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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

RDSL Division 3 Match Report (03/12/2023): Hype Train FC vs. Barkham United

Welcome aboard the home of Hype Train Football Club. Here, you can read the match reports from the train's outing across Saturday & Sunday League action throughout the 2023/24 season, with the team competing in the East Berkshire Football League (EBFL) and the Reading & District Sunday League (RDSL). All aboard.

Match Report: Hype Train FC

Date: Sunday 3rd December 2023

Competition: RDSL Division 3 (Game 9)

Opposition: Barkham United

Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Reading, RG31 4XD

Final Score: Hype Train FC 8-1 Barkham United

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Barkham United was our 25th competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team hosting Barkham in Reading & District Sunday League's Division 3 at Calcot Recreation Ground. This was the first time we have played Barkham, who were second bottom of the Division 3 table heading into the matchday.

A challenging first-half saw quick injuries to both Callum Gibbons and Robert Austin in the defence for the team, resulting in a chop-and-change half which saw a lone goal for the train, which arrived in the 26th minute when combination play down the left saw Padraig Gorman freed down the wing. Driving into the penalty area, Gorman would cut the ball back towards Mitchell Saunders, who took a touch to slow the ball down as it veered back towards the penalty area, allowing Ben Heinau to sweep home the ball into the net to score his first goal for the club!

With a lead established, Gorman hit the bar with a top shot when cutting in, whilst the Barkham goalkeeper was called into action several times before an equalising effort arrived in the 35th minute. Starting when Kie Longmate did well to head away from a long punt forward, the ball dropped to their Number 6 who possessed good hold up play to allow a fellow midfielder to receive the ball. In a crowded area central to the goal, the Barkham player somehow wriggled through two defenders before shooting at the edge of the box - with the ball taking a heavy deflection off Anwar Mmanga's back and past stand-in keeper, Tom Dalgarno, to level the game up heading into half-time.

The break was sorely needed for the train as we collected ourselves and went out with a determined mindset, with the floodgates opening in the 49th minute with Gorman delivering an inswinging corner that was initially headed away by Barkham, but only to Lewis Small who nodded the ball back into the penalty area, with Heinau on hand to turn and shoot well on the spin past the goalkeeper to restore the lead!

With the rain pouring down, a third goal arrived just after 60 minutes and started when Heinau passed to Saunders from the right wing, who touched the ball forward for Small to collect. Faced up with a defender, Small knocked it through the legs of one defender, whilst a second slipped to the ground on the soft grass, allowing the midfielder to charge towards goal before burying his shot low to the near-post - with this Small's first goal for the train in what is only his second appearance!

Getting into a good groove, the team's 4th arrived in the 77th minute, which kicked off from a set-piece that was played to the feet of Saunders inside the penalty area. Allowed to turn, Saunders shot at goal though saw his shot blocked, with the second ball seized upon by Longmate, who also shot at goal and forced a saved from the Barkham goalkeeper - but at the third time of asking the ball fell to Walid Zaky, who made no mistake on the six-yard-line to put the ball into the net to score the Egyptian's second goal of the campaign.

Controlling the ball in the middle of the park during the 83d minute, Barkham were robbed of the ball when good pressure off the ball by Saunders recovered the ball, with the midfielder playing Gorman down the left channel again, with the Irishman beating one before freed at goal and finishing calmly to the bottom-left of the keepers' goal to take the game to 5-1.

With the game all but one, the cherry on top of a good second-half arrived during the 86th minute when Heinau was able to complete his hat-trick! The move started when Zaky played the ball back to Joe Sawyer, who with time to be had on the ball, aimed the ball to the feet of Saunders standing on the heels of the Barkham central defender, with Saunders robbing the ball of the player before quickly running to the byline and cutting the ball back to Heinau to convert fronm close range to complete a memorable day at the office!

A cruel 10 minutes to end the game for Barkham resulted in more goals, as Saunders was able to get his name on the lists of goalscorers in the 89th minute. After the Barkham goalkeeper half-cleared a Zaky through ball, Gorman collected the ball at the edge of the box and took his time to pick out Saunders at the edge of the D on the edge of the penalty area, with Saunders only needing two touches to finish the move off - first, to set the ball, and a second to calmly place the ball past the rooted goalkeeper - to notch his 11th goal of the season.

The game was rounded out with an 8th and final goal during the first minute of additional time, when Gorman displayed excellent footwork to move the ball past a host of Barkham defenders, before cutting the ball back to Zaky on the six-yard-line to tap home into an unguarded net - securing Zaky's first brace of goals for the club, and the points for the team on a wet and cold morning down at Calcot.

Next up for the train, the team will be hosting Stoke Poges in EBFL's Premier Division on Saturday 9th December 2023, before we travel to AFC Caversham in RDSL Division 3 on Sunday 10th December 2023.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Our game against Barkham really was a tale of two halves, with the team unlucky with several chances in the first-half, but largely it took us a while to warm up into the match and hadn't quite hit a good gear for us to punish the visitors. Thankfully, we were able to reset at half-time and went out in the second period with a positive outlook and really put the sword to our opposition with some well worked and tidy goals.

Largely the result was deserved as we penned in Barkham and limited them to very few chances. It was great to see Ben (Heinau) get his first goals, and for Walid (Zaky) to add a brace too! I'd like to pass my support onto Callum Gibbons mainly, who landed badly and has a badly twisted ankle - here's hoping your recovery is quick and we'll be seeing you back fit again to start 2024!

We've been hitting some good form as a squad with 6 consecutive wins, and we're heading in the right direction as we approach the Xmas break. It'll be important for us to continue this momentum with our final few games of the year as we look to build on a positive November for the club."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Austin (Carter 8')

DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Callum Gibbons (Longmate 8')

DEF: Tom Dalgarno

MID: Jon Watkins (Zaky 46')

MID: Jenson Mansel

MID: Lewis Small

MID: Mitchell Saunders

MID: Padraig Gorman

FOR: Ben Heinau


SUB: Walid Zaky

SUB: Kie Longmate

SUB: Jamie Carter

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Heinau (goal), Gorman (assist)

Goal 2: Heinau (goal), Small (assist)

Goal 3: Small (goal), no assist

Goal 4: Zaky (goal), Longmate (assist)

Goal 5: Gorman (goal), Saunders (assist)

Goal 6: Heinau (goal), Saunders (assist)

Goal 7: Saunders (goal), Gorman (assist)

Goal 8: Zaky (goal), Gorman (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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