Here’s a summary of all this weekend’s Matamata Swifts senior football action.
Papamoa 1-1 Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts
The Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts were stung by an 89th minute equaliser causing them to fall just short of bagging back-to-back WaiBOP Premiership victories.
But after taking the lead from a corner in the 55th minute, the Swifts had done well to hold their hosts scoreless that long. Jamie Baxter saw his wicked corner deflected into the Papamoa goal by one of the home side’s defenders but Papamoa hit back hard, hitting the woodwork twice before their late breakthrough.
In what was, for the most part, a disjointed game, for some reason both sides struggled to play compelling football on the vast Gordon Spratt Reserve. The surface was good, however, which makes it difficult to explain the lack of crispness or intensity form either side.
Having gone ahead, the Swifts will be disappointed not to have held on for the win, particularly after substitute Shaun Richardson had seemingly doubled the Swifts lead from an on-side position only moments before the equaliser, only to see the flag raised. At this stage of the side’s development, however, collecting points is important, so a draw is not the end of the world.
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Te Awamutu 2-3 Matamata Swifts Reserves
The Swifts reserves recovered from a two goal half time deficit for the second week running, and this time they completed the job courtesy of Ronan Costello’s 89th minute winner at Te Awamutu.
It was deja vu time for the reserves as they fell two goals behind during the first half, but their performance had been good and the coaching staff had confidence the young side could mount a stirring comeback. They did so in style, and it began when Logan Raynel side-footed his first senior goal five minutes into the second half after a fine move.
The reserves then proceeded to batter their opponents but it took until the 82nd minute to finally find the equaliser. Rob Cox swept it home from one of a string of corners to set up a grandstand finish, which Costello completed by slamming home the winner in emphatic style as time ran out.
This performance and result helped underline the side’s improvement, particularly in the younger members with little experience at this level. The more senior football they play the stronger and more consistent they’ll become. Their development will be worth tracking as the season progresses.
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Te Awamutu 0-3 Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies
Waikato Ladies Division B
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies team began their 2015 campaign in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 away win over one of their biggest rivals.
The team has new coaching staff this season and, with only one pre-season match under their belt, the first match was always going to be something of a step into the unknown. But the team delivered on its promise at the first time of asking, carrying on from where they left off at the end of 2014.
Annemieke Verstraten, Patrice Adamson and Krystal Morrison netted the goals for the Swifts Ladies in a match that was initially tight, but saw increasing Matamata dominance as it progressed. The Swifts held a vital single goal lead at the break and were able to pick their opponents off during the second half to secure the three points.
Equally as pleasing as the three goals would have been the clean sheet which ensured the perfect beginning to what is a season full of promise for the team.