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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (19/02/2023): Core FC vs. Hype Train FC

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 19th February 2023

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

Opposition: Core FC

Location: The Forest School, Robin Hood Lane, Winnersh, RG41 5NE

Final Score: Core FC 1-3 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Core FC was the team's 16th competitive outing of the 2022/23 season, with the away from home at The Forest School in RDSL Division 3. This was the club's 4th competitive outing against Core FC, with the team boasting a 100% winning record against our opposition to date, winning 6-1 at home, and 4-3 away (the day after winning the EBFL Presidents Cup), as well as having an entertaining 8-3 home win in the John Lusted Cup last season.

The first-half of the game started with several nearly moments from both teams. On the home front, Robert Austin was forced in to two saves, first on the half volley on the counter attack, before former HTFC player Noah Hodge turned on the edge of the box and shot low, again forcing Austin into a save. Whilst at the other end of the pitch, Owen Bowbrick shot low on his left, whilst Leon Mannion was through on goal twice, first unsighted in his eventual shot due to a bobble on the ball, and the second saw a top save from the Core goalkeeper with his legs when Mannion did well to win back possession high up the field.

The lone goal of the first-half arrived on the 26-minute mark and started when Austin collected a Core throw-in before putting the ball long with Mannion winning the header to tee up Phil Newport to control. Newport then combined with Owen Bowbrick on the right wing, who demonstrated great footwork to twist the Core left back before eventually returning the ball to Newport, with his shot on the turn finding the far-post to give the team the lead.

Further chances for the home side arose as they chased an equaliser, the first was a dipping shot from range during the 35th minute that was swerving towards the top corner, though was wide of the mark, before on the stroke of half-time a Core goal kick was flicked on with their left midfielder through on goal, but denied by a near-post save.

The train were able to extend our lead just prior to the 60-minute mark of the game and started when the team got the ball down well on the right flank, with Anwar Mmanga and Newport both battling for the ball, with Newport eventually finding Brad Matthews - the midfielder then turned and waited for the run of Mannion and executed a fine defence splitting ball that found Mannion - who then took the ball into the penalty area and found the top-right of the Core goal with a right-footed finish to secure Mannion's 15th goal of the season.

Trying to get back into the game, Josh Watkins thwarted Core on several occasions when trying to find a route through on goal, whilst Mannion crashed the ball against the crossbar after a great through ball by Alvin Mugabe. These chances led to the third goal of the game during the 75th minute and started when Eme Boateng was alleged to have fouled a Core player on their right wing. The resulting dead ball was excellent and fell invitingly on the head of Glenn McDonald, with the header kissing off the post - a very good set-piece for the hosts to give the game life with 15 minutes remaining.

After some belief from Core, the game ultimately shifted back in favour of the team when the team were awarded a penalty kick in the 89th minute. The move started when Core were sloppy in possession in the middle of the park, which allowed Newport to win back the ball and drive through the heart of their team on the break. Newport was eventually taken out right on the edge of the penalty area, with the referee believing that contact carried through into the penalty area - though upon review it was a very close call that could have gone either way. Nevertheless, stepping up to convert the penalty was Josh Watkins, who buried the penalty low and hard to net his 3rd goal of the season, and to seal the win at the death of the game.

The result means that the team remain in 4th place in RDSL Division 3 with 8 wins from 10 matches, behind table-toppers RE United, Woodley Saints Lowfield and Farley Hill. Next up, it's going to be a good game for the team as we travel to league leaders, RE United, at South Reading Leisure Centre on 26th February 2023!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"After a tough start of the year, we have regained some sense of form with back-to-back wins in the league, and despite the 9-1 score last week, I believe the team equipped themselves much better against Core and had a lot more positives to build upon. The team had a good attitude, fought for everything and had the appetite to get a good result, so as Manager I can't be anything but happy in what was a typical Hype Train performance, especially as we are bedding in a few new players, and welcoming back players who haven't played in a long while due to injury.

The game itself was even in periods. Core had their chances, largely from range, with the key differences being we had the better of the chances and were more clinical. We could have had more goals on the day too, defended well to limit them from range, and showed good fight across the pitch. Our full backs put a top shift in, whilst our wingers and forward line were productive, whilst we had a good fight and battle in midfield. Core got the ball down well and tried to break us down, showed the right attitude and were in the game the entire time, so we have to give them credit for keeping the game alive until the late penalty.

It's always a pleasure to play Liam and his Core team - they're a true credit to the RDSL and it is so refreshing to play a team that want to play football the right way and are run by top individuals. We wish you the best until the reverse fixture later on this season!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Management: Robert & Sam Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Robert Austin

DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Josh Watkins

DEF: Tom Dalgarno

MID: Owen Bowbrick (Zaky 70')

MID: Phil Newport (Watkins 56')

MID: Sam Bolwell (Boateng 53')

MID: Brad Matthews (Bolwell 75')

MID: Alvin Mugabe (Newport 68')

FOR: Leon Mannion (Bowbrick 84')


SUB: Eme Boateng

SUB: Walid Zaky

SUB: Jon Watkins

Goals & Assists:

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

Goal 2: Mannion (goal), Matthews (assist)

Goal 3: Josh Watkins (goal), Newport (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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