Hype Train Football Club competed in their first competitive cup match as they took on ground-sharing neighbours Barton Rovers in the first round of the Berks & Berks FA Juniors Cup at the first round stage. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold managed to extend their unbeaten run to 4 games in competitive fixtures as a club. All Aboard.
EBFL Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Barton Rovers
We kicked off against Barton, who use the adjacent pitch to us at Calcot Recreation Ground, at 2pm in overcast conditions, with HTFC the designated home team for this county cup fixture.
The opening 20 minutes first-half of the half was a back and forth contest, with Barton showing early promising signs as they put our midfield and defence under a lot of pressure, though Martin King in our goal wasn't threatened early in the game.
Leon Mannion had the best chances in the opening 20 minutes, with the Forward seeing a header from a corner cleared off the line, with Mannion turning away from a trio of defenders minutes later, with his right-footed shot flashing just past the opposing goalkeepers' right-post.
We did take the leader after 25 minutes, with Alex O'Keeffe winning the ball back to start off a chain of 8 players touching the ball unopposed, with the ball eventually reaching Noah Hodge on the right-wing, with Hodge skipping past the Barton full-back, with his low-cross converted by Mannion 8 yards out from goal.
Barton then equalised within 2 minutes as our midfield lost the ball high up the pitch, with Barton spraying a long-ball forward. The initial shot from their Number 23 was well saved but the rebound was executed well by their Number 17, to give Barton a deserved equaliser at the time.
HTFC restored their lead 7 minutes before half-time, with Hodge involved again on the right, this time the winger was brought down for a free-fick by the corner flag. With the ball already set, Rod Stevens acted quickly to deliver a cross that was inch-perfect for Mannion to head home for his second of the match.
With the game 2-1 at half-time, we made the one change, bringing on Seb Barton for Aaron Holloway and we found ourselves on the front-foot early on. Chris Marshall won the ball back in midfield and laid in Mannion for a one-on-one, with our Number 9 skipping past the challenge of their last defender before blasting in to the roof of the net for our third.
Just minutes later we added our 4th of the game, with Stevens' corner cleared, falling to Seb Barton outside the box, whose half-volley rifled in to the net to further extend our lead.
Just before the 60-minute mark we scored our 5th goal, with substitute, Tommy Payne, linking well with Mannion, with Payne teeing up Sam Paddon, whose left-footed effort just inside the box curved into the far-left corner for his first goal for the club.
Mannion then added his 4th goal of the afternoon as Rod Stevens combined with Callum Fox-Spence, with the wingers through-ball tucked home by Mannion in another one-on-one situation.
Set-pieces worked to our advantage all afternoon, with Stevens looping a corner right to the back post, with Mannion simply chesting home his 5th and final goal of the afternoon.
We then finished our goal-scoring exploits with another well-worked team goal, with Payne, Stevens, Fox-Spence and Mannion all finding each other with passes, with Fox-Spence eventually delivering to Callum Parr-Jones at the edge of the opponents box. Parr-Jones then played a cheeky one-two with Stevens, before smashing the ball low and hard past the Barton keeper.
The win means we move on to the second round of the BBFA Juniors Cup, with the fixture (opponent not announced) set to take place on Saturday 26th October 2019.
HTFC Man of the Match:
Rod Stevens retained his MOTM award after another good performance at right-back in our 8-1 triumph. Stevens provided 3 direct assists and was directly involved in 7 of our 8 goals. Our number 4's set-piece delivery was on point all afternoon and was key to unlocking Barton with dead balls.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"This is our biggest competitive win to date and a big statement against one of our league rivals and ground-sharing neighbours this season, though we were made to work in the first-half, as Barton were stronger in large parts during the opening 45 minutes. We were slightly fortunate to go in at the half with a 2-1 lead as there was a lot of pressure to absorb, though our experience showed in weathering the storm.
We killed the game in the opening 10 minutes of the second-half and once Seb scored our 4th, we completely controlled the game for the final 40 minutes of the match, which allowed the floodgates to open.
I was mostly pleased by the manner in which we played, with our passing across the pitch the best it has been since we started playing in July. Our first and last goals were brilliant team goals and we're starting to build up a lot of confidence with the ball, which we will need when we take on Stoke Poges Saints and their Reserve side next weekend in league action.
Thank you to Barton for the good game and we are already looking forward to the return EBFL league fixtures later down the line."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 28th September 2019
Opposition: Barton Rovers
GK: Martin King
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Alex O'Keeffe - (C)
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: James Carter
MID: Noah Hodge (Fox-Spence '55)
MID: Clayton Holloway (Parr-Jones '70)
MID: Aaron Holloway (Barton '45)
MID: Chris Marshall (Payne '55)
MID: Sam Paddon
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Seb Barton
SUB: Tommy Payne
SUB: Callum Fox-Spence
SUB: Callum Parr-Jones
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Mannion (goal), Hodge (assist)
Goal 2: Mannion (goal), Stevens (assist)
Goal 3: Mannion (goal), Marshall (assist)
Goal 4: Barton (goal), no assist
Goal 5: Paddon (goal), Payne (assist)
Goal 6: Mannion (goal), Fox-Spence (assist)
Goal 7: Mannion (goal), Stevens (assist)
Goal 8: Parr-Jones (goal), Stevens (assist)
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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.
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