Comag Matamata Swifts returned from Huntly Thistle on the right side of the score line after Stephan Turnbull’s 90th minute goal secured an edgy, but thoroughly deserved 3-2 Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership victory on Saturday. Turnbull had quite the day, scoring twice for Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves at Ngaruawahia earlier in the day, before coming off the bench to be the Swifts’ match winner.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies ground out a 2-1 win at Northern United to keep their Waikato Ladies Division 1 title challenge alive ahead of this weekend’s top of the table clash with Waikato Unicol.
After struggling in recent games, the Swifts began brightly at Huntly. Anton Ganas’ goal inside the first ten minutes was reward for a period in which Matamata carved out a host of chances.
Huntly have had an excellent time of it in their return to the Premiership and underlined their resilience when they equalised right on half time then went ahead midway through the second half.
Matamata hit back fifteen minutes from the end when substitute, Finn Challis, pounced to draw them level, then Turnbull headed home as the match entered added time to secure an important three points as the season nears the top-six, bottom-six split.
With injuries biting, several late changes to the line-up, and having not tasted victory since early July, a win of any sort was welcome as it kept the Swifts just inside the top six.
Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves played some good football at Ngaruawahia. While the team went down 6-2, they had a decent looking goal ruled out and were unlucky on several further occasions.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies have found Northern United to be a difficult nut to crack in recent seasons and it was more of the same on Sunday.
Kerrie Cox and Maggie Leaver scored the goals that had the team in front at the break, but Northern hit back after half time to keep the margin close.
The conditions didn’t make things easy for either side and, on another day, Matamata could have had several more goals. But, with the usual amount of grit and character on show, the team keeps finding ways to win, grinding out a win that sets up a top of the table showdown against Waikato Unicol at the Domain this coming weekend.
The Good Merchant Players of the Day were Kyle van Waveren (Comag Matamata Swifts), Stephan Turnbull (Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves), and Mary Ontiveros (Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies).