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Hype Train Football Club: 2019/20 Season Review


With the 2019/20 grassroots football season done and dusted, the East Berkshire Football League have drawn their own season to a close by announcing that an average points-per-game model would be utilised after providing a vote to its member clubs. We provide the stats and overview from our 16-game maiden season. All aboard.

2019/20 EBFL Division 2 - Season Summary:

On March 15th 2020 the East Berkshire Football League announced that all EBFL clubs had voted on how to end the 2019 season. The two options available were to null and void the entire season, or alternatively to end the campaign with tables and positions decided via a points-per-game average.

Clubs voted in favour of ending the season via a PPG average, a decision that has drawn a close to the 2019/20 season for all clubs, and one that means we finish in third placed in EBFL Division 2 (third-tier) in our maiden season, despite only playing a third of our league games (6).

Gamed Played (7):

The EBFL committee booked us to play the majority of our opening league games at home, with the the side beginning the season in good form with a solid 4-0 win against Sandhurst. The team then followed that up with a battling draw at home to Townmead, with the team coming back from 1-0 down in the first-half with an own-goal providing salvation for the side - though as a team we were wasteful and were unable to convert any of our 33 chances.

During the hottest day of our season, and in our only away game, we were held to a goalless draw against Eton Wick, limiting the home side to a single shot on goal, and unable to convert a handful of chances on the road.

Returning to home for our fourth game of the season, we recovered from being 1-0 down against Stoke Poges Saints, with braces from Leon Mannion and Ash Scott sealing a good win at home against our rivals.

The team were awarded an away walkover win, which means just the 3 points and no goal difference, as Phoenix Old Boys were unable to raise a side against us, which was our last league fixture of 2019 due to our involvement in cup competitions..

Our final games of the season were both at home and showed the fight of the team, with the Blue and Gold coming from 2-0 down against both Iver Heath Reserves and Berks Elite. Against Iver Heath we scored a trio of goals, including a last-minute winner courtesy of an own-goal from a Rod Stevens set-piece, before goals from Chris Marshall and Aaron Holloway salvaged a draw against a young Berks Elite outfit - with the team squandering a host of chances to win our final league encounter.

Games Played (7):

07/09/2019 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 4-0 Sandhurst Town U23’s

14/09/2019 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 1-1 FC Townmead

21/09/2019 (EBFL Div 2): Eton Wick 0-0 HTFC

05/10/2019 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 4-2 Stoke Poges Saints Reserves

19/10/2019 (EBFL Div 2): Away Walkover vs. Phoenix Old Boys (unable to field a side)

11/01/2020 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 3-2 Iver Heath Reserves

01/02/2020 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 2-2 Berks Elite

Games Unplayed (11):

HOME and AWAY vs. Old Windsor Reserves

HOME and AWAY vs. Barton Rovers

HOME vs. Phoenix Old Boys

HOME vs. Eton Wick

AWAY vs. Townmead

AWAY vs. Stoke Poges Saints Reserves

AWAY vs. Sandhurst

AWAY vs. Iver Heath Reserves

AWAY vs. Berks Elite (this would have been a walkover win as the team announced it would not finish the season)

Final Table (Played):

The table before any adjusted points sees the team end in 6th place, with a significant number of games in hand to catch up on the teams above.

*Final standings as of March 17th 2020, with the season ending prematurely due to coronavirus.

Final Table (Adjusted Points-Per-Game Average):

1) Old Windsor Reserves: 2.56 PPG (+1 position)

2) Townmead: 2.27 PPG (-1 position)

3) Hype Train FC: 2.14 PPG (+3 positions)

4) Eton Wick: 1.62 PPG (-1 position)

5) Berks Elite FC: 1.43 PPG (-1 position)

6) Stoke Poges Saints Reserves: 1.33 PPG (-1 position)

7) Iver Heath Reserves: 1.22 PPG (same position)

8) Barton Rovers: 0.78 PPG (same position)

9) Sandhurst Town U23's: 0.54 PPG (same position)

10) Phoenix Old Boys: 0.46 PPG (same position

With teams playing a varying number of games, with 4 teams playing less than 10 games (half the season at least), a PPG average was made against the fixtures we had played.

