The curse of the Matamata Domain again struck Ngongotaha when a seemingly understrength Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts twice came from behind to hold the Premiership title challangers to a surprise draw. For the third season in a row Matamata pulled off a result against Ngongotaha at home and all three times the visitors had been well in the title frame.
This result was probably the most unlikely of the lot. Just a fortnight after winning at leaders, Cambridge, to put the title under their control, Ngongotaha would have firmly believed they’d break their curse. To compound matters, the Swifts were a much changed side from last week, due to injury and unavailability. After opening the scoring in the first minute Ngongotaha’s belief would have risen still further.
The Swifts hit back in the seventh minute through a superb long range Sam Masterson strike, showing there were signs of life in the home side, but Ngongotaha restored their lead two minutes later. Three goals inside a frantic first ten minutes left the fans wondering what would happen next.
Very little on the goal scoring front was the answer. The visitors created the better openings, with Swifts keeper Jordan Wise getting down to make a good save with his feet, and also seeing a whipped cross fizz wide of everyone. But the Swifts were competing well in midfield and defending with their lives, making things far more frustrating for Ngongotaha than they’d have expected.
Matamata rode their luck a little after the break, as Ngongotaha hit the upright then squandered a glorious opening, but they also threatened more going forward. Logan Allen’s pace out wide and Joe Tompsett’s industry up front kept Ngongotaha’s back four busy and when Andrew Clothier was tripped in the box with little more than fifteen minutes remaining the Swifts had their chance. Jamie Baxter converted from the penalty spot to set up a tense finish.
The Swifts held on for what could be one of the most crucial points for both teams this season. Matamata finally had some breaks, which was a nice change after recent weeks, but they were deserved after the positive effort and whole hearted commitment displayed by the side.
|August 1, 2015||2:45 pm||WaiBOP Premiership||2015|
|7 Huia Street, Matamata 3400, New Zealand|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|#||Player||Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|3||Sam Masterson 21||Defender||1||0||0||0|
|13||Lawrence Clothier 9||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Logan Allen 22||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|9||Murray McKenzie 13||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|21||Callum Barr 3||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|22||Cullen Tappin 14||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|