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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (20/04/2023): Hype Train FC vs. Southcote FC

Updated: May 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: Thursday 20th April 2023

Competition: RDSL Division 3 (18:00pm KO)

Opposition: Southcote FC

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

Final Score: Hype Train FC 2-2 Southcote FC

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Southcote was the team's 23rd competitive outing of the 2022/23 season, with the team at home down at Calcot Recreation Ground. This was the club's second competitive outing against New England this season, with this the return league fixture, having lost the first game 3-1 at Burghfield CSA.

In a game that started lively for both teams, with set-pieces dominating much of the action, the first breakthrough in the game arrived in the 31st minute when a turnover of play when on the attack saw Southcote counter, with the ball eventually finding the feet of their left winger, who was able to turn and find the defensive line cold footed as a low shot caught everyone off guard on its way into the net.

Having tested Southcote's resolve a few times on the counter already, an equalising goal arrived 5 minutes later during the 36th minute, starting when a throw in by Joe Sawyer found its way to Callum Gibbons. The central defender cleared the ball up field for Jon Watkins to combine with Leon Mannion, with the ball then freed centrally to Brad Matthews, who cut the ball with his first touch, before freeing Phil Newport with his second - Newport then sized up the goal and on his left buried the shot into the far-right corner to draw the teams level - a good goal on the counter from the team!

Prior to half-time as the weather deteriorated greatly with heavy wind and rain throughout most the game, the only attempts at either goal came from corner kicks or deep free-kicks, with defences largely on top.

A battling second-half from both teams saw the turnaround for the train on the 55th minute, with the team winning a free-kick on the right of the pitch after Leon Mannion was brought down after some good footwork. The resulting free-kick was inch perfect by Tom Williams towards the back-post, won in the air and nodded into the net by Mannion - securing the Number 9's 21st goal of the season!

Mirroring the first-half, the 4th and final goal of the game arrived 5 minutes later, this time for Southcote. After Gibbons did well to clear the ball following a dangerous attack, Southcote took the corner quickly with the quick play resulting in a cross that came off the head of Gibbons and past Halsall - to Callum's credit, it was a great header, just at the wrong end!

With the game on a knife edge for both teams, the game saw a couple of nearly moments for both teams, though largely Southcote were growing into the game whilst the train defended very well, to secure a point, with the referee not keen to play any additional time in our first-ever midweek home game as the relentless rain and wind helped massively for both teams to settle for a point in a competitive outing.

The result means that the team drops to 4th place in RDSL Division 3 after our draw with Southcote after 17 games played in the division. Next up, the team are playing on home soil yet again, hosting FC Woodley in Division 3 on Sunday 23rd April 2023!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"A month ago, we weren't in a position to get anything from this game, but today the guys showed such a battling effort throughout the game to secure a good point at home. It rained heavily and the wind down at Calcot, as it often does, was a major factor, which resorted this game to be a physical battle between well matched teams vying at the top end of the league table.

I think both teams would say a draw was fair, myself included, and I am taking the positives away from the game - the battling spirit of the team was great to see, we really dug in, defended set-pieces really well, and were tough to break down. We knew it was going to be an intense game that both sides would manage, and whilst we need to work on matters further up the pitch, we have nothing to be disappointed about - and largely we have had a couple of really competitive, good games against Southcote this season!

Best of luck for the season to everyone at Southcote, and to all of my players for putting in hard work before, during, and after the game. We have 7 cup finals left and will be looking to end the season strongly, one game at a time."

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Callum Gibbons

DEF: Josh Watkins

DEF: Tom Dalgarno (Watkins (83')

MID: Jon Watkins (Boateng 56')

MID: Tom Williams

MID: Cosmin Huhulea

MID: Brad Matthews

MID: Phil Newport

FOR: Leon Mannion


SUB: Walid Zaky

SUB: Eme Boateng

SUB: Owen Jones

SUB: Robert Austin

Goals & Assists:

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

Goal 2: Mannion (goal), Williams (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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