Comag Matamata Swifts missed a golden opportunity to get right back in the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership title race on Saturday. The Swifts conceded twice in the final ten minutes of their match at Otumoetai to lose 2-1 and instead stay in mid-table.
Sam Masterson’s 20th minute goal from a well worked corner put the Swifts, who looked remarkably comfortable at what is traditionally a tricky venue for them, in front. Reuben Wigelsworth smashed a shot from distance into the cross bar as the match neared half time, while Dayne Willemsen also had a great opportunity only to see the home side’s keeper recover well.
Matamata should have doubled their lead midway through the second half, but Jamie Baxter saw his penalty saved in what turned out to be the pivotal moment of the match.
Otumoetai, who looked anything but a side that had won five games in a row, kicked into gear as the game headed into its death throes. They nabbed an equaliser in the 80th minute when the Swifts failed to clear a corner, before landing the killer blow three minutes into injury time.
In the early game, a Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves packed with youth team players fell 3-2 to Otumoetai’s reserves. Goals from Jeremy Pope and Sukvir Singh had the reserves ahead at the break but the hosts, who now sit in the WaiBOP Championship’s top three, struck back to gain the sort of result that is a window into the reserves’ season. On a positive note a couple more youngsters, Sam Hills and Adam Harris, had the opportunity to be involved in senior football in a move that can only help their development.
The Swifts A team brought a point back from Hamilton after a 2-2 draw against West Hamilton United’s reserves. Rob Cox and Ronan Costello scored for the A team.
On Sunday, the Challenge Matamata Swifts ladies fell to a 2-0 defeat at Claudelands Rovers in what was their first loss since late-April. The Ladies never got going in what was a challenging and reasonably spiteful match against determined opposition. The end of a long unbeaten run is always disappointing, but the team has the chance to bounce back when they return home this Sunday.