Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 3-1 Tauranga Old Blues
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts maintained their unbeaten start to the 2016 WaiBOP Premiership season with an energetic 3-1 victory over their visitors from Tauranga, Old Blues.
This was a bruising encounter, as it always is against this opposition, but unlike in recent seasons the Swifts were able to rise above that and ease themselves to a well-deserved win.
The visitors began strongly, opening the scoring inside ten minutes then going close again not long after, but that was about it for them until late on as the Swifts first forced themselves into the game, then took over control. Dwayne Signal, who had an eventful match, nodded Matamata level on the half hour mark after getting on the end of a Jamie Baxter free kick, before Joe Tompsett was felled in the box by Old Blues’ keeper five minutes later.
Baxter tucked the penalty away to give the Swifts the lead, but would have been a little surprised to have been taking his spot kick against a keeper who should not have been on the field. Last defender… no-one else in sight… goal scoring opportunity… usually a red.
Matamata continued to keep their visitors at arm’s length after the break before sealing victory with just over 20 minutes left. Energetic substitute, Callum Barr, got on the end of a Swifts counter to nudge home his team’s third goal. The Swifts were denied a fourth when substitute Jordane Lambert, in his first match, rattled the cross bar from distance, before Barr was felled in the aftermath in what looked like a clear penalty… which was not given.
After waiting four weeks for his international clearance to come through, Frenchman Lambert showed glimpses of what’s to come in his brief cameo. [Yes Old Blues, his clearance came through before the match. If you’d just have asked we could have saved you calling the Fed :).]
Jordan Wise made a full stretch save late on to keep the score at 3-1 before Signal, who’d been booted all over the park, was shown red for a ‘vicious’ challenge in the final minute.
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves 1-1 Old Blues reserves
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves got their first point of the season on Saturday after being held to a 1-1 draw against Old Blues reserves in the early game at the Matamata Domain.
The reserves put in an improved performance this week, with only their lack of ability to put the ball in the net, which is kind of important, letting them down. In an open first half, the reserves created the greater number of goal scoring opportunities, by quite some margin, but were made to pay for their profligacy when the visitors hit the lead right on half time.
Josh Oed drew the reserves level not long into the second half and, while the second half was a more even affair, they will be disappointed not to have taken more from the match.
The Swifts reserves’ midfield trio of Dan Harrison, Reuben Wigelsworth and Logan Raynel all had strong games. Oed could easily have had a hat trick if his radar had been working, while the defence, save for one moment of hesitancy that led to the goal, kept the door firmly shut on their opponents.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies 1-1 Unicol
WaiBOP Women’s Division
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies picked up their first point of the season after a 1-1 draw with Waikato Unicol on Sunday.
Both goals were scored in the second half, with Matamata’s coming from a well taken Patrice Adamson free kick. Matamata created a good number of chances against their youthful opponents but just couldn’t quite manage to claim a second goal that would have secured the win.
The defence, led by April Donnelly, held strong when they needed to keep the visitors out.
Matamata Swifts ‘A’ 0-1 Claudelands Rovers
Waikato Division A
The Swifts ‘A’ team was involved in a far tighter match on Saturday than the opening two games of their season, but ended up losing to Claudelands Rovers by the narrowest of football margins – 1-0.
With a far more organised defensive effort, the A team soaked up pressure and also had goalie, Matt Aberhart, in inspired form. The visitors got the game’s only goal just before the break, while Jason Lawrence went close to equalising early in the second half.
Despite the result, the A team will be encouraged by their much improved performance.