Draws were largely the order of the weekend as two of Matamata Swifts’ three teams in action were held by their opponents.
Comag Matamata Swifts needed a late equaliser from Andrew Clothier to ensure the team’s final Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership home game of the season finished 2-2, while on Sunday Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies were held 3-3 at Huntly Thistle.
The Swifts match against Melville United was a bright, open affair between two sides looking to both attack as well as mix it up physically in what was a fitting way to complete another season of football at the Matamata Domain.
The visitors took the lead twice, striking at the start of each half, but were pegged back on both occasions by goals from Andrew Clothier. His first, inside twenty minutes, owed much to the work of Chris Walker who was forced to hurdle a Melville defender before squaring to Clothier to knock the ball into an empty net. Walker also hit the Melville woodwork during the first half.
Matamata’s fans saw their keeper, Seamus Casey, pull off several good saves throughout the match. As time ticked away, however, it looked like the visitors’ go ahead goal five minutes after the restart would be the difference. But, with two minutes left, Clothier pounced. After the visitors failed to clear a long throw, Matamata’s wide man powered home with his weaker right foot.
The Swifts still have three games on the road left to complete their season, beginning this coming Saturday at Ngaruawahia United.
Saturday’s early game at the Domain provided a stark reminder of the difference between top and bottom in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Championship. Otorohanga, who had already wrapped up the title, did for Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves 11-0 thanks to a clinical display of finishing.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies faced a challenging journey to play Huntly Thistle. After losing two players to serious injury last weekend, and another to suspension, this test was never going to be easy, and it was expectedly made tougher by the hometown official.
Still, Matamata returned with a point from a 3-3 draw thanks to goals from Laura Fisher, Patrice Morrison and Maggie Leaver.