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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

RDSL Division 3 Match Report (18/02/2024): Bramley United vs. Hype Train FC

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 18th February 2024

Competition: RDSL Division 3 (Game 15)

Opposition: Bramley United

Location: Post Office Field, Bramley, RG26 5BP

Final Score: Bramley United 2-3 Hype Train FC

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Bramley United was our 37th competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team travelling to Post Office Field in Reading & District Sunday League's Division 3. This was the return leg of our league fixtures against Bramley, with the team overcoming a 3-0 deficit at half-time, to win 5-3 on home soil down at Calcot.

The hosts were the quicker of the sides out of the gates, with Bramley taking an early lead during the 7th minute. After a loose pass, Bramley launched a route one attack when they put the ball in behind the defensive line, allowing their quick right winger to run onto the ball, before beating off the challenge of Joe Sawyer who was chasing down the winger, before slotting the ball into the bottom corner, to put the team at an early disadvantage.

The team did find their feet fairly well to mount a positive response to going a goal behind, and were inches wide during the 12th minute, when Ciaran Carolan fired inches wide of the goalkeepers' left post with a placed shot, before a minute later there was a double save from the Bramley shot stopper when Carolan twisted and turned to create the room to shoot at goal - all before a 3rd save in the 15th minute denied Mitchell Saunders at the near-post. Saunders would then see a chipped shot saved during the 18th minute, before Joe Sawyer went close via his head on the stroke of 21 minutes played, whilst Taren Langa and Ciaran Carolan both had shots saved or blocked on the line during the 29th minute to deny the onslaught on Bramley's goal.

The eventual breakthrough for the team did arrive during the 25th minute of the game when Carolan won a corner when attempting a low cut-back across the box, with the attacker then whipping in a dangerous ball inside the six-yard-box, which was attacked and converted by Joe Sawyer to level to tie the game - which was Sawyer's 4th goal of the season and his first in the RDSL this season!

The turnaround was complete in some style (you can watch the video embedded below on our Twitter / X account) during the 34th minute, and in some style too! Starting with the defensive line moving the ball across from right to left, the ball would eventually fall to Leo Pereira at left back, who drove into the Bramley defensive half and finding the feet of Saunders with a pass, with Saunders turning his marker and letting the ball run for Carolan to strike the ball with real power from just outside of the D of the penalty area - with the rocket kissing the underside of the post on its way into the net - a great strike from range to mark Carolan's 25th goal of the season so far!

The start of the second-half saw the team press for a third goal, and we were rewarded for our efforts in the 54th minute with a third goal to take the game further away from Bramley. Prior to the goal, the team had ample possession on the ball as we calmly moved up the pitch on the left flank, which eventually saw Saunders peel inside to pass to Jenson Mansel, who ran the show in the middle of the park on the day with a great range of passing, who then returned the ball to Saunders who made a deep run behind the Bramley defenders. The return pass from Mansel was towards the byline, which Saunders kept in play, then turning and twisting to get a shot off - which to the horror of the Bramley goalkeeper was dropped right on the goal line for Hussein Radwan to tap home his first goal for the club!

The game was not done however, as a quick end-to-end sequence brought the game back to life for Bramley during the 66th minute. Carolan and Saunders initially combined at the edge of the Bramley penalty area, with the goalkeeper saving expertly to deny Saunders with a good save when one-on-one - which all led Bramley to countering down their left wing, with their winger picking up the ball just inside our half and trying a cross field pass - though a scuffed connection sent the ball towards the goal - and whilst both keepers had muddy gloves, and Jamie Halsall in goal was beaten by the glare of the sun in his eyes - the long clipped pass ghosted through our goalkeeper and into the net to set up the final 25 minutes of the match with the team now only leading 3-2.

With just the 11 players, the team had to spend large portions of the game defending Bramley attacks, with the defensive line doing well to clear our lines on several occasions, though on two separate occasions the team in red missed guilt-edged chances with headers from set-pieces, as the team maintained our lead, whilst at the other end of the pitch, Carolan was so unfortunate not to have had another goal, when a Bramley defender cleared the Irishman's shot off the line in the 81st minute.

In the final minute of normal time, the team should have wrapped the game up with another combination of scorer and assister, with Sawyer scoring another header from a Carolan corner, though after a lengthy deliberation the referee deemed that there was a foul, somewhere, on the goalkeeper, and brought back the play. The call was tough on Sawyer, as the goalkeeper was in no man’s land and pulled out of fighting the ball in the air. Matter not, this final significant attempt for either side saw the game out, with the train securing the points on a waterlogged pitch in Bramley.

Next up for the train, we are back in Sunday League action as we travel out to take on AFC Pangbourne in Reading & District Sunday League's Division 3 on Sunday 25th February 2024!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Looking back on the game, this was up there as one of the wettest pitches we have ever played on, if not the worst. The squad played NFFT FC on the boggiest pitch in a 3-1 win at The Atrium Health Club to start 2023, but this pitch was completely soddened, and we were surprised that the game was allowed to go on. What it did do though, was provide a typical Sunday League encounter, with a set of teams coated in mud, with balls stopping dead in the mud, players slipping over, and producing some great (and freak) goals.

Both sides had periods in the game. Bramley started well for 15 minutes, and then came on very strong in the final 25 minutes after they scored their second goal, though we were able to repel them defensively at the end, whilst for ourselves we were dominant on the ball in particular 20 minutes either side of half-time, and really grew into the game. Despite the conditions, we played some of our best football this season with some impressive interplay across the pitch, and on another day if the Bramley goalkeeper and their defenders weren't blocking shots off the line, we've added more goals to our tally on the day.

The win and result was crucial for us after having patchy form as of late across both days of football, but this was a good win for us to build on in the weeks ahead in particular, and with just the 11 players available to us for the game, we made the most of what we had and put on a good display and based on our chances, were deserving of the points.

The team at Bramley were very welcoming and a great bunch of lads. Thank you for getting the game on, and best of luck for the rest of the season!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Robert Austin

DEF: Leo Pereira

MID: Hussein Radwan

MID: Cory McManus

MID: Jenson Mansel

MID: Mitchell Saunders

MID: Taren Langa

FOR: Ciaran Carolan



Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Sawyer (goal), Carolan (assist)

Goal 2: Carolan (goal), Saunders (assist)

Goal 3: Radwan (goal), Saunders (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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