Hype Train Football Club competed in their third home match in East Berkshire Football League's Division 2, with the club taking on a strong Stoke Poges Saints Reserves side. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold managed their second win of the season, meaning we open EBFL Division 2 with 8 points from our opening four fixtures. All Aboard.
EBFL Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Stoke Poges Saints Reserves
For our fourth game of the season we welcomed Stoke Poges Saints Reserve team to Calcot Recreation Ground, with the two clubs and their Management teams knowing each other well. The game kicked off at 2pm with overcast conditions.
HTFC started the slower of the two teams and we found ourselves behind after just 7 minutes on the clock. The Poges goalkeeper launched a long free-kick into the area, with confusion between our defenders leading to their right winger, Andy Scannel, finding the ball at his feet, with the shot squeezing between the legs of Jack Roche in between the sticks.
The goal was a wake-up call for the team, with the Blue and Gold slowly working their way into the match, with Leon Mannion having our first clear-cut chance, running past the Stoke Poges defensive guard, but his one-on-one effort was inches over the bar. Aaron Holloway later had a shot blocked, before Mannion eventually scored after Martin King's long-ball from central defence found the Forward, with Mannion's shot wriggling under the opposing keeper for the equaliser.
We had the chance to go ahead just before the break as a throw in fell invitingly to Callum Fox Spence, though the right winger's effort didn't meet the right connection, with the resulting shot forcing a save from the Poges shot-stopper.
The second-half saw changes to the away side, though it was HTFC who started brighter, with Mannion going close a few times whilst the scores were level. Mannion was instrumental for our second goal as his combination with Sam Paddon in the box resulted in Paddon getting fouled for a penalty kick, our first in competitive competition. Mannion stepped up and buried the penalty low and hard to put the home team ahead.
Minutes after coming on as a substitute, Ashley Scott then extended our lead after Mannion played in Scott, whose deft finish was scooped over the keeper and into the far corner for our third goal of the afternoon. Less than two minutes later, Callum Parr-Jones latched onto a long ball, and with the Stoke Poges defence switched off, Parr-Jones and Scott were one-on-one with the keeper, with Parr-Jones playing in Scott to score in to an empty net.
With all our changes made, including a first competitive appearance for Joe Sawyer, HTFC underwent a spell of pressure, with Stoke Poges adding a second with ten minutes left on the ball. After working the ball around the edge of the box, the ball fell to central midfielder, Ryan Manton, who fired a fierce shot past Roche to help bridge the deficit.
The final minutes of the game saw more Stoke Poges pressure, though there was too little time left on the clock to mount a comeback, meaning all three points go with HTFC, meaning we have now won twice and drawn once, in three home games this season at Calcot Recreation Ground.
HTFC Man of the Match:
Seb Barton, playing in defensive midfield, was crucial for our victory, with Barton providing good cover for our central defenders, mopping up and winning challenges all afternoon, and linked play between defence and attack all afternoon.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"We were expecting a big game against Stoke Poges and we weren't let down. Both teams were aggressive, wanted to play with the ball and hungry for the win to show off our respective credentials as being social teams that post their matches online. I'm thrilled that we came away as winners on the day and over the course of the game, we thoroughly deserved to come away with the three points to extend our unbeaten start to the season.
As for the game itself, we started slowly and conceded early on after a sloppy opening ten minutes, though the goal woke the team up and we grew into the game very well and tried to play as much as we could. We deserved to go in at half-time with the scores level, and perhaps should have went in ahead, though Callum (Fox-Spence) missed a golden chance right at the end.
The second-half proved decisive again for the team as we created lots of opportunities as our opponents shuffled the deck after some late arrivals got on to the pitch. Fortunately, we made the most of our chances and I'm particularly happy that Ash (Scott) came off the bench and scored a brace - his first goals for the club!
The team enjoyed playing another competitive side and we've come away buzzing for more after playing a good team with a good setup. Good luck to Stoke Poges until the next time we meet this season."
What that means in EBFL Division 2...
The victory means that HTFC move back up to 3rd in the table with 8 points from our opening 4 games. We've the best defensive record in the league, and alongside Old Windsor Reserves, are the only unbeaten teams in the division.
There were also wins for Old Windsor Reserves, Eton Wick and a first win of the season for Phoenix Old Boys' 3rd team.
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 5th October 2019
Opposition: Stoke Poges Saints Reserves
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens - (C)
DEF: Martin King
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: James Carter
MID: Callum Fox-Spence (Sawyer '63)
MID: Aaron Holloway (Parr-Jones '60)
MID: Sebastian Barton
MID: Tommy Payne (Scott '55)
MID: Sam Paddon (Fox-Spence '80)
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Ashley Scott
SUB: Callum Parr-Jones
SUB: Joseph Sawyer
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Mannion (goal), King (assist)
Goal 2: Mannion (goal, penalty), Paddon (assist)
Goal 3: Scott (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 4: Scott (goal), Parr-Jones (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.
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