The 2019 football season is slowly winding down. Three of Matamata Swifts’ senior teams were in action over the weekend, with varying results. Comag Matamata Swifts and Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves were both on the end of narrow defeats at Otumoetai on Saturday, while Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies completed a solid win in Hamilton.
The sea breeze played a key part in proceedings at Otumoetai’s Fergusson Park as both Swifts men’s teams competed well with it at their backs but failed to deal with the challenge when playing into it during the second halves of their games.
The Swifts began brightly against an Otumoetai side whose 2-0 win on the day confirmed their sport as runners-up in the 2019 Soccer Shop Premiership. Matamata created openings during the first 45 minutes but their slightly stronger, slightly better organised opponents had enough in them to ensure the match remained goalless at the break.
When the teams turned, Otumoetai stepped up their game, pressed and harried Matamata’s defenders and twice took advantage of openings created largely by pressure-enforced defensive errors. That was the difference between the two sides as Matamata wasn’t afforded the time and space offered by their recent run of opponents and they fell to their first defeat in seven games.
Two goals in the final ten minutes from Otumoetai’s reserves gave them a 3-2 win in the curtain raiser over a cobbled together Matamata Reserve team. Goals from Hayri Cihan and Mike Smith had the reserves in front as their final match of the season entered the closing stages, but their hosts managed the conditions better to eke out their victory.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Ladies defeated Claudelands Rovers 2-0 to maintain a top three position in Waikato Ladies’ Division 1.
Patrice Morrison rattled home from the penalty spot and Kerrie Cox nodded home a Maggie Leaver cross to ensure the Ladies were always on the front foot. Laura Fisher, in goal for Matamata, produced an assured display to ensure the team maintained the clean sheet that ensured victory.
The club has two games remaining to complete their 2019 season. Challenge Matamata Ladies play Waikato Unicol under lights t Cambridge on Wednesday, while Comag Matamata Swifts head to Tauranga Boys’ on Saturday.