The average works out across the 18 league games, so we were adjudged against the 7 games we had played (4 wins, 3 draws, 0 defeats), giving us a 2.14 PPG average. This would have equalled around our team ending with 38.52 points, behind Townmead (40.86) and Old Windsor Reserves (46.08) on the lowest step of the league table podium.

A win over Townmead in our reverse fixture would have seen us leapfrog Townmead via a PPG average, whilst results against Old Windsor (a team we never played) would have seen up outright win the league based on this format. Likewise, wins for Townmead against us and Old Windsor (another crunch fixture never played) would have seen them lift the title, both in reality and on paper.

Our thoughts on a PPG average deciding the season (Robert Austin):

"When given the vote, we opted to null and void the season. There was simply too much of the campaign left to play for a lot of clubs for a PPG average to matter in most leagues. The only exception to this was Old Windsor in the Premier Division. They had won 10/10 games and had the league title wrapped up. We are happy that they have been given this honour, but the applause stops there.

A hollow victory is not one at all and for any team (other than Windsor's first team) to win a league trophy in these conditions, especially when the wider health of people across the worls takes priority. Division 2 was the most divisive league for the PPG call to be made - the league title would have shifted hands in games between ourselves, Townmead and Old Windsor.

Moreover, this punishes team like ourselves more for going on exceptional cup runs and flying the flag for the EBFL in other competitions, as well as the league choosing to have us play in home fixtures when weather conditions were poor throughout winter, meaning we struggled to fulfil our schedule - we only played one away game in the league.

Even if this would have been us winning the trophy, we wouldn't have acknowledged the honour, nor would we have wanted to, given the few numbers of games we played. My management team would have laughed me out of the club if that were to be the case.

The call though to do this was the right thing - the EBFL proved that they listen to their Member clubs and gave everyone a democratic vote on how to end things - even if it doesn't please or keep every team happy. At least the line is drawn in the sand and we can start planning for next season."

Hype Train FC's 2019 Cup Season:

A large bulk of the club's efforts were concentrated on an excellent cup run in the Berks & Bucks FA Junior Cup - a county cup competition featuring all grassroots teams outside of the top division of registered leagues. Entering in the first round, we went on a 5-game run to the quarter-finals before our eventual elimination away in Milton Keynes against Hanslope FC Reserves on January 25th 2020.

The squad also qualified for the semi-finals of the Ascot & Fielden Charity Cup after beating Premier Division side, AFC Cressex, 5-2 away from home - our first semi-final as a club, though we would never play this game or our opponents for this game.

Additionally, we advanced to the Last 16 of the EBFL League Cup after beating AFC Winkfield 2-1 away from home in the first round, with the squad due to face Premier Division outfit, FC Beaconsfield, for a place in the quarter-finals.

Our last match of the season was on Saturday 14th March and saw the squad eliminated from the EBFL Presidents Cup in the first round against Phoenix Old Boys at Calcot Recreation Ground in a 3-2 defeat.

Hype Train FC 2019/20 Complete Schedule:

31/08/2019: Postponement vs. Langley Hornets (Div 2) - pitch availability

07/09/2019 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 4-0 Sandhurst Town U23’s

14/09/2019 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 1-1 FC Townmead

21/09/2019 (EBFL Div 2): Eton Wick 0-0 HTFC

28/09/2019 (BBFA Junior Cup): HTFC 8-1 Barton Rovers

05/10/2019 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 4-2 Stoke Poges Saints Reserves

12/10/2019: Postponement vs. Langley Hornets (Div 2 - they folded)

19/10/2019 (EBFL Div 2): Away Walkover vs. Phoenix Old Boys (unable to field a side)

