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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Pre-Season Friendly Match Report (23/07/2022): Hype Train FC vs. Stoke Poges 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: Hype Train FC vs. Stoke Poges FC

Date: Saturday 23rd July 2022

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

Opposition: Stoke Poges FC

Location: The Atrium Health Club, Scours Lane, Reading, RG30 6AY

Final Score: Hype Train FC 3-1 Stoke Poges FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's latest encounter against was the team's second match in pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 season, with the team taking on Stoke Poges at The Atrium Health Club. The club are well acquainted with Poges having played the Slough based outfit more times than any other club, with the team outfitted in our Green PowerUp strip from Kitlocker for the occasion.

The first-half was the less eventual of the two-halves of football, with the away side doing a lot of probing with the ball, flashing in several dangerous crosses that weren't met by an attacker before the 20-minute mark. Before the first water break of the game, Poges had a free-kick just outside of the penalty area, though the shot was collected by Robert Austin in goal. At the other end of the pitch, an in-swinging corner kick by Alvin Mugabe was headed back towards goal by Liam Bowbrick, and cleared off the line.

The eventual breakthrough in the game happened a couple minutes shy of the half-time break, and started when the team played out from the back from a goal kick, with Ryan Knott and George Holloway combining, with Knott playing a key pass down the left wing, which was met with a loose pass by the Poges right back, with Graham High collecting the ball, setting himself, before lobbing the opposing goalkeeper from 25-yards-out with the shot-stopper well off his line - a top finish by High to have the team lead 1-0 at the close of the half.

There was a lot more back and forth between both sides in the second-half, with a Poges equaliser arriving during the 63rd minute of the game. After a good run into Poges territory by Yazeed Alanazi, the Poges defensive line collected the ball and played Ryan Manton, who fed the ball out wide to the right flank. The winger took one touch to set and delivered in a low cross that was met by their Number 7 at the six-yard-line after a well-timed run to convert home at the far-right post to draw the game level.

The team in green retook the lead in the 78th minute of the game and the move started when Knott cleared a ball to the centre circle, with High collecting the ball and holding up play until he could free Mugabe down the left wing. The midfielder delivered pass of the day with a great pass with the outside of his right boot setting up Vijay Gurung on his debut at the far-right post.

The game was signed, sealed, and delivered in the 84th minute when a Sam Bolwell free-kick was dinked into the penalty and initially cleared away, but only to Liam Bowbrick to control at the edge of the box, before firing in a low drive to the far right corner to give the team a 3-1 lead.

With Poges chasing the game, they did hit the post twice, the first coming from a lobbed attempt that hit the outside of the post, before a cut-in on their right wing saw a low shot bobble over Austin's foot and then rebounded off the post into Austin's arms - a massive let off for the team that avoided a dramatic finish to the game.

The 3-1 win means that we have begun pre-season with back-to-back wins against fellow EBFL Division One sides, and were back in action tomorrow morning against Zone RG in Sunday League pre-season action at Theale Green School.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"We have a long history against Stoke Poges and it was great of them to come out of their way for an early kick-off in Reading for a pre-season game. I've got a lot of time for Poges off the pitch as they have a great bunch of personnel running the club who have helped me so much throughout the years, and it's always great to be able to play them anytime.

The game itself was finely balanced for the most part. Slow going in stages due to the heat, the game was more tactical with both teams looking to work with the ball. Poges shaded the possession stats, and tried to exploit space down the wings, whilst we were well organised and battled hard defensively, and were more effective on the counter attack. We have been trying a few things out in these early training sessions in July and tried to play out and keep the ball on the floor, avoid going route one, and learnt a lot about where we are at this stage of the summer - we still have a way's to go and haven't really had a chance to bring back the entire squad to date, but it was nice to get a win and see a lot of our new players who have been nothing short of impressive.

Good luck in Division One next season, Poges, here's hoping you and the team have a top season and we see you in the Premier Division again in no time!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: George Champion

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Austin

DEF: Daniel MacDonald

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Ryan Knott

DEF: George Holloway

MID: Jon Watkins

MID: Sam Bolwell

MID: Owen Bowbrick

MID: Liam Bowbrick

MID: Alvin Mugabe

FOR: Graham High


SUB: Vijay Gurung

SUB: Yazeed Alanazi

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: High (goal), no assist

Goal 2: Gurung (goal), Mugabe (assist)

Goal 3: L. Bowbrick (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. 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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