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PRE-SEASON MATCH REPORT: Harchester Hawks 4-5 Hype Train FC

Hype Train Football Club were back in action this past Sunday as we travelled to Thames Valley Premier League outfit, Harchester Hawks for pre-season action. We returned to action in our home blue and gold home kit, so please enjoy our match report of our second victory as a team as we look to build on our success with 2 more pre-season games still on the horizon. All Aboard.

Match Report: Harchester Hawks vs. Hype Train FC

Hype Train FC made the short trip to Wokingham and Bohunt School for a midday kick-off against TVPL side, Harchester Hawks, who finished near the top of the table in Division 4 last season.

With the squad looking to make amends after a defeat last weekend, we started the game brightly and after applying a lot of pressure in the opening 10 minutes of the game, we scored after a throw in from the left-hand side. Jamie Carter's throw was returned to the left-back, with Carter's fizzed pass in to Leon Mannion creating a powerful turn and clinical finish to the back post for the first goal.

With the team pressing high from goal kicks, Sebastian Barton intercepted the ball from a goal kick, with the ball falling to Clayton Holloway, who played in Elliott Simson on the right channel, with Simson slotting in past the Hawks keeper with a first-time finish.

Same play, same outcome, for the third goal, as HTFC won the ball high up the pitch, with Mannion playing in a well-timed run by James Harris, who converted from close range at the second time of asking, to make the team lead 3-0.

Hawks were handed a lifeline after Robert Austin (yours truly) misjudged a ball in the air whilst in the penalty area, with the ball spinning on to Austin's arm. Hawks finished the penalty well to put the designated home team 3-1 down at the half.

With changes made at half-time, we found ourselves on the back-foot, with a few long balls catching the team out, with Hawks scoring 3 goals in quick succession to put the team behind, and in need of a comeback. We don't want to underestimate here that Hawks' attackers were on point in the second and put our team under a lot of pressure, so there is a lot of credit for their own fight and resolve to get a result with the cameras turned on.

The game did settle and against the run of play, we won a corner, with Rod Stevens delivery being met with a high-rising header from Mannion to level at 4-4.

With the game coming to a close, we once again won the ball high up the field, with the ball eventually falling to Barton after some nice team-play. Barton's through ball found the pace of Mannion, who calmly slotted a one-on-one for our 5th and the eventual match winner.

HTFC Man of the Match:

Scoring a hat-trick and providing an assist, Leon Mannion was a constant danger and his attacking output could have been even higher. Mannion's first goal was a clinical finish, whilst his header was inch-perfect. Elliott Simson had a very productive afternoon on the right-wing also, scoring his first goal in pre-season, though Mannion's driving force was the catalyst for a match-winning performance.

Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:

"We're currently going through an entertaining pre-season and are on the back of our second 5-4 score in the matter of 6 days. Against Hawks, we had a very good first-half and were comfortably 3-0 up before I misjudged a ball in the air (sun in my eyes is the prevailing excuse) to allow them to score a penalty just before half-time.

We controlled the first 45 on the whole and should have been ahead by even more if we were more clinical, so I was nothing but happy with our approach, communication and fight in the squad. We began to gel well on the pitch, which is a good sign.

3-1 up at half-time, we rung in the changes and this caused us to have a difficult 20 minutes, with the team conceding 3 goals in a similar fashion. Once the second-half settled, however, we showed good fight and determination to get back level, and eventually win the game.

Today was nothing but positives against a good and organised team in hot conditions, and with another game gone, we have more to refine and develop as a team as we kick off our first league game on August 31st against Langley Hornets.

Thank you to Hawks to organising the game, and good luck for the season ahead!"

Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad

Date: Saturday 17th August 2019

Opposition: Harchester Hawks

Starting 11:

GK: Chris Marshall

DEF: Aaron Holloway

DEF: Alex O'Keeffe - (C)

DEF: Robert Austin

DEF: James Carter (Priest '45)

MID: Tommy Payne (Stevens '45)

MID: Sebastian Barton (Parr-Jones '45, Harris '80)

MID: Clayton Holloway (Payne '60)

FOR: Elliott Simson (Barton '75)

FOR: Leon Mannion

FOR: James Harris (Carter '60)


SUB: Callum Parr-Jones

SUB: Rod Stevens

SUB: Alex Priest

Goals & Assists:

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

Goal 2: Simson (goal), C. Holloway (assist)

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

Goal 4: Mannion (goal), Stevens (assist)

Goal 5: Mannion (goal), Barton (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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at

All aboard.


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