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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Pre-Season Friendly Match Report (24/07/2022): Zone RG vs. Hype Train 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: Zone RG vs. Hype Train FC

Date: Sunday 24th July 2022

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

Opposition: Zone RG

Location: Theale Green School, Reading, RG7 5DA

Final Score: Zone RG 5-4 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Zone RG was the team's third match in pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 season, with the team taking on the new outfit at Theale Green School on an arid, dry pitch. Zone are a new re-established team that are entering Division 2 in the Reading & District Sunday Football League for the upcoming season, and was our first encounter against the team in white.

The game started with Zone on the front foot, with the hosts taking the lead on 10 minutes after one of their midfielders won possession of the ball 35-yards-out from goal, powered past several players, and eventually around the goalkeeper, to take an early lead. With a lead established, there were 2 instances of Zone hitting the left-post, both coming from crosses and eventual shots that were unlucky not to hit the target.

At the other end of the pitch, after Leon Mannion won a corner kick in the 19th minute following some good hold up play, with Jamie Carter's resulting corner flashed in at the near-post and headed home by Liam Bowbrick - meaning the Bowbrick has scored in all 3 pre-season games so far this summer for the club.

The half ended with Zone restoring their lead from the penalty spot when their Number 9 was tripped in the box by Robert Austin, with the resulting penalty tucked away calmly to Holloway's left in goal.

The second-half started with a freak moment in the 49th minute as Zone's Number 7 picked up a cut-back by their attacker and then lashed in a cross whilst 30-yards-out. The ball ended up travelling and was buried in the top corner, with absolutely nothing Holloway could have done. Minutes later, a free-kick was converted right on the edge of the penalty area, which gave Zone an opportunity to run away with the game as we struggled to wake up on our first Sunday outing.

The team recovered well though and we hit our stride in the second-half, first grabbing a goal back in the 58th minute when a Holloway goal kick was collected by Mannion, who played through Callum Parr-Jones on goal, with CPJ taking his time to set before burying his shot from 8-yards-out to give the team a way back into the game.

A minute shy of a water break in the 78th minute another goal followed and started when Yazeed Alanazi was played through on goal, his dangerous cross was only parried by the Zone keeper to Mannion, who teed up Jamie Carter to set himself before rifling an accurate shot past a host of defenders on the line to bring the game back to 4-3.

The game was then drawn level in the 85th minute when Carter provided a long throw over the top of the Zone defensive line, with Mannion running through on goal on the left wing, providing a cross that was converted into his own net by a Zone defender.

The game then flipped on its head again in the 88th minute when a free-kick to the right of Holloway's goal took a massive deflection, nestling into the far-left of the net to give Zone the 5th and decisive goal of the morning in what was a top second-half by both sets of teams.

The result means we have started pre-season with 7-6, 5-4, and 3-1 scorelines, creating an action packed start to our off-season schedule heading into our 4th season as a club.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Sunday was an interesting game to be involved in. The game was slightly delayed due to confusion over pitches at Theale Green, the pitch was sloped and rock solid, and we came up against a young side with a lot of willing runners that gave us a really good game.

The hosts shaded the game and were probably the rightful winners as they had much of the ball in the first-half in particular, though they scored some really fortunate goals - which included a cross that floated in due to the wind, and a heavily deflected free-kick for their winning goal. On our end, we were quiet and took a while to get going in the game, and only really hit any sort of stride in the second-half when we recovered from 4-1 down to draw level at 4-4 - and in that period we offered a lot moving forward when we quickened our movements with the ball and scored some really well worked goals! It's now an opportunity to build on the areas we lacked, mainly dealing with a host of new players and forging new continuity between players that will naturally come with time.

It was another draining run out in the heat though and good to get minutes on board on Sunday's and for players who we haven't seen since the end of our season in May! Best of luck to Zone RG in Division 2 next season!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jake Holloway

DEF: Sam Bolwell

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Stuart Stannard

DEF: Robert Austin

MID: Liam Bowbrick

MID: Tommy Payne

MID: Owen Bowbrick

MID: Callum Parr-Jones

MID: Jamie Carter

FOR: Leon Mannion


SUB: Vijay Gurung

SUB: Yazeed Alanazi

SUB: Ryan Knott

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: L. Bowbrick (goal), Carter (assist)

Goal 2: Parr-Jones (goal), Mannion (assist)

Goal 3: Carter (goal), Mannion (assist)

Goal 3: Own 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. 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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