Hype Train Football Club competed in our seventh match of 2020 as we took on EBFL Division 1 outfit, Stoke Poges Saints, in the inaugural match of the Legea Ultimate 11 Cup, an invitation tournament featuring 12 teams across the East Berkshire Football League. Read our match report as the Blue and Gold fell to defeat on a day that featured 7 player debuts. All Aboard.
Legea U11 Cup Match Report: Stoke Poges Saints vs. Hype Train FC
Making the trip to Stoke Poges in Slough for a 2pm kick-off against the Ultimate 11 team, we handed five starts to debut players, with Dom Clarke, Anghel Mihai, Owen Jones, Rhakim Keir and Dany Setiawan all starting from the off, whilst Stephen Turey made his first appearance as a second-half substitute.
Our much changed side started the slower of the sides as we went behind at the 15-minute mark when we were caught on the counter with a long punt down the field left us in a 2-on-2 position, with Sam Manton squaring for a teammate to open the scoring at close range.
The Blue and Gold worked their way back into the match and should have had an equaliser when Sam Paddon worked space down the left, was able to get a low cross in after beating the Stoke Poges right-back, with Dany Setiawan's effort from close range somehow saved by their Goalkeeper. Owen Jones and Anghel Mihai also went close with long-ranged efforts as we went into half-time with a single goal deficit.
The home side came out determined and found themselves doubling the lead from a corner-kick, when the whipped ball bounced off a players head, with Dom Clarke in an unfortunate position at the back-post to put into our own net. The home side then put the cherry on top when their Goalkeeper collected the ball from a deep-cross, punted down the field, with Sam Manton eventually finding himself in the box to slot in at the back-post.
Callum Parr-Jones, a late arrival to the game, then scored his sixth goal of the season when Robert Austin intercepted a loose pass in midfield, feeding CPJ who found room on his weaker left-foot to strike in the bottom-right corner.
Late on, Stephen Turey beat a couple of men down the right-wing, with his low-cross controlled by Setiawan, before his teed effort to Sam Paddon was saved well by the Ultimate 11 shot-stopper.
The defeat means we begin our Legea Ultimate Eleven with defeat, with the club still yet to face AFC Winkfield and St Peters Iver, hoping to book a place in the semi-finals later on in season. Next up for the squad, we attempt to play Phoenix Old Boys at home in an EBFL Presidents Cup tie that has been postponed multiple times due to poor weather conditions.
HTFC Man of the Match:
A few names stood out, with left-back Dom Clarke vocal, physical and composed on his debut, whilst Elliott Simson equipped himself brilliantly in central midfield. Josh Cox, making his second appearance for the club, played in defensive midfield and was a positive example for our new players to follow, showing commitment, desire and hunger throughout the afternoon.
Thoughts from General Secretary, Robert Austin:
"A day featuring seven players of a thirteen team squad was always going to be difficult, though we played some good football at stages and were very unlucky. We feel that the game was built on moments and we got caught short at the back for a couple of their goals.
Our best chances fell in the first-half and we should have gone in level, though all credit to Stoke Poges for coming out hungry in the second-half and killing the game off with their opportunities. They deserved their win on the day, though for the sake of their player wallets, it's probably a good idea to keep their studs down with their tackling.
I've learnt a lot though from the game, especially with the new players making their debuts in the absence of a lot of regular players out in a bad week for illness and injury - we had our first Under 18 players get starts, and genuinely hope that the experience for these new additions was a positive experience.
We've still got a good chance at progressing in the tournament, so we're not giving up hope of appearing in the semi-finals later on this season. I'm proud that this team has been involved in making this modern competition a reality and we're proud to have raised the curtain with another team that puts their content out there for the world to see.
Overall, the result wasn't what anyone wanted, especially for myself as a sporting rivalry with the Ultimate 11 boys starts to grow, but it was a very good test for a lot of new players and the perfect opportunity to bed in some good additions, with the hope that this experience will better our squad as we gear up for a very busy few months."
Hype Train FC: Matchday Squad
Date: Saturday 7th March 2020
Opposition: Stoke Poges Saints
GK: Jack Roche
DEF: Rhakim Keir
DEF: Alex O'Keeffe (C)
DEF: Robert Austin
DEF: Dominic Clarke
MID: Owen Jones (Turey '45)
MID: Elliott Simson
MID: Josh Cox
MID: Anghel Mihai (Parr-Jones '45)
MID: Sam Paddon
FOR: Dany Setiawan (Jones '75)
SUB: Stephen Turey
SUB: Callum Parr-Jones
Goals and Assists:
Goal 1: Parr-Jones (goal), Austin (assist)
Yellow Card: Josh Cox
Suspension: Callum Fox-Spence served the second game of a 3-game suspension
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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