26/10/2019 (BBFA Junior Cup): Grove Rangers 0-3 HTFC

02/11/2019: Postponement vs. AFC Winkfield (EBFL League Cup) - weather

09/11/2019: Postponement vs. Phoenix Old Boys (Presidents Cup) - weather

16/11/2019: Postponement vs. Phoenix Old Boys (Presidents Cup) - weather

23/11/2019: (BBFA Junior Cup): Home Walkover vs. Hungerford Academy (failed to raise a side - turning up to confirm this an hour before kick-off)

30/11/2019 (Reading Challenge Cup): Twyford & Ruscombe 4-0 HTFC

07/12/2019 (Maidenhead Norfolkian Cup): HTFC 2-6 Burnham Village

14/12/2019: Postponement vs. Hagbourne Reserves (BBFA) - weather

21/12/2019: Xmas break

28/12/2019: Xmas break

04/01/2020 (BBFA Junior Cup): HTFC 1-0 Hagbourne United Reserves

11/01/2020 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 3-2 Iver Heath Reserves

18/01/2020: Postponement vs. Phoenix Old Boys (Presidents Cup) - weather

25/01/2020 (BBFA Junior Cup): Hanslope FC Reserves 3-1 HTFC

01/02/2020 (EBFL Div 2): HTFC 2-2 Berks Elite

08/02/2020 (Ascot & Fielden): AFC Cressex 2-5 HTFC

15/02/2020: Postponement vs. Phoenix Old Boys (Presidents Cup) - weather

22/02/2020 (EBFL League Cup): AFC Winkfield 1-2 HTFC

29/02/2020: Postponement vs. Phoenix Old Boys (Presidents Cup) - weather

07/03/2020 (Legea U11 Cup): Stoke Poges Saints 3-1 HTFC

14/03/2020 (EBFL Presidents Cup): HTFC 2-3 Phoenix Old Boys

21/03/2020: Season officially postponed on 17/03/2020 due to COVID-19

28/03/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

04/04/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

11/04/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

18/04/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

25/04/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

02/05/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

09/05/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

15/05/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

22/05/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

29/05/2020: Season postponed/cancelled

*From 1st April midweek games could have been played

What was left to play during the 2019/20 season?:

The team still had 15 games (11 league, 4 cup) to play as a minimum. We were facing 4 remaining home league games and 7 away trips. In cup competition, we we set to face FC Beaconsfield in the EBFL League Cup, had Legea Ultimate 11 Cup group stage games against AFC Winkfield and St Peters Iver left, as well as a semi-final against an unknown opponent in the Ascot & Fielden Charity Cup.

As a club we faced a year of hardship just trying to get games called on, with 11 fixtures called off due to poor weather or storms battering the UK, as well as teams not being able to field sides against us. The spread of the Coronavirus pandemic cancelled the remaining 11 Saturday's of the season, with the team also set for midweek games as we look to complete our schedule.

Statistics from our maiden season:

1) Between the start of the season on Saturday August 31st 2019 and the end of the season on Tuesday 17th March 2020, with the season coming to a close due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the team played a total of 16 matches (6 league, 10 cup) with an overall record of 10 wins, 3 draws and 5 losses.

2) We went unbeaten in EBFL Division 2 (3 wins, 1 walkover win, 3 draws and 0 losses), with the team conceding the fewest goals (7) of the 10 active teams in the league.

3) In all competitions, the team ended the season with a +9 goal difference, scoring 39 (14 league, 25 cup) whilst conceding 30 (7 league, 23 cup).

4) Leon Mannion finished as our top goal-scorer, netting 14 goals in 10 games. Leon scored 5 goals in EBFL Division 2, netting a hat-trick on his debut against Sandhurst U23's on September 2019, the first of two treble's for the Forward. 8 of Leon's goals for the club came in the Berks & Bucks FA Junior Cup, with Leon scoring in all 4 appearances in the competition.

