Hype Train Football Club competed in our third match of 2020 as we took on North Berks & District League outfit, Hanslope FC Reserves, in the Last 8 of the Berks & Berks FA Junior Cup. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold bowed out of a good cup run at the quarter-final stage of county cup competition. All Aboard.
BBFA Match Report: Hanslope FC Reserves vs. Hype Train FC
Making the long commute from Reading to Hanslope, the team kicked off at Hanslope Recreation Ground at 13:30pm, playing in our home blue and gold home strip.
The early stages of the match saw the travelling side on top and we created several chances early on to take the lead, first from Noah Hodge, who couldn't direct a volley at the back-post on target, before Leon Mannion was set free by Elliott Simson, with Hanslope's custodian saving well from Mannion's effort.
After a sustained period of being on top, we took the lead early in the first half when Simson and Mannion combined again, with Simson setting Mannion down the right channel. Mannion's powerful running took him in to the penalty area and finished well with his right foot to put us in control.
Hanslope shifted a few of their attacking players around and it paid off for the home team, with their Number 9 running their left-channel well, working a cross at the back-post that blazed well over. The equaliser came in the middle of the half when a throw in down Hanslope's right-wing was bounced to their Number 11, who teed up their Number 10 who turned and passed the ball calmly into the back-post.
With around ten minutes before half-time, Hanslope went ahead for the first time in the encounter when their midfield bypassed our challenges, popping off a shot that was saved well by Jack Roche in goal, but the rebound fell invitingly to their Number 7 to score from close range.
Half-time came and gone and we found ourselves in an upward struggle as Hanslope added a third goal, when their Number 9 unleashed a fierce strike from the edge of the box, low and hard to the right past Roche, after beating a few of our players with his pace.
The game settled for a large period, though Hanslope constantly worked the flanks as they countered well and could have added a few more goals, though they couldn't completely kill the game off.
Our best chance in the second-half fell to Hodge, who went through on goal after a Martin King flick on, though Hodge was charged down and couldn't get his shot off in crowded conditions. With the game winding down, and well managed by the home side, the game came to an end with a result that was fair given the encounter that was played in largely good spirits by both sets of players.
The loss means that in our fifth match of the competition, we bow out of the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup at the quarter-final stage, with the squad returning to action at home against Phoenix Old Boys next weekend in the first round of the EBFL Presidents Cup - a fixture that has been twice postponed due to poor weather conditions in the Reading area at the time of our games.
HTFC Man of the Match:
Central defender, Martin King, had a busy afternoon, but showed fight and passion throughout the contest to try and lift the spirits of the team when losing. King was combative in the air, strong in a tackle, and showed leadership when the team was needing it most.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"Fresh off the face of defeat, given how much the team cared about advancing in our county cup due to the amount of time and energy we put in to the competition, there are some sombre faces in the team right now as we digest a difficult afternoon.
We actually started the better of the two sides and were well worth our lead. Our goal sparked a fire under Hanslope, alongside the team shifting players in to new players in attack. We struggled getting our foot under the ball and were too weak in challenges to stop them from going ahead before half-time.
Overall, we weren't at the races and the standard of our play deteriorated as the game developed. We changed shape and put men forward in an attempt to get back in to the game, though it wasn't our afternoon and well played for the home side to pick apart the carcass of our mistakes and tiring legs. They managed the game well and were ultimately worth their win on the day.
As the person at the helm looking to pick my players up after a hard-hitting loss, the only way to look ahead is to use this as an opportunity to grow and develop as a team. We are only eleven games old as a club and have made huge strides in our development, remaining competitive in our league and cup competitions, though every team faces teething periods and I hope players use this as motivation in what we need to do in order to apply ourselves so we can take that next step as a collective unit.
If any of my players read this match report, I'd like to offer them nothing but encouragement - we will bounce back. We'll have better days at the office and hopefully that can be sooner rather than later as we gear up for more cup action as we head into February.
One last thing, now that we are out of the cup. I hope that the Berks & Bucks FA see this and please take this comment seriously... You have to sort out the referee assignments for your county cup competitions. We have played in five rounds of the Junior Cup and not once have you been able to supply a referee for our fixtures, on each occasion the ref has pulled out to being retired, no longer being an active referee, or just because they weren't informed about the tie (not ideal on a Friday evening). These constant headaches are avoidable, especially as it has left us and our opponents looking to find neutral (or otherwise) referees on such short notice, for what are your biggest cup competitions.
We wish Hanslope nothing but luck for the rest of the competition as they progress through to the semi-finals."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 25th January 2020
Opposition: Hanslope FC Reserves
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Martin King
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: James Carter (Fox-Spence '45)
MID: Elliott Simson
MID: Clayton Holloway (Barton '57)
MID: Aaron Holloway (Holloway '85)
MID: Scott Terry (Paddon '68)
MID: Noah Hodge
FOR: Leon Mannion
SUB: Sebastian Barton
SUB: Callum Fox-Spence
SUB: Sam Paddon
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Mannion (goal), Simson (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.
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.
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