Hype Train Football Club competed in their first ever competitive match this past Saturday as they took on Sandhurst Town U23's at home in East Berkshire Football League's Division 2. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold managed their first win (and clean sheet) at the first time of asking, opening our EBFL account with three points. All Aboard.
EBFL Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Sandhurst Town U23's
Hype Train FC began their maiden season in the East Berkshire Football League's Division Two with a convincing 4-0 home win over Sandhurst Town's U23 side at Calcot Recreation Ground in Reading.
The new club, formed in June 2019, with its name and origin inspired by the football website, The Hype Train, started our first ever game slowly against a young Sandhurst side, with both outfits struggling to break down the opposition in the opening ten minutes of the game.
Fifteen minutes in to the game, we carved our first real chance of the game, with Sam Paddon's good skill at the edge of the box beating two defenders, with the left-wingers resulting shot flashing past the opposing shot-stopper and wide. Minutes later, Paddon was the architect in another chance, with his cross finding a flat-footed James Harris at the back-post, with Harris's left-footed effort from five yards out failing to generate any power to beat a thankful Sandhurst keeper.
After probing the Sandhurst goal, HTFC did go on to score their first competitive goal in the 28th minute after Jamie Carter intercepted the Sandhurst keepers' long punt down field, releasing to Paddon, whose outside-of-the-boot through ball was inch-perfect for Leon Mannion, who calmly slotted home at the far post to open the scoring.
The team added their second just minutes later in identical fashion, when Alex O'Keeffe intercepted a long punt up field, with O'Keeffe finding Carter, who then released Paddon in space, with another through ball finding Mannion. Taking the ball round several defenders to create space, Mannion rounded the keeper and slotted home down the middle of the goal for his second of the match.
We then added our third goal in the space of eight minutes after Rod Stevens acted quickly from a free-kick, with his floated ball finding Harris, with the right-winger finding Mannion, whose low-cross found a fortunate bobble and fell invitingly for Chris Marshall to slot home in to an empty net from six-yards out.
HTFC went in at half-time with a three-goal advantage and brought on all five substitutions. The team adjusted slowly to life in the second-half with fresh legs, but the squad warmed to the challenge, with Mannion completing his hat-trick on the sixty-minute mark after a second quick free-kick from Stevens set Mannion one-on-one with the goalkeeper, with Mannion brushing his effort over the top of the on-rushing keeper.
With the game away from Sandhurst, Tommy Payne had an opportunity to add a fifth for the team, with his shot from just outside the penalty area tipped over the bar by the keeper. The resulting corner from Stevens was chested down by central defender, Robert Austin, at the back-post, with Austin's half-volley going over the bar.
Stevens then nearly opened his tally for the season from a free-kick on the left-hand side, with his 25-yard effort tipped on to the crossbar by the Sandhurst keeper.
HTFC then endured a final ten minutes of pressure, with several set-pieces outside the box testing Jack Roche in goal, but Sandhurst's rally was too little too late, with Hype Train FC closing out the game with a first clean sheet.
HTFC Man of the Match:
Leon Mannion was involved in all 4 goals against Sandhurst, scoring twice in the first-half, and assisting Chris Marshall for our third goal of the afternoon. Mannion then completed his hat-trick in the second-half after a composed finish when one-on-one with the opposing keeper.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"On paper, I couldn't have asked for more from the team this afternoon. We looked threatening all afternoon, had chances to add to the four goals we scored, and besides from a few set-piece opportunities, limited their attackers to very little in front of goal. We did start slowly, however, but worked in to the game very well and deserved our 3-goal lead at half-time. We then made five substitutions at half-time and again it took us some time to get into the swing of things, but handled ourselves well, especially when under any pressure.
It was also a day of firsts that I'll enjoy more when I look back on the occasion. First game, first win, first hat-trick (Leon), first clean sheet and first points on the board in the EBFL.
After two years of planning and development, after a very long pre-season getting the players together, Hype Train FC finally feels real and we can't wait to build on this momentum next week against Townmead at home."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 7th September 2019
Opposition: Sandhurst Town U23's
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Alex O'Keeffe - (C)
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: James Carter (King '45, Paddon '75)
MID: James Harris (Seville '45)
MID: Callum Parr-Jones (Fox-Spence '45, Mannion '80)
MID: Ashley Scott (Payne '45)
MID: Chris Marshall (Barton '45)
MID: Sam Paddon (Carter '55)
FOR: Leon Mannion (Marshall '60, Scott '80)
SUB: Sam Seville
SUB: Martin King
SUB: Seb Barton
SUB: Callum Fox-Spence
SUB: Tommy Payne
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Mannion (goal), Paddon (assist)
Goal 2: Mannion (goal), Paddon (assist)
Goal 3: Marshall (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 4: Mannion (goal), Stevens (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.