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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Pre-Season Friendly Match Report (21/08/2022): Woodley Saints Lowfield vs. Hype Train FC

Updated: Sep 4, 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: Woodley Saints Lowfield vs. Hype Train FC

Date: Sunday 21st August 2022

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

Opposition: Woodley Saints Lowfield

Location: Waingels College, Woodley, Reading, RG5 4RS

Final Score: Woodley Saints Lowfield 5-1 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Woodley Saints Lowfield was the team's 7th match in pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 season, with the team taking on fellow Reading & District Sunday League opponents. This was the first time the team played Woodley (who have combined with AFC Lowfield) since the RSSL Final in 2021.

The game started with Woodley taking advantage of a slow start for the team. Two long balls, the first in the 3rd minute, and a second in the 9th minute, were both collected by Woodley attackers who converted past Rob Bateman in goal.

The game went in at half-time at 2-0, though the team had chances to get a goal back. Phil Newport drew a fine save from Woodley's goalkeeper after 18 minutes when he found space in the penalty area, before Jamie Carter's left-footed stinger was against saved in the 31st minute.

The second-half started with the team creating another good chance, with Graham High collecting the ball in the penalty area, turning well, sending a shot slightly wide with a left-footed shot. From the resulting goal kick, Rob Walsh went up for a header, took an accidental elbow to the face in the process and a bruise under the eye, with the collision falling ideally for Woodley who swept a through ball to their Number 11 to tuck home an easy finish on the six-yard-line.

With the game running away from the team, there was a way back into the game from the penalty spot as Jack Lewis was fouled in the penalty area following a free-kick from deep. Newport stepped up and put the penalty hi to the keeper's left, to give the team a lifeline.

Moments later in the 61st minute, the team had a second goal in the back of the net following some great work by Jack Lewis in central midfield. Driving with the ball and connecting a one-two with Newport on the right, Lewis made an onside run when receiving the ball, slotting the ball home well. As soon as the ball hit the net, the offside flag went up and the team were denied a perfectly good goal.

Woodley' 4th goal later on the 74 minute mark when a cross-field ball reached their Number 11 (Marko), who cut in on his right and finished brilliantly into the far-left corner - the best goal of the morning for the hosts as they restored a 3-goal lead. The final goal arrived just second later when a one-two combination and a cut-back on the byline was finished calmly as Woodley scored a 5th goal.

A few more chances for the team in white were presented before the end of the game, but none so more than a second penalty, this time awarded when Newport's powerful run in the box saw him dragged down in the box, though the resulting spot-kick was saved to the keeper's right - the Woodley shot-stopper had a fine morning in net for his team.

The result means that we have endured a back and forth pre-season to date, with 3 losses and 4 defeats so far in friendly action. The team have one weekend of football to play during pre-season, before our season begins proper on Saturday 3rd September 2022.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"The team have played some tough games on Sunday in pre-season, and each game has offered some different players and teams to get up to speed, and today was no different. Difficult situations make teams stronger and that's what today has proven - we didn't get going and went behind to two early goals as we took a while to get going. We too had our chances, but some good saves and some squandered chances really kept the goals down.

To their credit, Woodley were clinical and scored some very good goals, they played a strong long ball game and we struggled to cope with balls over the top at times. It's a big loss on the day, and we for sure deserved to lose, though we had a lot of positives - we mainly created a lot of chances and on another day we do better in front of goal. The squad are learning though, and we will improve over time, but we're at the beginning of a new chapter with a virtually new squad, so it's going to take some time to get into full gear.

As for the opposition, they had a few set tactics that worked well (fully deserving winners), but they included shouting and moaning for everything. We had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside, they tried to intimidate the referee at every given turn and didn't play the game with any respect - it's a pre-season friendly and one of their players in particular was openly disrespectful and not showing the game any ounce of respect. That's not acceptable behaviour from a team that have been dropped (somehow) two divisions into Division 3, and not becoming of the good nature of the team's in the bottom tiers of the Reading & District Sunday League. Nevertheless, I wish Ian Pulfer and his team the best for next season and looking forward to the games ahead in the division."

The team assemble before kick-off against Woodley. Photography by Sam Austin

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Management Team: Kostas D

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Bateman

DEF: Brad Matthews

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Jack Lewis

DEF: Robert Austin

MID: Phil Newport

MID: Cosmin Huhulea

MID: Owen Bowbrick

MID: Liam Bowbrick

MID: Jamie Carter

FOR: Graham High


SUB: Daniel Macdonald

SUB: Rob Walsh

SUB: Owen Jones

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Newport (goal), Lewis (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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