Hype Train Football Club competed in our sixth match of 2020 as we took on EBFL Division 1 outfit, AFC Winkfield, in the second round of the EBFL League Cup, the cup competition involving all East Berkshire Football League clubs. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold secured a place in the last 16 of the League Cup. All Aboard.
EBFL League Cup Match Report: AFC Winkfield vs. Hype Train FC
The squad travelled to Locks Ride Recreation Ground in Winkfield to take on its namesake club, with the game reversed on short notice due to a cancellation at our home ground at Calcot Recreation Ground.
With the game kicking off at 13:30pm, and the team playing our our home blue and gold strip, we found ourselves behind at the twenty minute mark of the game when Robert Austin was robbed of the ball by Winkfield's lone attacker inside his own 18-yard box, before the attacker crossed low and was converted at close range under the body of Jack Roche in goal by Adam McDonagh, to give the home side a good start.
The team were able to play out from the back for most of the first-half and managed to get together good passing sequences, with the team working efforts for Jamie Carter and Sam Paddon as we looked for the equalising goal.
Against the wind in the first-half, the strong winds played a big factor in our eventual equalising goal at the 35-minute when, when a Rod Stevens corner evaded everyone in the penalty area and right into the far-post. This was Stevens first competitive goal for the club having featured in every competitive so far for the club.
The Blue and Gold then had a golden chance to take the lead before half-time when Robert Austin's first-time cross from the left-flank found Chris Marshall at the back-post, with the midfielder's effort agonisingly hitting the roof of the bar and out for a goal-kick.
The second-half saw the team play slightly downhill and with the wind in our favour. Able to play slightly higher, chances began to reign for the team, with with Marshall and Jon Watkins shooting well over.
The defining moment of the encounter just before the 60-minute mark sent our travelling side into hysteria when Sam Paddon brilliantly took down a chipped pass from Marshall near the edge of the box, with Paddon turning and rifling an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner of Winkfield's goal, giving the team a lead for the first time in the afternoon.
With the Blue and Gold looking to kill off the game, substitute Clayton Holloway saw an effort at the edge of the box blocked well by the opposing defence, whilst another substitute, Joe Sawyer, collected the ball deep into the penalty area, but his effort curled wide of the far-post.
In the closing minutes of the game, Winkfield thought that they had a way back into the game when one of their attackers barrelled down at goal and collided with Roche inside the penalty area, though the attacker was adjusted to have been offside in the build-up.
The win means that we progress to to the Last 16 of the competition, where the club will meet FC Beaconsfield at home in search of a place in another cup quarter-final this season. Next up for the team, we attempt to finally play Phoenix Old Boys at home in the first round of the EBFL Presidents Cup, with our previous matches all called off due to poor weather conditions.
HTFC Man of the Match:
A strong team performance in challenging conditions was typified by the excellent individual showings from Chris Marshall and our MOTM, Sam Paddon. Marshall was industrious and hard working all afternoon as a box-to-box midfielder and should have scored in the first-half, with his header going narrowly over the bar.
Paddon, who was selfless and a danger all afternoon, was composed on the ball and drew our attacking outlets in to the game. His efforts were dully rewarded in the second-half when he brilliantly collected a pass from Marshall, before unleashing a ferocious strike in to the top-right corner, sending the team into hysteria and the next round of the competition.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"Another cup game, another win against a team from a division above. We won our fourth game of 2020 this afternoon, beating a very tall and physical Winkfield side that went toe-to-toe with our squad in a hard fought battle.
Overall, the team was excellent in their application today. We played with the ball from the back, did the gritty work in what was a scrappy game at times, and could have had a few more goals to add some gloss to a strong squad performance. We weren't going to be beat today and it's good to see that after a difficult period for the club with some player losses and changes, the boys have upped their performance on the pitch, hungrier than ever to prove a point as we look for a trophy in our debut season.
There were some excellent individual outings by Sam Paddon and Chris Marshall today, with our captain Alex O'Keeffe also exceptional in the second-half, whilst Elliott Simson had his best game for the club to date. Our new signings, Jon Watkins and Joan Clemente, are also embedding into the team nicely and have both added quality to the squad, whilst it was great to have Sammy Seville available for the game too!
In the big picture of our campaign, we've played a lot of cup games and many of the squad that have played together for a few years now are still pinching ourselves that we've been able to go on several cup good cup runs. This is a testament to the drive and discipline of my players, so I couldn't be happier with how the season is progressing.
I'd like to end by saying a big thank you to AFC Wnkfield and their management team who were able to reverse the fixture on short notice after our home ground was called off on Thursday evening. The club is a credit to their league and we're looking forward to our next encounter in the new Legea Ultimate Eleven cup competition."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Opposition: AFC Winkfield
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rod Stevens
DEF: Martin King
DEF: Alex O'Keeffe
DEF: Robert Austin
MID: Jon Watkins (Seville '55)
MID: Elliott Simson (Holloway '60)
MID: Joan Clemente
MID: Chris Marshall
MID: James Carter (Sawyer '67)
FOR: Sam Paddon
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Stevens (goal), no assist
Goal 2: Paddon (goal), Marshall (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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