The Matamata Domain was the place to be on Saturday if you wanted to see goals. Twenty one, in fact, flew into the back of the net in the three games involving the club’s men’s teams but they were all, unfortunately, in losing causes. Things didn’t get much better on Sunday as Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies’ Waikato Division 1 title charge suffered a blip with a 2-1 defeat at Otorohanga.

Saturday’s triple header saw Comag Matamata Swifts go down 3-0 to Te Puke United in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership, while Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves were defeated 7-4 by Cambridge and the Camel Kebab Matamata 3rds lost 5-2 to Otorohanga’s reserves.

The Swifts needed a result against Te Puke after a troubled recent run, but instead went behind early to a close range header. The visitors doubled their lead from a free-kick midway through the half from a goal that owed as much to a disintegrating defensive wall as it did the fine dead ball strike.

As has often been the case this season, the Swifts had a lot of the ball and created quality chances but were unable to capitalise. Matamata was handed a way back into the match not long before the break when they were awarded a penalty, but it was blasted over the bar and the chance to improve the mood was lost.

Te Puke continued to offer more urgency than the Swifts for large stages of the second half but, despite that, Matamata created the bulk of the clear-cut and half chances. Nothing went in however, as the visiting keeper pulled off several good saves while Matamata even contrived to miss an open goal from close range. It was another one of those days.

The visitors secured their victory midway through the second half after a rare break out led to a fine cross shot finish that underlined the work Matamata now needs to do to start moving back up the table.

The reserves led Cambridge 2-1 at the break thanks to goals from Ram Singh and Radge Avergonzado, before a mad second half that was fun for the fans but not so much for the coaches. The goals flowed as Cambridge equalised, then went ahead before Singh drew Matamata level again. Cambridge scored twice more to make it 5-3 before Singh completed his hat trick in drawing Matamata back within one goal. The visitors sealed the result with two late goals in an eleven goal thriller.

As the carnage in the reserves’ match was going on a rather sedate seven goals were being shared on the Domain’s field number two. Otorohanga’s reserves began strongly and actually led by four at one stage before Hayri Cihan and Firas Algharibeh halved the deficit to give the Swifts third team a sniff. A fifth Otorohanga goal snuffed out any hope of a comeback, however, in what was an open, end-to-end encounter.

Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies struggled in Otorohanga on Sunday as they came up against one of the strongest defensive efforts they’ve faced this year. Patrice Morrison scored the goal to take her 2019 tally into double figures, but Matamata battled to break down a powerful and well organised home side that deserved their 2-1 victory.