Matamata Swifts senior teams again picked up two wins from three matches over the weekend. Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies continued their Waikato Ladies Division 1 charge with another victory and Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves dominated for their third victory of the campaign. In the show-piece game in Rotorua, however, Comag Matamata Swifts faltered during the second half of their match at the International Stadium.
Comag Matamata Swifts match against Waiariki was a curious affair. It ended 4-0 to the hosts, who finished their chances well, but the re-jigged Swifts were left to rue their missed opportunities and inability to take full advantage of their weight of possession.
An early penalty gave Waiariki something to hold onto, but it always seemed only a matter of time before the Swifts would get themselves back into the game. Unfortunately, the side doesn’t currently possess a natural goal scorer and when some uncharacteristically generous defending helped the hosts extend their lead after the break the game was up.
Matamata’s showing was generally positive but, in a game that’s all about scoring and not conceding goals, when you don’t score and you concede a bit too easily you tend to struggle.
Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves made no race of it in dispatching Waihi 6-0 for the team’s best win of the 2020 season. Ben Johnson was the star turn, grabbing a personal haul of four goals and finishing of some great work from the rest of the team.
The reserves led by a single goal at the break, and it could have been closer but the visitors missed from the spot. Four goals in ten second half minutes, however, finished them off. Ethan Davis and Facundo Messano also found the back of the net to help boost the margin of victory and move the team safely into mid-table ahead of the start of the second round this Saturday.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies cemented their spot in the top two of Waikato Division 1 with a 3-0 victory at Otorohanga. Maggie Leaver, with two, and Annemieke Verstraten scored the goals that helped the team pass this test at what has traditionally been a tough venue.
Again it was a solid effort all over the park as the ladies worked hard for each other to not only create goal scoring opportunities but also preserve an important clean sheet. The players stood up well to the physical approach of the determined home side and had enough quality to take their chances when they arrived.
The Good Merchant Players of the Day were Adam Harris (Comag Matamata Swifts), Patrice Morrison and Bobbie Basalaj (Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies) and Ben Johnson (Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves).