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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (13/03/2022): Hype Train FC vs. Give Back FC Reserves

Hype Train FC will be playing across both Saturday and Sunday next season, with the team competing in the East Berkshire Football League and 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 third season as a club! All aboard.

Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Give Back FC Reserves

Date: Sunday 13th March 2022

Competition: Reading & District Sunday League, Division 4 (Game 12)

Opposition: Give Back FC Reserves

Location: Calcot Recreation Ground, Calcot, Reading, RG31 4XD

Final Score: Hype Train FC 4-2 Give Back FC Reserves

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

Our encounter against Give Back was the team's 12th league outing in RDSL Division 4 (15th overall due to a trio of walkover wins) and the return fixture from February's 1-1 against Give Back, with Phil Newport scoring the team's only goal down a the 4G Academy pitch behind the Madjeski Dome.

Our encounter against Give Back was the classic case of a game of two halves. The first remained goalless, with a few nearly moments that could have seen either side go in with a slender lead at half-time, before the second-half exploded into life and ultimately ended with 6 goals and a red card.

As for the first-half, the team's best chances to take the lead against a young, quick Give Back outfit, came from a Leon Mannion free-kick on the 20-minute mark that was saved well by the opposing keeper, though when Give Back tried to clear their lines Robert Austin retrieved the ball, played the ball to Paul Hatfield, who was dragged down on the edge of the box to the left. Hatfield's subsequent delivery was flashed across a host of bodies inside the penalty area, with George Holloway winning the header and flicking it goal-bound with pace, though Holloway's effort rattled the inside of the far-right post.

The visiting side grew into the game and ended the first-half the stronger of the sides, with several chances that could have resulted in a goal. First, in the 30th minute a nice combination down the left wing sees their winger freed one-on-one, though Jake Holloway comes out to narrow the winger's angles before making a top-draw save to keep the game goalless.

Next, during the 33rd minute Give Back delivered a dead ball into the penalty area which was initially cleared by our defensive line, before they are able to get the shot off after collecting the ball - again, Holloway makes a good save, but a Give Back player was several metres offside when the initial shot was taken, eventually following in and putting the ball in the net, with the effort chalked off due to being offside.

The second-half saw the game restart without a goal, and a host of chances from ourselves in red as we were looking to pick up our level after a lacklustre first-half, though it was Give Back who took the lead in the 55th minute. Their Number 2, Khalid Zakaria Simmo, on he counter carried the ball well and skipped past a few challenges before the goal opened up just inside the penalty area, with Simmo burying a low drive past replacement shot-stopper, Callum Parr-Jones to give the visiting side a 1-0 lead.

An equalising effort didn't take too long, with Jamie Carter playing a ball to Leon Mannion during the 59h minute that was read by a Give Back defender, though the touch was loose and Mannion was hot on the heels to win the ball back, drive in at goal and slot the ball past the keeper - Give Back's defender did try to cover his lines and clear Mannion's effort, but the clearance fell to Mannion on the line to stroke home the equaliser.

With the game opening up, Give Back restored their lead within 2 minutes on the 61st minute when their attacker, Garfield McNeil, won a challenge for the ball in the middle of the park, played a onw-two, before driving at goal. From 25-yards-out the forward went for goal and unleashed a rocket into the roof of the net to restore Give Back's lead.

A tit-for-tat game saw a second equalising effort during the 67th minute when after a nice passion sequence between several players, Shane Cooper-Clark picked up the ball, drove at the opposition defence, found Mannion with a good forward pass, with Mannion returning the ball to Cooper-Clark at the first time of asking. Cooper-Clark allowed the ball to run across his body and struck a fine cushioned strike into the net to the left of the stranded Give Back goalkeeper.

The turnaround for the team was complete in the 74th minute when out left-side won back possession of the ball on a counter, with the ball eventually finding itself at the feet of Gino Izzo, who did well to wrestle off the Give Back defenders, with Izzo finding Cooper-Clark who fed a through ball to Mannion. The Number 9 had lots of green grass in front of him, strode into the penalty area, before shooting central and through the keeper to give the team a 3-2 lead.

With the visiting side behind for the first time in the game, they immediately imploded in the 75th minute in what is the worst off-the-ball incident we have been involved with as a club since our formation in 2019. Give Back attacked down the left wing, with George Holloway winning the ball back. The Give Back winger then tugs at Holloway's shirt, holds him and we win a foul. When Holloway pushes back at the winger to get him off after the foul is given, the Give Back player punches Holloway square in the face/mouth, leaving Holloway with a cut-open face and a visit to A&E for stitches. There is a gap of 7 minutes before play is resumed, with Holloway treated and the Give Back player shown a straight red for his deplorable actions. Besides the player though, Give Back's players and Management handled the situation the best they could in the circumstances.

With the drama settled down, a killer 4th goal would eventually arrived in 88th minute from a Callum Fox-Spence corner, which was whipped in and headed in from Carter, who had his back to goal and nodded home a looping effort. There were several chances to seal a 5th goal as Give Back still tried their luck, but we wasted several chances and shut the door on our opponents.

The win keeps the team in second place in the RDSL Division 4 table, with 40 points from 15 games played, with the team boasting the best defending record having only conceded 9 goals. Next up for the team on Sunday's, we are at home to Barton Rovers Reserves in Division 4 on Sunday 20th March 2022.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"Sunday, without doubt, was a very interesting morning and perhaps our most noteworthy of the season, for a few factors. First, we didn't play well in the first-half, our performance was flat and besides a few chances to sneak in a lead, we rode our luck and could have been behind on several occasions. Luckily, we restructured at half-time and were able to give it a better go in the second.

It took Give Back scoring before our alarm bells were set off and we woke up and began playing. At the top end of the pitch, they're a decent team, but we exploited their defensive line well and rightfully got back into the game with three really well-worked goals to take the lead. Once we took the lead, it was game over for Give Back when they saw red for a moment of complete lunacy from one of their players.

Thankfully, our player hasn't had any lasting damage apart from some stitches and a really swollen lip, but on another day it could have been more severe. Hopefully, their player learns from this and it's never repeated again. If he attitude doesn't change though, he shouldn't be playing football - not even if it is Sunday League standard. There's no place in football for assaulting another player in that manner, and no one should want to have that reputation, and no club will ever want to be seen as applauding or allowing this level of behaviour at any level, no matter if they are a young player or not, especially as Give Back are a club that does a lot to help local communities in the Reading area.

After the situation, Give Back as a club have ben good, they sent a message to the club and their Manager and the players who were there to calm things down, did a great job in all fairness, given that one of their players has lost their head.

It ultimately made a massive talking point out of a very good second-half of football from both teams, which featured a lot of good attacking play, decent goals, in a competitive game that would have been worthy 2-3 divisions higher.

It was a good win for us and now we have the task of five remaining league games on the cards, and hoping that we're able to build on this to apply as much pressure on the top as possible."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jake Holloway (Parr-Jones 55')

DEF: Danny Basden (Marshall 25')

DEF: Joe Sawyer (Izzo 46')

DEF: Vincent van Lembergen

DEF: Robert Austin

MID: Owen Jones (Carter 46')

MID: Callum Fox-Spence (Jones 77')

MID: George Holloway (Sawyer 71')

MID: Callum Parr-Jones (Cooper-Clark 46')

MID: Paul Hatfield

FOR: Leon Mannion


SUB: Jamie Carter

SUB: Gino Izzo

SUB: Chris Marshall

SUB: Shane Cooper-Clark

Goals and Assists:

Goal 1: Mannion (goal), no assist

Goal 2: Cooper-Clark (goal), Mannion (assist)

Goal 3: Mannion (goal), Cooper-Clark (assist)

Goal 4: Carter (goal), Fox-Spence (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.

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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