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 26th February 2023
Competition: RDSL Division 3 (10:30am KO)
Opposition: RE United
Location: South Reading Leisure Centre, Northumberland Ave, Reading RG2 8DH
Final Score: RE United 2-2 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
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The train's encounter against RE United was the team's 17th competitive outing of the 2022/23 season, with the away from home at South Reading Leisure Centre in RDSL Division 3. This was the club's first competitive outing against RE United, who heading into our league match sat at the top of the Division 3 table.
The first breakthrough moment of the game arrived in the 35th minute when RE had a corner kicked cleared away and returned up field by a defensive player, with a loose touch by their right midfielder giving Eme Boateng the chance to feed a through ball past the hosts backline. The through ball was perfectly weighed for Phil Newport to win the foot race against the trailing central defender, with Newport getting in front of the player and being brought down inside the penalty area to win a spot kick. The resulting dead ball was converted low by Josh Watkins - meaning the club's Number 4 has scored penalties in back-to-back games.
With a 1-0 lead established at half-time, the home team regrouped and had their best spell in the game for 20 minutes, with their forward players going close twice from range, before Jamie Halsall was called into a save to his right post.
The second goal was an equaliser for the hosts in the 57th minute and came from a move which saw Josh Watkins head to safety a long ball over the top for a throw in on the left. RE were quick to get the ball back in play, though the train were caught cold when we believed a ball had gone out, which led to their Number 9 cutting in and curling a great strike to the far-right post - the ball crashed against the crossbar and the team weren't able to clear our lines effectively as the ball is eventually cut back to a midfielder to strike from range - whilst the low shot was deflected as the ball squirmed away from Halsall in goal due to the bobbly surface.
Building on their confidence, the turnaround was complete in the 63rd minute when RE won a corner following another counter breakaway, with Watkins blocking well. The resulting corner was whipped towards the far post, with the resulting header taking a wicked deflection off of Owen Bowbrick as the ball crashed into the back of the net to give the team in grey and green and lead.
A response from the train came within minutes when fine footwork by Bowbrick 20-yards-out from goal saw the midfielder beat an advancing midfielder, before being clipped from behind. Bowbrick stepped up to the free-kick, which was low and to the goalkeeper's left, and not for the first time in the game, the ball hit and ground and bobbled well over the helpless goalkeeper, as the team drew level 2-2 after 67 minutes on the clock.
The remainder of the game was a battle without much output, though there was a golden chance for a winner in the 80th minute when Cosmin Huhulea's through ball bobbled over the foot of the last man for RE United, which freed Jon Watkins on goal. The trajectory of the ball pushed Watkins slightly to the right, and whilst eventually pressed from behind, the shot was wide to the keeper's left as RE were able to draw breath.
The result means that the team remain in 4th place in RDSL Division 3 after our first draw of the season, behind table-toppers RE United, Woodley Saints Lowfield and Farley Hill. Next up, the team are making the trip back to the Burghfield CSA to take on Southcote FC in league action.
Thoughts from Club Secretary, Robert Austin:
"Today's game was a very good advert for the Sunday League scene in Reading, with two teams going at it in what was a good battle between two sides that played he game in a positive way. What it wasn't was a good footballing affair, as the pitch at South Reading was bobbly as they come, so both teams struggled at times to really get the ball down and flowing. This means the game was more akin to a positional chess game for both teams to operate, which involved a lot of duelling in the middle of the park, long throws and longer clearances out of danger.
For us, we took a few minutes to adjust the game, largely kept their lone attacker quiet, and grew into the game to the point that the hosts were struggling to cope with our counters and interplay at the edge of the box. Both goals ultimately arrived via dead balls, though we did well to get the ball forward, and were unlucky not to have scored a third in a crucial moment. Overall, both teams can go away thinking on another day a win was on the cards, though for us we are in a position down the table and today was a real chance to win to put pressure on the top.
All credit to RE United, they were a good bunch on and off the pitch and a good representative of the league, and we wish them nothing but luck until the reverse fixture down at Calcot."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Management: Robert Austin
GK: Jamie Halsall
DEF: Anwar Mmanga
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Josh Watkins
DEF: Eme Boateng
MID: Jon Watkins
MID: Owen Bowbrick
MID: Cosmin Huhulea
MID: Brad Matthews
MID: Alvin Mugabe (Garg 65')
FOR: Phil Newport
SUB: Rob Walsh
SUB: Walid Zaky
SUB: Nikhil Garg
SUB: Robert Austin
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Josh Watkins (goal), Newport (assist)
Goal 2: O. Bowbrick (goal), no 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 www.thehypetrain.co.uk
Believe The Hype!