Matamata Swifts’ senior sides all secured important victories on a wet and wild weekend of football.
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 1-0 Tauranga City United
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts snapped a three game losing streak with the narrowest of victories on Saturday.
After sliding down the table in recent weeks the Swifts badly needed a win to improve their battered confidence. The difficult conditions, due to the weather that hit the region over the weekend, didn’t help things, but when Andrew Clothier fired home his third goal of the season just after the half hour mark the Swifts finally had something to hold onto.
That they did was due in large part to the Swifts putting in a much improved defensive effort this week, as evidenced by the team producing only their second clean sheet of the season. The back four of Gary Dobson, Jackson Allen, Michael Dawson and Joe Tompsett looked more assured, while the Swifts midfield screened them well.
The visitors, who are in the midst of a relegation battle, didn’t let Matamata have things all their own way in what was ultimately a reasonably tight encounter.
The local fans who braved the conditions will be heartened by the Swifts’ effort and will be looking for further improvement over the final couple of months of the season.
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves 3-2 Tauranga Old Blues
Richardson Racing Stables Matamata Swifts reserves overcame a half time deficit to defeat Old Blues reserves 3-2 in the early game at the Matamata Domain.
A massive downpour just before kick-off didn’t halt proceedings, but it was the visitors who adapted best form the start. They struck an early goal but the reserves hit back thanks to Brad West’s first goal of the season. The visitors went ahead again and carried their lead into the break.
Not long after the break West was felled in the box by the visitor’s keeper, who made amends by saving Shaun Richardson’s resulting spot kick. It wasn’t long before the reserves found a deserved equaliser, however. Lawrence Clothier volleyed home a Will Judson cross to tie things up for the second time.
The winner came with about fifteen minutes left. The reserves won a corner which Logan Raynel whipped in and Chris Monteith nodded home for his first senior goal. That proved decisive as the reserves had already shut down the visitors as an attacking threat.
Unicol 0-3 Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies
Waikato Ladies Division B
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies team bounced back from last weekend’s shock defeat with a stirring victory at a windswept Waikato University.
Matamata managed to deal with the conditions better than their hosts. They headed into half time with a narrow lead, thanks to a fine Annemieke Verstraten goal, then pressed on after the break.
Chloe Verstraten doubled Matamata’s lead right after half time with a goal that ultimately proved decisive. The victory was made complete when Ana Paterson, the team’s regular keeper, fired home to make it three.
The win pushes Matamata back up to second but they’ll have to wait until the final positions are confirmed. Third placed Cambridge could still jump ahead of them, but they’d have to beat runaway leaders, Hamilton Wanderers, in a game that was postponed until later on in the season.
The ladies always seem to respond well to any setback they’ve suffered this season, as underlined by this result. This character holds them in good stead for their remaining matches, which begin with a first round Waikato Cup match against Cambridge at the Domain this Sunday.