top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Reading & District Sunday League Match Report (25/04/2023): Hype Train FC vs. Sanctuary Strikers

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: Tuesday 25th April 2023

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

Opposition: Sanctuary Strikers

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

Final Score: Hype Train FC 3-2 Sanctuary Strikers

Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Match Report:

The train's encounter against Sanctuary was the team's 25th competitive outing of the 2022/23 season, with the team at home down at Calcot Recreation Ground for our 2nd midweek game at home in a matter of weeks. This was the club's second competitive outing against Sanctuary this season, with this the return league fixture, having won 3-1 away at South Reading Leisure Centre a month prior.

With the 6pm kick-off going ahead with the visitors starting with the 10 players as they awaited a late comer, it was Sanctuary that actually took the lead after 13 minutes when they won a free kick from 25-yards-out in the middle of the pitch. Stepping up was their right winger, Sanctuary's best player on the night, to hit the free kick perfectly as it hit the top corner via a strong hand from Halsall on its way in - another unstoppable free-kick from Sanctuary against the train this season!

Responding well, the equalising effort came 10 minutes later on the stroke of the 25th minute and started when Sam Bolwell intercepted a forward pass, before playing the ball to the feet of Newport. Nice interplay with passes flowing eventually saw the ball shifted out to the left wing to Jamie Carter, with the winger whipping in a great ball to the near-post, which was attacked and buried into the net via the head of Phil Newport, taking the game in at 1-1 into the half-time break.

Sanctuary regained the lead during the 59th minute when a through ball to their left winger, offside by a few yards, wasn't caught by our linesman - the play continued with Halsall doing well to save the initial shot, though the second stab at the ball was a tap-in that resorted the visitors lead. It was only minutes later when Halsall pulled off an incredible double save to keep the score at 2-1 as the team changed shape looking to get back level.

With the game at a deadlock for the game, the 78th minute arrived and changed the game, starting when a Tom Williams dead ball from the edge of the D at the halfway line was flighted towards the back-post. Initially won in the air by Phil Newport and headed back towards goal, a few wild kicks of the ball saw the ball ricochet to Eme Boateng, who on his first shot the ball was excellently blocked on the line, whilst the second shot bobbled on the defender whilst he was still on the floor - with this Boateng's 2nd goal of the season and his first down at Calcot.

With momentum now in our favour, right away we won back possession and straight up the other end won a corner when top work from Newport saw him win the set-piece after winning a physical duel with an opposing defender. Stepping up to take the corner was Jon Watkins, who delivered a great corner that fell to cousin, Josh Watkins, with the ball dropping dead off the back of a Sanctuary player before the fox in the box, Joe Sawyer, in the right place at the right time (again), to completely turn the game on its head with the defender smashing home his 8th goal of the season - impressive work considering Sawyer has shared his time between full back and central defence during the campaign!

With the train seeing out the win, the result means that the team move up to 2nd place RDSL Division 3 after our win over Sanctuary with 19 games played in the division. Next up, the team are playing on home soil yet again, hosting RE United in Division 3 on Sunday 30th April 2023!

Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:

"This was a tough game for the team for multiple reasons. Right off the bat, we didn't wake up early enough and were victims of lacking concentration and getting ourselves up for the game, which allowed the visitors to score early. We did grow into the game a lot though to our credit and scored a very top goal in the first-half in particular that showed our promise.

Largely though, this game was a scrap, a battle between two teams that weren't creating all too much, though it was amazing to see was the character of the team to come through when behind for a second time - they took the game by the scruff of the neck when it mattered and really fought hard from set-pieces to get the points and the win. Arguably we got away with one, but in this instance winning was the only major factor that mattered in a game like this and we managed to get over the line in a scrappy, lively game on both fronts. We have to improve in a lot of areas, but character building wins like that will help install that fight and desire we need as we come up against the league's top teams to end the season.

Best of luck to Sanctuary for the future, they are a top bunch of lads with a really unique project, hopefully they can continue to develop and grow in the years to come!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Manager: Robert Austin

Starting 11:

GK: Jamie Halsall

DEF: Anwar Mmanga

DEF: Joe Sawyer

DEF: Josh Watkins

DEF: Tom Dalgarno

MID: Eme Boateng (Watkins 62')

MID: Sam Bolwell (Jones 72')

MID: Tom Williams

MID: Brad Matthews (Parr-Jones 46')

MID: Jamie Carter (Boateng 72')

FOR: Phil Newport


SUB: Callum Parr-Jones

SUB: Owen Jones

SUB: Jon Watkins

SUB: Robert Austin

Goals & Assists:

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

Goal 2: Boateng (goal), Jon Watkins (assist)

Goal 3: Sawyer (goal), Josh Watkins (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!


bottom of page