Hype Train FC played our 19th competitive game of the 2020/21 season as we ended the season with the first annual Stewards Cup event between Hambleden FC and ourselves at HTFC. Read the match report from our game at the The Dene in Hambleden. All aboard.
Match Report: Hambleden FC vs. Hype Train FC:
Date: Sunday 20th June 2021
Competition: Stewards Cup
Opposition: Hambleden FC
Location: The Dene, Hambleden, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 6RT
Final Score: Hambleden FC 5-3 Hype Train FC
Photographer: Sam Austin (@HypeTrainSam)
Request Photos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kicking off at 1pm at The Dene in Hambleden, the game didn't have to wait more than a matter of seconds before the hosts took the lead. Pumping a long ball up the field from kick-off, their attacking player flicked it onto eventual goal-scorer, Gabriel Pinto, who slotted home. The only problem? The referee was asleep and the linesman was already twenty-yards off the pace of the game and didn't notice the blatant offside, with our team furious that the goal was allowed to stand.
Given an opportunity to get back into the contest in the 11th minute, Sam Rodriguez provided a fine set-piece to the back-post, with captain Vincent van Lembergen volleying past the Hambleden keeper to level the scores, though the opposite linesman played his part in a bad day at the office when he flagged van Lembergen offside, despite footage showing a Hambleden defender playing every single player onside. Best yet? Whilst the team were resetting, Hambleden scored on the counter-attack to double their lead.
We changed shape midway during the first-half with three central defenders operating in the team, with the remainder of the half seeing the team get back into the contest. We drew back one goal when a deep free-kick was converted expertly by the head of Phil Newport, the attacker's 9th goal of the season.
Piling on pressure before half-time, Sam Paddon missed a couple of golden ticket chances from a few yeards out to draw the game level, the first when Callum Fox-Spence's looping slot came down from the bar, then minutes later when Sam Bolwell's shot was only parried by the Hambleden goalkeeper.
Starting the second-half slowly again, Hambleden were able to collect a clearance and then hit a lovely cross-field ball for Pinto to complete his hat-trick for the hosts, though we were able to pull a goal back within a minute when Paddon knocked the ball down for Bolwell to convert on the volley from 10-yards-out.
Hambleden's fourth and fifth strikes came within minutes of each other, first when their right-winger beat our offside trap when one-on-one, converting in an empty net, before we lost possession in midfield to sloppy gift the hosts a commanding lead.
Late in the game, Phil Newport's drive on the left and left-footed cross was converted by the head of Jon Watkins, with the winger scoring the club's last goal of the season. Despite ending the game strongly though, we were unable to claw back any more goals as the hosts won the first annual event, one that will be a must-watch on YouTube in the coming weeks.
Our game against Hambleden was our final outing of the 2020/21 season and we will be returning to action next season with both a Saturday and Sunday team in action! If you'd like to join the team as a player or coach, get in touch with the team today via email - email@example.com
Thoughts from Player Manager, Robert Austin:
"I'm going to talk about two distinct elements from the game, one purely positive, and one massive negative, though I'll start with all that was great about our final outing of the season.
The management team at Hambleden are a class act and we have a good relationship with them and were without doubt the most likeable set of players and volunteers we have come up against. A proper grassroots football club, so of course we accepted when they invited us to renew their annual Stewards Cup event. We're looking to build on this tradition every year, across different venues, to help bolster the event in the coming years, so thank you to Mark Butler for reaching out.
The game itself was played in a great spirit between both teams and upon reflection I can only think of the game as chaotic, open and full of quality moments and goals.
What wasn't so great though was the officials that came to referee the game. I'm all for grassroots sport respecting referees, especially younger ones that are earning their stars and stripes, and I hope you use our eventual YouTube video to make some notes on how not to officiate a game. But when a referee is so incompetent to the point of spoiling every single game he attends with a whistle in his mouth, you're destined for disaster.
The referee, Richard Addae, who we have had on several occasions this season, did his absolute best to ruin what was a good natured contest between two respectful teams - and those who did the line were equally in poor form, probably because they had to back up the referee and his myriad of awful decisions.
After five seconds, yes five seconds, Hambleden kicked off and hit a long ball that was flicked on by their attacker to a player acres offside... The linesman was so far behind the play and lied to our team when saying otherwise. We then had a goal ruled out minutes later when we netted from a set-piece, though it was deemed offside even when Hambleden had a player keeping everyone onside... The real kicker, Hambleden scored directly from this as we're still resetting. We were then denied a clear penalty when our player was bundled down from behind in the penalty area, whilst the referee didn't give a clear and obvious free-kick a couple metres away from play, though could award a free-kick for the hosts seconds later when the play was 70-yards-away.
This referee cannot communicate to players, to his fellow officials, has absolutely no idea what is going on at any time during a game, or how to make basic decisions. He refused to talk to either club captain, was arrogant and showed a poor attitude throughout the game, and managed a chorus of laughs from both teams when he claimed to have control of the match. Simply put, he's not fit for purpose and how he passed his assessments I will never know.
You have to make a day of it when playing football on Saturday afternoon's and have committed players as a result, but to travel all that way for a comical, all-time bad performance in the middle, is enough to make players and volunteers twice about their decisions. It damages grassroots football and its relevant leagues when they know that all your hard work as a set of clubs to organise an event, could go out the window with one blow of a whistle.
Aside from that one cog in the machine though, the day itself was very well organised, well done on the win Hambleden, you were worthy winners on the day, and we're looking forward to next year's event!"
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Joe Sawyer
DEF: Chris Marshall
DEF: Vincent van Lembergen
DEF: Jon Norris (Watkins 70')
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Phil Newport
MID: Sam Bolwell (Zaky 75')
MID: Sam Rodriguez
MID: Callum Fox-Spence
FOR: Sam Paddon
SUB: Walid Zaky
SUB: Jon Watkins
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Newport (goal), Norris (assist)
Goal 2: Bolwell (goal), Paddon (assist)
Goal 3: Watkins (goal), Newport (assist)
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in 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.
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.