5) The club's biggest win came on 28th September 2019 with an 8-1 home win over Barton Rovers in the first round of the BBFA Junior Cup. Leon Mannion (5), Sam Paddon (1), Seb Barton (1) and Callum Parr-Jones (1) scored the goals on that day, whilst Rod Stevens managed 3 assists in a single game, the most of any player.

6) The only player to feature in every game was Robert Austin. The General Secretary was the team's iron-man, playing all of the 1440 available minutes, at either left-back of central defence, providing 2 assists and 4 clean sheets across the season.

7) In EBFL Division 2, the team went behind in their final 4 league matches of the season, only to claw back results with second-half comebacks against Townmead (1-1), Stoke Poges Saints (4-2), Iver Heath Reserves (3-2) and Berks Elite (2-2).

8) Callum Fox-Spence was the only player to receive a red card during our first season, picking up a straight red after the full-time whistle during our 5-2 away win at Cressex on February 8th 2020 due to an altercation with a Cressex player. As a result, Fox-Spence missed the final 3 matches of the campaign.

9) Sam Paddon had contributions in both our first and last goals of the season. Paddon assisted Leon Mannion against Sandhurst in EBFL Division 2 on September 7th 2019, whilst scoring our last goal against Phoenix Old Boys on 14th March 2020.

10) Dominic Clarke was the only player to sign on for the club from another EBFL club, joining from Division 1 outfit AFC Winkfield, featuring in two games for the club. Clarke scored an own goal on his debut against Stoke Poges Saints on 7th March 2020, our only OG of the season, whilst Clarke provided an assist on his home debut against Phoenix Old Boys on 14th March 2020.

11) 4 players featured in all 6 EBFL Division league games - Robert Austin, Martin King, Rod Stevens and Callum Fox-Spence - whilst 24 players featured for the club in those 6 games.

12) Sam Paddon and Robert Austin were the only 2 players who featured in each of the club's 10 cup fixtures, with Paddon starting all bar one of the games.

13) Across our 16 games, a total of 32 players featured for the club in our maiden season.

14) Stephen Turey and Rhakim Keir (both 17) were the youngest players to play for the club, and the only players signed on under the age of 18.

15) Callum Parr-Jones played 12 games for the club and featured the most times as a substitute (7). CPJ was our second top-scorer this season having netted 6 times, with 3 goals scored from starting positions, as well as 3 coming off the bench.

16) In one entire season, the team only played one away match in EBFL Division 2, with the team drawing 0-0 away at Eton Wick on 21st September 2019.

17) The team did not receive a single sin-bin, yellow card or red card during our 6 EBFL league games, whilst we received 7 yellows in cup games, to 7 different players picking up a single caution each, with a solitary red card.

18) The team managed 4 clean sheets during its debut season, the last of which coming against Hagbourne United Reserves in the BBFA Junior Cup round of 16, with the team winning 1-0 at home.

19) A total of 22 games were called off, postponed or cancelled due to weather conditions or Coronavirus.

20) From the club's 16 games there were 12 unique scores, with a 4-0 scoreline (vs. Sandhurst and Twyford) and a 3-1 score (vs. Hanslope and Stoke Poges) the only final scores to repeat themselves.

21) Sam Paddon (6) and Rod Stevens (5) were the only 2 players in the squad to register 5 or more assists, with Paddon's 6 assists the most in the team.

22) Sam Paddon also received the most Man of the Match awards (3) in the team, with Rod Stevens and Jack Roche behind Paddon, collecting 2 MOTM awards each.

23) Joan Clemente (Spain) became the first overseas player to play for the club when he made his debut against Berks Elite in EBFL Division on 1st February 2020.

24) Dany Setiawan (Indonesia) became the first overseas player from outside the EU to appear for the club when he made his debut for the club on March 7th 2020 against Stoke Poges Saints.

25) Across 14 appearance for the club our Goalkeeper, Jack Roche, saved 1 penalty (vs. Burnham), made 48 saves and even provided an assist (vs. Cressex) in his debut season. Martin King appeared in goal on both occasions when Roche was not available.

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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk

All aboard.

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