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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (21/05/2023): FC Woodley 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 21st May 2023

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

Opposition: FC Woodley

Location: East Park Farm, Charvil, RG10 9TY

Final Score: FC Woodley 2-5 Hype Train FC

Photographer: Paige Alexander

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Sanctuary was the team's 29th and final competitive outing of the 2022/23 season, with the team away from home against FC Woodley at East Park Farm in Charvil. This was the return outing of the club's 2-1 home win over Woodley in league action, and our 3rd outing overall against our opposition, having won both previous encounters.

With the team picking positions out of the hat for the first-half, as well as the hosts doing the same, the game was open and end-to-end for both teams, with a host of chances for the train being missed - Josh Watkins and Phil Newport had efforts blocked on the line, whilst Walid Zaky criminally fired over the bar from pin-point range, before Phil Newport intercepted a pass to the goalkeeper, though his only out-stretched touch with a gaping net saw the ball go wide. Anwar Mmanga also thought he had scored his first goal for the club when he pounced on a loose ball during a corner kick, though the corner from Brad Matthews went out of bounds and back in during the original set-piece,

The hosts Woodley had more fortune in front of goal and scored the first goal of the day when in the 24th minute a deep corner kick was headed home by a man hanging at the back post, with a good header beating Cosmin Huhulea in goal for the opening strike. Minutes later, they had a goal ruled out when an attacking player was caught offside, with the train living dangerously.

Woodley would take a 2-0 lead into half-time when the hosts countered down the right wing, with their right winger being fed the ball down the channel, with a bobbled touch deceiving Tom Dalgarno, whilst the sliced cross ended up catching everyone off guard as the ball veered into the near-post to double Woodley's lead.

Restoring normal positions for the second-half in an attempt to turnaround the score, the train picked up the pace and were finally rewarded for all of our probing in front of goal during the 69th minute when Leon Mannion fed Newport a pin-point through ball, with the Number 11 gliding past the final defender and the on-running goalkeeper before slotting into the net to half the deficit.

On the stroke of the 74th minute the game was all tied up and started when fine work down the right wing involving Zaky and Anwar Mmanga would eventually tee up Brad Matthews at the edge of the box on the right to dink in an accurate cross for Mannion to head back across goal, with Egyptian winger, Walid Zaky, making up for a miss in the first-half, when he volleyed home Mannion's header into the roof of the net!

The comeback was complete in the 82nd minute when the Woodley goalkeeper's long kick forward was collected by Mannion on the right wing, who chested down and ran directly at the opposition before playing a one-two with Newport - the return ball was then swept comfortably home by Mannion for his 26th goal of the season - a top finish by our leading scorer this season.

The second-half all Hype Train, the icing on the cake arrived late in the day with a pair of late goals. The first arrived in the 89th minute when strong running down the left wing by Mannion and Newport would see Newport check into the penalty area, dinking a cross to Callum Parr-Jones that was deflected by a Woodley defender, only for the ball to fall in a perfect position for CPJ to tap home his 7th goal of the season - and yes, it's a weird sight having Parr-Jones scoring from close range when he has spent his time scoring wonder strikes from range for the club!

The 5th and final goal came in added time when Newport running left Woodley's defence flat footed, with Newport drawing an excellent save from Woodley's replacement keeper, before Mannion swept home his 27th and the club's final goal of the season!

The turnaround in the second-half means that we finished the season with 47 points in RDSL Division 3, finishing 4th place in the division. That wraps up season 4 of Hype Train, and if you want to join us for our 5th season across Saturday and Sunday League football, get in touch today!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"As end of season games go, this was a typically chaotic and open ended game between two teams that had nothing to play for. Both were by pulling out of a hat, both teams missed some easy chances in front of goal, and it was a game played in a good manner by both as the game went on.

For us, pulling names out of the hat just didn't get going at all, but the game was much more enjoyable and natural when we got into the second-half and my team did great to apply themselves against the clock to win comfortably. We scored a rush of good goals, though ultimately we had to be patient and not let frustrations get the better of us on the pitch as we squandered chances for fun. It's always nice to end the season with a win though, and now we can take a break and regroup for next season as we look to build and grow the squad as a whole.

I'd like to thank Woodley for stepping up and having their own players and volunteers referee the game. We had a referee call up last minute who couldn't make the game, and they did a good job at running the game fairly for both teams. Best of luck for next season!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad (First-Half)

Stipulation: Positions from a Hat

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Cosmin Huhulea

DEF: Brad Matthews

DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer (Parr-Jones 30')

DEF: Tom Dalgarno (C)

MID: Jamie Halsall (Zaky 3')

MID: Jon Watkins

MID: Tom Williams

MID: Leon Mannion

MID: Phil Newport

FOR: Josh Watkins


SUB (Manager): Robert Austin

SUB (Lino): Walid Zaky

SUB: Callum Parr-Jones

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad (Second-Half)

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Josh Watkins (Austin 82')

DEF: Tom Dalgarno

MID: Walid Zaky (Watkins 82')

MID: Cosmin Huhulea

MID: Brad Matthews

MID: Callum Parr-Jones

MID: Phil Newport

FOR: Leon Mannion


SUB: Tom Williams

SUB: Jon Watkins

SUB: Robert Austin

Goals & Assists:

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

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

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

Goal 4: Parr-Jones (goal), Newport (assist)

Goal 5: Mannion (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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