Pre-Season Match Report (15/08/2020): Slough Heating 'A' vs. Hype Train FC
Updated: Aug 23
Hype Train FC were back in blue as we continued our return to the field, continuing our 2020/21 pre-season campaign by visiting EBFL Premier Division outfit, Slough Heating 'A'. Read the match report from our second away trip in the off-season as we made the visit to the Polish Club in Slough. All aboard.
Match Report: St Peters Iver FC vs. Hype Train FC:
Date: 22nd August 2020
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Opposition: St Peters Iver FC
Location: Riching Park Sports Club, Iver, SL0 9BN
Final Score: St Peters Iver FC 2-0 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Our visit to the Polish Club in Slough was met with an overcast day and a near-perfect pitch as we looked to bounce back from defeat in our opening pre-season outing against Townmead. We provided debuts for four new players, with Marin Pendov and Colins Akemche debuting from the start, whilst Inigo Lanzagorta and Lewis Thompson appeared in the second-half.
The first-half started with both teams finding their feet, with the hosts finding the best few openings before the half-hour mark, with Slough unable to make the most of a mix-up whilst playing out from the back, with the opposing left-winger unable to get round the tall frame of Jack Roche at the edge of the six-yard box, with Roche recovering the ball well.
The second chance squandered by the home side came from a Slough counter-attack which led to one of their two bearded central midfielders blazing over with a half-volley after bouncing invitingly at the edge of the box, with the effort a welcome relief for the Blue and Gold.
The squad's best chance to break the deadlock came at the half-hour stage when good interplay down the right-flank between Jon Watkins, Phil Newport and Callum Fox-Spence freed the latter, with Fox-Spence beating two men before cutting in and flashing a shot just narrowly wide.
With just over five minutes to go before half-time, it was another one-two combination between Watkins and Fox-Spence that freed our Number 7 through on goal and into the penalty area - Fox-Spence won the race to the ball and was wiped out by a central defender, with the referee pointing to the penalty spot.
Fox-Spence, who did brilliantly to win the penalty, stepped up and buried his effort into the bottom-right corner, giving us the lead heading into half-time.
The second-half saw a host of substitutions for both sides as Slough pressed for an equaliser, though we were able to weather the storm, with Jack Roche collecting a dozen set-pieces in the air, whilst our defenders and midfielders smothered the ball when in close proximity for Slough in dangerous areas, with Roche's best save coming as he tipped a long-range effort from their Number 44 over the bar.
Our best chance to double the lead to close out the game was a counter-attack down the right-wing, though substitute Lewis Thompson was unable to meet any of the squad queuing up in the box after a good counter-attack. The one goal was enough though as we registered a first ever clean sheet in pre-season in our 9th attempt against a side playing in the higher division next season.
Man of the Match: Callum Fox-Spence (#7)
"Callum epitomised our game today - was lively and always looking to get on the ball and threaten, with Callum ultimately the driving force that led to our winning goal. Special mention should go out to our shot-stopper, Jack Roche, who was a giant in the air, and Joe Sawyer in central defence, who continues to grow and develop his role in the team ahead of next season." - Rob Austin (Manager)
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"After a frustrating start to pre-season against Townmead (get well soon Sam Paddon, the whole team is pulling for a speedy recovery), the team have really come together in the last two weeks as we looked to make right a poor display, and even though today wasn't perfect by any means, we have taken a tonne of positives to work on as we prepare for a competitive EBFL Division 1 next season.
The win was a squad effort, with the team defending brilliantly in large periods to limit Slough to half-chances and shots from range. Marin Pendov (making his debut) came in and made an immediate impact at the back and as a whole we had a lot more control of the game with the team trying to play at every chance. The win was made even more impressive when you consider we have four new players appearing for the first time and half a dozen players with less than 5-10 appearances under the belts - the joys of being a young side - though I am happy that they are all trying their best to adapt to our system.
We still have a lot of work as we prepare for what will be a challenge in the league, though in beating an established side at this level it's given us another step forward in our development and I couldn't be happier with the application of the boys and the result.
I'd like to end by thanking Slough Heating for the game - it was a competitive and well-tempered game on a lovely pitch in ideal conditions. Good luck for season and we'll see you down the line at some point!"
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Marin Pendon
DEF: Robert Austin (C)
MID: Jon Watkins (Thompson 60')
MID: Clayton Holloway (Marshall 45')
MID: Colins Akemche (Holloway 60')
MID: Callum Fox-Spence
MID: Dom Clarke (Lanzagorta 60')
FOR: Phil Newport (Setiawan 45')
SUB: Chris Marshall
SUB: Inigo Lanzagorta
SUB: Lewis Thompson
SUB: Dany Setiawan
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in 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.
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.