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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

RDSL Division 3 Match Report (29/10/2023): Hype Train FC vs. AFC Pangbourne

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 29th October 2023

Competition: RDSL Division 3 (Game 7)

Opposition: AFC Pangbourne

Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Reading, RG31 4XD

Final Score: Hype Train FC 3-1 AFC Pangbourne

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Pangbourne was our 20th competitive match of the 2023/24 season, with the team hosting AFC Pangbourne in Reading & District Sunday League's Division 3 at Calcot Recreation Ground. This was the first time we have played Pangbourne, who were second bottom of the Division 3 table heading into the matchday, which was the sole Division 3 game being played due to heavy rain the days prior to the game.

On a wet day down at Calcot, the train tried getting into gear in the first-half and were largely frustrated in the opening 45 minutes. Ciaran Carolan struck a sweet free-kick to the far-left post, only denied by a great fingertip save by the Pangbourne goalkeeper, whilst Jordi Ebanda would strike the bar from range, whilst Mitchell Saunders and Joe Sawyer both went close with strikes at goal, but we couldn't find a way through.

Pangbourne's one and only shot on target arrived during the 18th minute and was the result of a classic counter. The team drove forward with Mitchell Saunders on the left, who cut back to Ciaran Carolan to fire a shot that was blocked away, which led to a Pangbourne counter which saw the ball not cleared and deflected to the path of their left winger when high in the air - driving towards goal, Phil Newport stood no chance in goal with a lashed shot at the near-post, to give the visitors, who were compact defensively, a lead in the first-half.

With the team chasing the game, we were unfortunate not to level during the 28th minute when Carolan delivered a whipped corner that flashed across the six-yard-line and was bundled home by Callum Gibbons, only for the effort to be ruled out by the referee who believe the goalkeeper was fouled and taken out - upon review on our VEO camera, the goalkeeper falls over without any player touching him, misses the ball, and then when in the net after the ball goes in, Kie Longmate falls into the goalkeeper. Doubling down, Gibbons was sin binned for protesting to the referee that we should have had a goal - and of course, we don't condone poor language on the pitch, so was deserved, even though we carried a frustration in the moment.

Stressing patience in the second-half, the team responded to the half-time break with an early goal that put in motion a comeback, and was classic route one football. Newport, who had a good game in goal for the team dominating his penalty area in his first outing as goalkeeper, simply kicked the ball high over the Pangbourne defensive line, with the chasing Carolan only needing two touches - the first to set the ball, and the second to place a finish past the Pangbourne keeper at the edge of the box in a one-on-one situation.

The turnaround after relentless pressure from the home team finally arrived in the 65th minute, and was from the hard work of Saunders, who after collecting a through ball by Jenson Mansel on the left, collected and was patient as he waited for Taren Langa to be available on the right. Eventually finding Langa with the pass, the winger beat his opposing marker and glided into the penalty area before lashing a low shot to the bottom right of the goal to give the team the lead.

With the game at 2-1, the game should have gone to 3-1 during the 81st minute when Saunders ran half the length of the pitch on the right towards the byline and produced a cross that was headed home well by Ben Heinau, but inexplicitly the Pangbourne linesman has raised his flag, and the referee has ruled the goal out. Not only was Heinau behind the ball, and onside due to the Pangbourne left back, the cross from Saunders saw the ball move backwards on its way to Heinau - robbing the midfielder of his first goal for the club.

With the game still at 2-1, Heinau wouldn't let the disallowed goal get to him in the 84th minute as Saunders threaded a fine through ball through to Heinau, who when faced with the goalkeeper when one-on-one, was dragged down inside the penalty area. Carolan would then step up and bury the spot-kick to the goalkeepers right, securing the points on home soil in a much-improved second-half performance.

Next up for the train, the team will be hosting East Reading FC in EBFL's Premier Division on Saturday 4th November 2023, before we take on Rose & Thistle FC in the Last 16 of the RDSL Industrial Cup on Sunday 5th November on home soil!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"With this being the only game that survived the downpour of rain the previous night, our game against Pangbourne really struggled to get into too much of a flow in the first-half as we adapted to a difficult pitch, and a compact defensive line. We were creating chances, but the final pass either wasn't right, or we were rushing shots, especially when chasing the game after Pangbourne's opener, so the half-time whistle was a great time to get everyone back with their heads screwed on to go again. It was also a classic Sunday League performance from the visitors, who stuck their feet in hard, and broke up play constantly with niggling fouls.

The second-half was about patience and it's an exercise we did well with and got our goals at timely periods of the game to get the win - which over the course of the game was richly deserved. We dominated the ball, had the clear majority of shots, and looked like the only team to win - despite having two players sin binned during the game after pleading their frustrations to the referee over some calls that were made.

It's also sweet beating another team on Sunday's that put the offside flag up for virtually every call to protect their own result, as we were subject to another morning of linesman flagging constantly to protect their own result - we even had a goal ruled out that saw the ball cut back on the byline for a cross that was headed home - you can't be offside when you're behind the ball or the ball travels backwards in this instance. It's honestly baffling that people just can't play fairly and go to these measures to cheat. So, I'm thrilled the team were able to rise above to improve in the second-half and get the win and were unfortunate not to have 3-4 more goals at least."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Phil Newport

DEF: George Townsend

DEF: Kie Longmate

DEF: Callum Gibbons

DEF: Joe Sawyer (Mmanga 65')

MID: Taren Langa

MID: Jenson Mansel

MID: Jordi Ebanda

MID: Ben Heinau (Follington 46', Heinau 56', Austin 85')

MID: Mitchell Saunders

FOR: Ciaran Carolan


SUB: Luke Follington

SUB: Anwar Mmanga

SUB: Robert Austin

Goals & Assists:

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

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

Goal 3: Carolan (goal), Heinau (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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