Pre-Season Match Report (26/09/2020): Hype Train FC vs. Burghfield FC Reserves
Hype Train FC played our first game in Reading in six months as we continued our return to the field, continuing our 2020/21 pre-season campaign by visiting Thames Valley Premier League outfit, Harchester Hawks. Read the match report from our seventh away trip in the off-season as we made the visit to Sol Joel Park in Reading. All aboard.
Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Burghfield FC Reserves:
Date: 26th September 2020
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Opposition: Burghfield FC Reserves
Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Calcot, Reading, RG31 4XD
Final Score: Hype Train FC 2-1 Burghfield FC Reserves
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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Clad in our green Kitlocker PowerUp kit for our last pre-season game before the new season, which was also our first game on home soil since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we welcomed Burghfield FC's Reserves to Calcot Recreation Ground for a 1pm kick-off.
We showed no quarter to our guests as we found the net with just two minutes on the clock when we picked up possession of the ball in midfield and played the ball back to Marin Pendov. The central defender put a ball in behind the Burghfield defence, with Phil Newport running on to the pass and passing the ball into the net with a composed first-time finish.
The visiting side mainly hit us with set-pieces and looked dangerous from several corners, though we limited Jack Roche in goal to scoop up long-range efforts in a quiet afternoon, though Burghfield did manage to find an equaliser at the half-hour mark when a header was nodded back across the line and tapped in at the far-post by their central defender for the equaliser.
The rest of the first-half was a siege on the Burghfield goal, first with Sam Bolwell forcing an incredible block on the line by their right-back after a fierce strike from Bolwell was on target and destined for the net. Next, Chris Marshall robbed the ball in midfield and drove at goal, with his eventual shot going inches wide of the mark at the bottom-right corner (pictured below). There was also a few nearly-moments for Newport to double his own tally, before the game went into the break tied at a goal apiece.
The start of the second-half wasn't as frantic as the final fifteen minutes of the first, though Callum Parr-Jones, fresh off the bench at half-time, drove into the box and forced the Burghfield keeper into a good save at his near-post after Parr-Jones struck with his left-foot.
The third goal of the afternoon did arrive in the 55th minute when Robert Austin collected a loose pass into our defence, with Austin passing first-time into Newport, who was eventually freed one-on-one after a neat one-two with Parr-Jones. The visitors complained that Newport was offside, though the forward beat the offside trap, rounded the opposing Goalkeeper before slotting his second goal into an empty net.
On the look for a third goal to kill the occasion, Jon Watkins crossed low for Martin King to curl an effort wide at the penalty spot, whilst several set-pieces went begging for the squad, though the encounter slowed and became an exercise at game management as we looked to se out the win. Burghfield tested Roche from a couple of long-range strikes, but didn't have that killer punch in the penalty area to get the chance of an equalising goal.
The 53-minute second-half finally drew to an end with the squad winning our last two pre-season games against spirited Harchester Hawks and Burghfield outfits. Next up for the Blue and Gold is our first match in East Berkshire Football League's Division 1 as we make the trip out to Iver Heath FC.
Pre-Season Thoughts from Player Manager, Robert Austin:
"Given that we're on the verge of a new season, pre-season has flown by at light-speed. Where we started at during our first game away at Townmead, to where we ended against Burghfield, we have made huge strides to prepare us for what will be a very difficult league campaign.
This pre-season has seen a lot of advancements off the pitch, whilst we have been bedding in a lot of new players to the squad as our management team recover from squad losses over the summer to several important players. I feel that we've largely recovered and welcomed in some very good players and people that have added to the quality of the squad. We're still a work in progress as a result, but have developed well as a group in a short time during a difficult period of time running a football team during a pandemic.
As for the game against Burghfield, I'd like to thank their squad and staff for stepping up with a week's notice. They were an honest and hardworking squad from first minute to last. I don't believe they tested Jack in goal more than once, but they were very savvy at set-pieces and always tried to play out from the back - I was actually very happy with our defensive shape when they had the ball at their feet! It was a deserved win for our side though, we once again had half a dozen near-misses that should have seen a few more goals added to our tally, but what was important was getting across the line and showing a good level of discipline.
The next week is huge for the club as we begin our EBFL Division 1 campaign in what might be our hardest fixture - away against Iver Heath. We played the squad at Iver during pre-season and they were arguably the strongest outfit we played - and we travelled to two Premier Division sides during our pre-season tour of East Berkshire. Our game against them could have finished 10-10 and we know that they have a lot of quality attackers and competent midfielders, so we'll need to be focused and determined as we aim for a huge away win to begin the season - I know we have the qualities to do it, now it's time to hopefully deliver on the pitch.
Good luck to Burghfield's Reserves, I think that alongside Harchester Hawks, you'll do well in TVPL Division 4 this season and should be gunning for promotion."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Marin Pendov
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Sammy Seville (Watkins (45')
MID: Chris Marshall (Parr-Jones 45')
MID: Sam Bolwell (Akemche 45')
MID: Callum Fox-Spence (Marshall 65')
MID: Dominic Clarke (Seville 78')
FOR: Phil Newport (King 55')
SUB: Jon Watkins
SUB: Martin King
SUB: Callum Parr-Jones
SUB: Colins Akemche
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Newport goal, Pendov assist
Goal 2: Newport goal, Parr-Jones assist
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.