Hype Train Football Club competed in our fourth home match in East Berkshire Football League's Division 2, with the club taking on a strong Iver Heath FC Reserves side. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold managed their second win of 2020, meaning we remain unbeaten after six games in the division. All Aboard.
EBFL Match Report: Hype Train FC vs. Iver Heath Reserves
Returning to league action for the first time since early October, due to poor weather conditions across the south east of England, as well as cup games taking focus, we kicked off against Iver Heath at 2pm, looking to continue our good start to the new decade.
Playing into the wind during the first-half, the team carved open a few early chances, with Leon Mannion and Scott Terry both being adjudged to be offside once taking the ball round the Iver Heath shot-stopper. As the opponents grew into the game, they had a good period during the first 45, pressing well as a unit, and took the lead when a ball over the top of our defence caught the wind in its favour, with their Number 14 looping a shot from the byline over Jack Roche, with the strong winds taking the ball over the line for the opening goal of the afternoon
As the half wore on, both teams competed well with back and forth challenges and possession, our best chance falling to Callum Fox-Spence after a floated ball caught the opposing defence stranded, though their keeper saved well from the effort.
The second-half opened the play up, with Iver Heath doubling the score ten minutes in to the encounter. Playing out from the back, Iver Heath's number 7 picked up a loose ball played into midfield before switching lay to their number 27 on the right-wing, who was able to turn at goal and finish clinically past a helpless Roche in between the sticks.
The old cliche of teams starting to play and come to life after going 2-0 down came true as we scored almost immediately from kick-off, with Callum Fox-Spence connecting well down the right flank with competitive debutant, Scott Terry, who collected the ball and forced the issue taking it past a host of Iver Heath players, before shooting low and hard into the bottom-right corner to give us hope of a comeback.
With the wind in our favour, massively, as the conditions at Calcot Recreation Ground worsened, we clawed back to 2-2 five minutes later when Robert Austin won the ball back from defence and found Terry in midfield. Terry passed off to Mannion who then teed up Jamie Carter to curl in at the far-left post with his weaker right-foot from the left-hand side of the penalty area - this being Carter's first goal for the club!
As we pressed for a winner, for the second time in a week we were able to find a match winning moment as a Rod Stevens corner was poked home at the back-post by an Iver Heath player, with the entire team celebrating wildly after scoring a last-minute winner, with the squad maintaining their unbeaten record in the division!
The win means that we move up to 6th in EBFL Division 2 on 14 points after 6 matches (4 wins, 2 draws, 0 defeats), with the team having games in hand over the teams above us in the table. We also boast the best defensive recording having conceded 5 goals across 6 games.
Next week, we host Phoenix Old Boys' 3rd team in the first round of the EBFL Presidents Cup, featuring teams from Division's 1 and 2.
HTFC Man of the Match:
Jamie Carter typically plays at left back for the team, though due to availability for the occasion, Carter started at left wing. Carter adjusted well to playing further up the field and run himself into the ground, also scoring the team's equaliser with a curved right-footed effort from the left-side of the box.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"It was mine and Sam's 29th birthday today and given how the game was going for the team at 2-0 down, it felt like I had aged a year in 60 minutes of football. When we played with the ball it either worked, or helped cause ourselves problems, with Iver Heath's goals aided by a few lapses caused by our own making.
We made hard work of the occasion, though I couldn't have been happier with the way we responded having gone a few goals behind. We showed heart, commitment and remained hungry until the final whistle. The wind played a factor throughout the game and we were able to push their defence back to create the chances we needed to get the result.
We also had a few first-time scorers today, with Carter getting his first goal for the club, a goal that is well deserved for a committed and underrated player, whilst Scott scored a lovely solo effort on his competitive debut - a worthy goal for a hard working performance.
I hope the team keep that hunger in them and remember the celebrations from the last few weeks. We've had a great start to the new year and there's a lot to look forward to as we juggle league and cup commitments for the next month.
All credit to the away side too for giving the boys a good, competitive game. They tried to play a fair game, there were no cautions, and everybody left in one-piece, and we're already looking forward to the away game later this year."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 11th January 2020
Opposition: Iver Heath FC Reserves
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Martin King
DEF: Alex O'Keeffe
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Callum Fox-Spence
MID: Aaron Holloway (Barton '65)
MID: Clayton Holloway
MID: Scott Terry
MID: James Carter (Sawyer '70)
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Sebastian Barton
SUB: Joseph Sawyer
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Terry (goal), no assist
Goal 2: Carter (goal), Mannion (assist)
Goal 3: own 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.
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