Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts have progressed out of the qualifying round of the 2015 ASB Chatham Cup, New Zealand’s nationwide knock-out cup competition, after an extra time victory over Auckland opposition. This Sunday excursion was something of a trip into the unknown for the Swifts, as they knew little about their opponents and, after a last minute venue change to Bill McKinley Park’s artificial turf, were confronted with a surface most would not have played on before.
This was compounded by a number of forced personnel and positional changes, which led to a pretty rough opening half hour or so for the Swifts as they struggled to adapt. The visitors went close to taking the lead during the opening exchanges, before grabbing a deserved goal in the 11th minute when an unmarked attacker was given the run of the Swifts 18 yard box.
With a gale at their back the Wanderers forced most of the play during the first half but Sunday League quality finishing from the home side meant Swifts keeper, Jordan Wise, was rarely called on to make anything more than a regulation save. He had to be sharp on one occasion, however, when diving at the feet of an advancing attacker.
The Wanderers visibly tired as half time neared, allowing the Swifts several opportunities to break out and attack their goal. Ronan Costello found himself on the end of one of these raids and knocked home the equaliser only a couple of minutes before the break.
The second half settled into a pattern of the Wanderers getting caught off side and the Swifts over hitting passes, which meant not too much of any great consequence took place. The nearest either side came to scoring was when the trusty left boot of Matamata’s Jamie Baxter smashed a quick free kick into the Wanderers’ upright.
Neither side really looked capable of a further 30 minutes, but that was necessary as the match finished level at one apiece. The Swifts made most of the running during extra time and went ahead in the 98th minute when substitute, Logan Allen, finished off a neat counter attack. The Swifts held on from there, despite a nervous final period when the Wanderers threw everything at them, aided by five additional minutes at the end of the second period of extra time.
Satisfyingly for Matamata, along with the victory, two more youngsters were handed their senior debuts. Hugh Budge started at left back while Luis John came on as a late sub for Brad West.
|April 26, 2015||2:00 pm||Chatham Cup||2015|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|#||Player||Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|6||Chris Powell 18||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|7||Brad West 11||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|13||Lawrence Clothier 14||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|11||Luis John 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Logan Allen 13||Forward||1||0||0||0|
|18||Shaun Richardson 6||Forward||0||0||0||0|