The only match at the Domain over the weekend saw the Stanley Joinery Matamata Swifts welcome Taupo. It has been a hard slog so far this year as the young side has failed to really hit their straps. However they were looking to build on a match last week where, despite losing to the league leaders, they did finally find the net by putting four in. And for the opening stanza things were looking good. Chances may not have been free flowing but Matamata had the lion’s share of possession and most of it was at the right end of the field.
It wasn’t long, however, before the defensive frailties of last week reappeared. A clean one-on-one was hit straight at the Matamata keeper, but this did not appear to be enough of a warning sign. One on one became two on one, and despite some nervous finishing, Taupo found themselves up by one. And it was long before one became two. This time it was three Taupo players in on goal and there was little doubt about the finish on this occasion.
Matamata might consider themselves lucky that the half time break halted the Taupo momentum. Swinging around with a breeze behind them, it was a different Swifts side that appeared after the break. Once again, however, clear cut chances were a rare commodity. Taupo rarely looked like putting any steady pressure on the Matamata goal, though the Swifts were forced to scramble the odd break as the visitors looked to put the game away.
Just when the game appeared to be drifting towards its conclusion, however, everything happened at once. Scott Parsonage found himself in a little bit of space, some distance from goal and decided to have a go. With the Taupo keeper going one way, the ball took a wicked deflection and everyone watched as the ball rolled into the empty side of the net.
Parsonage did not have long to celebrate however, as his next involvement was in a sickening incident. Going up to win a header in the middle of park, a late charge and hit to the head saw Parsonage stricken on the turf. The straight red card for the Taupo player hardly seemed to compensate for an incident which has seen Parsonage with his cheek broken in three places, surgery to come this Thursday, and a return to football a long way off.
With both teams down to ten men – Matamata having already made their three substitutes and the support staff in no mood to allow Parsonage to return to the field, despite his desperate desire – the game became a lot more open.
It was a set play which saw the next chance however. Jamie Baxter hit the ball into the box from distance. A Taupo defender rose to head the ball clear from the top of his box but could only land a glancing blow and the ball looped over his own despairing keeper to level the scores.
Matamata pushed to find a late winner but, despite a late chance, the scoreline was to remain 2-2.
So a first point for the Swifts, in a match that still felt very similar to a loss, but most of all our wishes are with Scottie, hoping for a successful surgery and quick recovery. Man of the match went to Sam Masterson.
Click here for the match day programme.
|May 24, 2014||2:45 pm||Federation League Division 1||2014|
|7 Huia Street, Matamata 3400, New Zealand|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|#||Player||Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|6||Chris Powell 15||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|16||Lawrence Clothier 21||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|17||Ignacio Trias 18||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|15||Will Judson 6||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|18||Shaun Richardson 17||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|21||Callum Barr 16||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|