's best chance saw the woodwork play a factor again when one of their midfielders who had fine feet danced his way into a shooting position in the penalty area and when faced with Austin was only able to lift his shot against the woodwork before we were able to collect the rebound.

A game with some really intense challenges saw the last on Owen Jones inside the penalty area by their trailing central defender saw the team win a corner at the death of the game. The out-swinger was initially cleared away and fell to Carolan outside the penalty area, who when striking the ball sweetly first-time, again rattled the post, all meaning the result in a back-and-forth game would end all square.

Next up for the train, we turn our attention to competitive action as we take on Southcote FC in our maiden EBFL Premier Division outing on Wednesday 23rd August 2023 at Blessed Hugh Farringdon School!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Our game against Caversham was largely an open affair and both teams were surprised at the final whistle that only two goals were shared. The number of times either team hit the post or had a nearly moment was plentiful - this certainly was a game for the neutrals, especially for a few Caversham fans that made a 4-hour trip to come watch play us in pre-season action, that's a top effort!

The pitch was on a slope, the field was narrow, the grass was long, the sun was beaming down for our 2pm kick-off, all factors that resulted in a largely action packed game. We're disapointed that despite piling on the pressure in the second-half that we were unable to get the second goal, but from an internal point-of-view, the team are largely starting to come together and click, though we are still making strides in that department as both our Saturday & Sunday campaigns get underway for us in a matter of days.

I would like to pass my thanks on to Nev Swift and James Tapscott today, without a doubt some of the best advocates for Sunday League football in the league. I have nothing but the upmost respect for them as people and for their efforts in making the Caversham Reserves the shining beacon of their club currently. Caversham were well drilled, had chances of their own, and played their part in a decent game of football. Hopefully they'll be at the top end of their division this season, and best of luck to them for the season!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Austin

DEF: Anwar Mmanga (Follington 73')

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Kie Longmate

DEF: Leo Pereira (Radwan 57')

MID: Luke Follington (Choudhry 49')

MID: Waqar Janjua (Ferreira 55')

MID: Mitchell Saunders

MID: Taren Langa (Jones 69')

MID: Padraig Gorman

FOR: Ciaran Carolan


SUB: Usamah Choudhry

SUB: Owen Jones

SUB: Hussein Radwan

SUB: Jose Ferreira

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Longmate (goal), Gorman (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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