Comag Matamata Swifts slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cambridge on Saturday, which was a result that sent the visitors to the top of the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership table and left the Swifts marooned in mid-table.
Matamata took the lead 20 minutes into a tight, scrappy match that had few real openings to that point. Brad West was upended in the box leading to a penalty kick, which Jamie Baxter comfortably converted.
The visitors, after a slow start, started to gain a bit more control, forcing a number of free kicks and corners which, by and large, the Swifts dealt comfortably with. It was from a corner three minutes before the break, however, that the visitors scrambled home their equaliser after Matamata failed to clear.
Cambridge got the game’s decisive goal ten minutes after half time when they broke down the Swifts right to convert. Matamata should have been back on level terms almost immediately, but leading scorer Chris Walker shot over when put through.
The visitor’s defence tightened up as they determined to see the game out and claim the three valuable points. The Swifts biggest strength going forward – their pace – was somewhat nullified by the heavy conditions and their organised opponents.
In the early game, Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves lost 5-0 to the WaiBOP Championship’s leaders, Cambridge Reserves. All the goals came in the first half, with the visitors proving clinical while Matamata was more than a little wasteful in front of goal. The Reserves tightened up after the break, putting in a more assured and composed showing.
The Swifts A team also tasted home defeat on Saturday, losing 3-1 to Waihi to be knocked out of the Waikato Plate. The visitors scored the first half’s only goal, before doubling their lead after the break. Kyle van Waveren gave the A team hope when he pulled a goal back but Waihi secured passage to the semi-finals with a third strike late on.
On Sunday a depleted Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies lost 5-1 at home to Hamilton Wanderers in a result that severely dented their Waikato Bowl title hopes. Maggie Leaver scored the team’s solitary goal on an otherwise challenging afternoon for the team.