Hype Train Football Club were back in action this past Sunday as we welcomed Reading & Sunday District League outfit, Calcot FC, to the Reading Ibis Health Club. For the first time, we played in our gold and red Nike away kits, so please enjoy our match report of our first victory as a team as we look to build on our first success with 4 more pre-season games still on the horizon. All Aboard.
Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Calcot FC
Our game against Calcot kicked off at 14:15pm on Sunday 4th August. After a lengthy warm up, the team got out the gates quickly, finding themselves 4-0 up within quarter of an hour. Noah Hodge, who scored our first ever goal last weekend, for the second consecutive week was the first goal scorer after a fine through ball from left back, Jamie Carter, gave Hodge a simple tap in.
Our second came minutes later when James Harris played in Leon Mannion, who dribbled and cut back from 8 yards out, and though Elliott Simson was inches away from turning in Mannion's cross, the ball was deflected into the net by a Calcot defenders.
Leon Mannion, who has started all 3 pre-season games in attack, then finally found the net after being teed up on the left-flank by Elliott Simson, before Mannion added a second with a back-post header after a Rod Stevens corner. Mannion then completed his first-half hat-trick in style, scoring a superb free-kick with his left foot after Sam Arnup, making his first appearance for the club, was brought down 20 yards out from goal.
Right winger, James Harris, having been denied a few times in the match already, scored his first goal too after a jinxing run from Hodge on the opposite flank found Harris with a cross at the byline. Rod Stevens, part of the management structure at the club, then scored his first goal after being teed up by Mannion, with Stevens collecting the ball 10 yards out from goal and waiting for the defence to commit before calmly slotting in to the bottom-right corner.
Before half-time, with he team 7-0 up, Harris was brought down in the penalty area, but without the referee seeing anything in the challenge, Harris reacted angrily and was shown a yellow card, and we experienced the new Sin Bin rule in full effect as Harris missed the final 5 minutes of the first-half, and the first 5 minutes of the second-half.
We brought on all 4 subs at half-time, though Grant Oxlade had to wait for Harris's Sin Bin to enter the field of play, with the team picking up out goal scoring exploits in the second 45. Robert Austin, playing in the heart of defence for the first time today, won a challenge from a Goalkeeper clearance with a Calcot attacker, with his forward ball slightly deflecting off a Calcot defender and in to the path of Mannion, who clinically added his 4th goal of the game.
Grant Oxlade was then the first substitute to score after a spell of possession ended with Simson and Mannion connecting well in the centre of the pitch, with Mannion adding a 3rd assist when he squared to Oxlade, whose shot rifled in to the bottom-right of Calcot's goal.
Mannion then added his 5th after Sam Arnup's chipped ball from full-back was met by the Forward. Mannion turned a couple of defenders, found his first shot saved, with the rebound effort finding the back of the net.
Callum Fox-Spence, also on as a second-half sub then added an 11th goal of the day, with Oxlade's low cross from the right finding Fox-Spence, who slid home at the far post, which means both Hodge and Fox-Spence have scored in back-to-back games.
Rod Stevens then completed the dozen after fine work from Simson on the left-flank was nudged on by Sam Seville, with Stevens 20-yard strike rooting the opposition keeper. With the 12th in the bag, we conceded courtesy of a wonder strike by Calcot's right-back. Austin cleared a set-piece delivery, with the right-back striking perfectly from distance and perfectly in to the top corner, beating George Hunter, who had virtually nothing to do until that point.
We finished off our scoring for the afternoon after a lofted ball from Simson was controlled well, and slotted home with ease, to complete a comprehensive win, and our first as a club in pre-season.
HTFC Man of the Match:
Leon Mannion was the driving force of our Forward line on Sunday and scored some wonderful goals to cap an eventful 65-minute appearance. Mannion, who netted 5 times in total, scored from a header from a corner, scored a wonderful free-kick, scored multiple goals from open play and also provided 3 goals during his time on the field.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"This afternoon was a change of pace for the squad after a couple of difficult opening pre-season fixtures. We were on the front foot from the first whistle and we scored a few goals early to set the standard. The key to this fixture, not only was for fitness reasons, but also to help gel the team and provide a boost to morale after a couple of defeats. We're at a stage where the more football for this group, the better, so even though comprehensive, big wins like this help our chemistry and discipline.
I was impressed with how the standard of the game didn't drop over the course of the 90 minutes. Our substitutes came on hungry and all provided something positive today - plus it was good to unnerve the team with seven different scorers. It was important that our standards didn't drop and today I feel like we did that.
George was only forced into one save today and he was only beat by an absolute worldie of an effort from Calcot's right-back, so from a defensive point-of-view, today was a big improvement and me more than anyone is happy was we limited their opportunities to virtually nothing.
It might not have been as competitive as we liked, but Calcot are a nice bunch of lads that didn't let their heads drop, played a fair game, kept us honest and we wish them the best of luck in the Reading & Sunday District League this season."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Sunday 4th August 2019
Opposition: Calcot FC (H)
GK: George Hunter
DEF: Sam Arnup (Harris '85)
DEF: Aaron Holloway
DEF: Robert Austin - (C)
DEF: James Carter (Hodge '75)
MID: Rod Stevens (Payne '45)
MID: Sebastian Barton (Stevens '65)
MID: Elliott Simson (Fox-Spence '45)
FOR: Noah Hodge (Seville '45)
FOR: James Harris (Oxlade '50)
FOR: Leon Mannion (Simson '65)
SUB: Callum Fox-Spence
SUB: Grant Oxlade
SUB: Sam Seville
SUB: Tommy Payne
Goals & Assists:
Goal 1: Hodge (goal), Carter (assist)
Goal 2: Own Goal, Mannion (assist)
Goal 3: Mannion (goal), Simson (assist)
Goal 4: Mannion (goal), Stevens (assist)
Goal 5: Mannion (goal), Arnup (assist)
Goal 6: Harris (goal), Hodge (assist)
Goal 7: Stevens (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 8: Mannion (goal), Austin (assist)
Goal 9: Oxlade (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 10: Mannion (goal), no assist
Goal 11: Fox-Spence (goal), Oxlade (assist)
Goal 12: Stevens (goal), Seville (assist)
Calcot Wonder Goal: 12-1
Goal 13: Hodge (goal), Simson (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.