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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (05/03/2023): Southcote FC vs. Hype Train FC

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Hype Train FC will be playing in Sunday League for the 2022/23 season, with the team primarily competing in the Reading & District Sunday League. You can follow all of the team's season coverage right here as we provide match reports and photo galleries from our fourth season as a club! All aboard.

Match Report: Hype Train FC

Date: Sunday 5th March 2023

Competition: RDSL Division 3 (10:30am KO)

Opposition: Southcote FC

Location: Burghfield CSA, James Lane, Burghfield, Reading, RG30 6RS

Final Score: Southcote FC 3-1 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Southcote was the team's 18th competitive outing of the 2022/23 season, with the away from home at Burghfield's CSA in RDSL Division 3. This was the club's first competitive outing against a Southcote side, with our opposition directly below us in the league table.

The early going for the team saw the team defending a few attacks from the hosts, with one leading to a corner in the 8th minute of the game following some good defending by Cosmin Huhulea. The resulting corner by Southcote in yellow phased through the team, with the ball going right on the head of their right winger who was standing in front of the goalkeeper.

Looking to get back into the game, the team had more than enough chances to get back into the game - a Josh Watkins free-kick on the right flank was put on the head of Leon Mannion, who headed back towards goal without a decisive touch. During the 16th minute, Mannion took matters into his own hands when he moved from right to left with no Southcote player being able to get close as a galloping run saw the Number 9 get into the penalty area, with the finish the only missing ingredient in a phase of positive play. Phil Newport and Owen Bowbrick also had attempts at goal from close range, but it was just not our day as Southcote evaded a few close calls.

With the team chasing an equaliser, and the train missing some crucial chances, the 20th minute arrived and it turned the tide of the game. For the train in blue, Newport raced through on goal and was taken out inside the penalty area on the right side of the box, and with the referee not far away from the matter, the official only chose to see the Southcote's finishing position, with their shot stopper rolling all the way outside the penalty area and to protest his innocence - of course luck wasn't on our side as the referee decided to go with the home team's protest and only awarded a free-kick... Best yet to compound the team's morning, Southcote collected the free-kick and from the next phase of play put the ball over the top of our defensive line, with a couple of our own players crashing together. Southcote's attacker in this instance only had Liam Bowbrick to beat, with our player sticking out a leg and winning the ball upon review, though both players collide in the instance, they scream for the set-piece, with a penalty awarded and converted well.

The second-half started with one final Southcote goal in the 52nd minute when a free-kick on Southcote's attacking left wing was curled in, with the feintest of touches by a runner taking the ball into the net to treble the lead - needless to say, it was not the team's finest hour defending set-pieces as we had conceded three utterly avoidable goals and were punished by a disciplined side.

The remainder of the second-half was in the favour of the travelling train as we applied so much pressure on their goal, the only element that was missing until the 68th minute was a goal. In that moment, Jamie Carter supplied Mannion with an exceptional ball on the left wing that was guided to Mannion in a central position - the lone forward then dribbled the ball around two chasing defenders and buried the ball with a right footed finish.

Despite the team's best efforts in a much improve second-half, despite probing chances, time ran out on what was a frustrating morning down at Burghfield CSA.

The result means that the team remain in 4th place in RDSL Division 3 after our recent loss, with Southcote now a point below the team in 5th place. Next up, the team are on the road yet again, this time away at Sol Joel Park to take on Brothers United on Sunday 12th March 2023.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"If you have been involved in grassroots football for a few years, you will occasionally go through the morning we had on Sunday. The ball just wouldn't go in, and we were punished in the cruellest ways by an organised Southcote outfit who on the day fully deserved the win. It was our worst outing of the season to date though, and I'm not putting any negative spin on this - everyone in my team and every other team should know that these frustrating days can happen in the game.

What is important is how we respond, as we are in a closely competitive division and are in a run of fixtures that we can't take lightly. We will look to improve as a team and build some foundations so we can better a bad day at the office.

Well played to Southcote, they took their chances and played better on the surface and they shook us with some set-pieces. Best of luck until we play you down at Calcot later in the season."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Joe Sawyer (Watkins 82')

DEF: Liam Bowbrick

DEF: Josh Watkins

DEF: Tom Dalgarno (Garg 46')

MID: Jon Watkins (Carter 46')

MID: Phil Newport

MID: Cosmin Huhulea

MID: Brad Matthews (Mmanga 46')

MID: Owen Bowbrick

FOR: Leon Mannion


SUB: Anwar Mmanga

SUB: Jamie Carter

SUB: Nikhil Garg

SUB: Robert Austin

Goals & Assists:

Goal 1: Mannion (goal), Carter (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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