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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (19/03/2023): Hype Train FC vs. Core FC

Updated: Apr 16, 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 19th March 2023

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

Opposition: Core FC

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

Final Score: Hype Train FC 7-4 Core 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 team on home soil 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 opening of the game saw the opening goal arrive with less than 2 minutes on the clock. The attack for the team started after a Core goal kick was pressed and won by the Blu and Gold, with Cosmin Huhulea winning the play and playing it to left back Tom Dalgarno, who then turned towards goal and played the ball back to Josh Watkins. The pass was deflected, though won back by Watkins, who set Phil Newport outside the penalty area, who took one touch to set, and a second to bury an effort past the goalkeeper from range.

With the deadlock broken, a wide open game took another turn in the 7th minute after Core won a corner kick. The eventual dead ball was an out swinging cross that evaded everyone inside the penalty area, but the ball was kept on by Core on their left flank, who were able to keep hold of the ball and flash in a cross that evaded a deep lying defence, allowing Noah Hodge to tap home at the far post to equalise.

The turnaround for Core was complete in only the 10th minute of the game, which started on the counter when Adam Skidmore controlled a long pass well, before scooping a pass over our defensive line, allowing Hodge to win the ball, shrugging off advances from the team, before firing low into the bottom right corner, to give Core the lead.

After much pressure from the team to equalise, that moment would arrive in the 32nd minute when the team won a corner of our own, following a sequence which saw Leon Mannion skim a header wide of the mark from six-yards-out. After winning the corner, Huhulea's in swinging effort kept on going and travelled all the way in to the top-left post and the net, to bring the team level.

The game kept on swerving everyone, with Core regaining the lead in the 37th minute when Hodge was freed down the right wing, running to the byline before cutting the ball back to Steven Downes to sweep home on the six-yard-line.

The 6-goal half was complete directly from kick-off though, and began when Josh Watkins played the ball to Jon Watkins, who then found the feet of Owen Bowbrick, who passed to Bowbrick. The ball was then moved into the middle of the park to Josh Watkins again, who provided a dinked pass that glanced off the head of Huhulea directly to Mannion, who then provided a sweet touch to tee up Newport, who with his first touch on his left-foot, finished off the fine team move to take the scores level at 3-3 into the break.

6 goals in the first-half didn't slow down the appetite for the team's on the goal front, with the 58th minute seeing the train complete our own turnaround, and started when Liam Bowbrick skilfully picked out a long kick from the hands of Jamie Halsall, with Bowbrick charging at the Core backline. Bowbrick eventually ran into a wall of defenders, eventually shifting the ball out left to Jon Watkins, who quickly squared the ball to Mannion - who shot on the turn, with the shot deflected right into the path of Owen Bowbrick who hammered home a half-volley to restore the lead.

The turn of the hour mark in the game saw the team begin to run away with matters, this time starting with Anwar Mmanga heading the ball away from danger, which Liam Bowbrick controlled superbly, before supplying a brilliant through ball to Mannion - with the Number 9 only needing one touch to bury the shot low and to the left of the opposing goalkeeper.

The 9th goal of the game arrived in the 69th minute, starting from a Huhulea corner that was headed away by Core to the team's right wing, and collected by Owen Bowbrick. The Number 10 took his time before finding Huhulea at the far-post, who calmly controlled the ball, before beating a chasing defender and finishing well at the near-post.

The team's 7th and final goal was another good team goal, this time starting in the 80th minute when substitute, Rob Walsh, on long awaited debut, poked the ball away from danger and continued his run, collecting the ball from Newport, with Walsh then sliding the ball through for Eme Boateng on the left wing. Boateng turned in field before finding Mannion's run, who then looked up and cut back to Newport to finish off the quick counter attack!

After the team were forced into changing goalkeeper for the last 12 minutes of the game, Core FC's Glenn McDonald chested the ball down from 25-yards-out following a cross, and rifled an unstoppable effort from range past Robert Austin in what was a chaotic final 15 minutes of the game, to take the score to 7-4.

The result means that the team remain in 5th place in RDSL Division 3 after our recent win. Next up, the team are at home down at Calcot, in the reverse league outing against Southcote FC on Sunday 26th March 2023.

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"After back-to-back defeats, only playing one day of football this season means that we can't wait soon enough to rectify a poor game. We went in to the game with a few changes and ideas thrown out there to spark some form of reaction from the player, and it was a productive morning for the team figuring out how to play a more aggressive formation.

The team trained really well throughout the week and were really at the races in front of goal, we were clinical when we needed to be throughout the game, whilst equally we were hit and miss defensively allowing several chances and easy goals that we need to correct. What changed the game was the half-time period, we were able to reset and assess, put right our shape, and went out and really took command of the game against a Core team who were tiring and had a few injuries on the day which helped our cause.

Best of luck to Core for the rest of the season, without question they've been the most welcoming and friendly team we have played all season and we wish them the best until our next encounter."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Jon Watkins (Boateng 62')

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Nikhil Garg (Mmanga 46')

DEF: Tom Dalgarno (Garg 62')

MID: Owen Bowbrick (Zaky 73')

MID: Liam Bowbrick

MID: Cosmin Huhulea

MID: Josh Watkins (Walsh 73')

MID: Phil Newport

FOR: Leon Mannion (Austin 75')


SUB: Walid Zaky

SUB: Eme Boateng

SUB: Anwar Mmanga

SUB: Rob Walsh

SUB: Robert Austin

Goals & Assists:

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

Goal 2: Huhulea (goal), no assist

Goal 3: Newport (goal), Mannion (assist)

Goal 4: O. Bowbrick (goal), Mannion (assist)

Goal 5: Mannion (goal), L. Bowbrick (assist)

Goal 6: Huhulea (goal), O. Bowbrick (assist)

Goal 7: Newport (goal), Mannion (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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