Old Blues 1-0 Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts were undone by a quality finish in their latest WaiBOP Premiership match at Tauranga’s Old Blues but will be rueing, not for the first time this season, several wasted opportunities that could have won them three vital points.
The match itself was far from a free flowing classic. It was ruined by the rugged surface that left long ball football as the only productive way to attack. Unfortunately, the Swifts lack of size means that is far from ideal and too often the team was well beaten in the air.
Both sides had opportunities in the first 20 minutes to open the scoring, with Andrew Clothier firing a dipping shot just over from distance for the Swifts, whose best opportunity came just after the half hour mark through Logan Allen. Played clean through, Allen elected to shoot from the edge of the area on the untrustworthy surface but the ball went just wide.
The game’s only goal came moments before the break. While the Swifts’ should have dealt with the ball in, the turn and finish was one the game’s few touches of class.
Matamata didn’t give up during an even second half. Andrew Clothier had a stinging shot well saved and the Swifts failed to get more than half a touch on a teasing late cross, while the hosts also had several good chances, including one that was cleared off the line.
A win would have moved the Swifts back into the top five of a congested table, but instead they remain eighth in the twelve team Premiership. Another opportunity lost.
West Hamilton 2-1 Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves ran title favourites West Hamilton extremely close on Saturday and could consider themselves a little unlucky not to come away with something from Saturday’s encounter.
The reserves played well during the first half, opening up their highly rated opponents several times but they failed to get the crucial goal. Josh Oed was in the thick of the action.
West Hamilton opened the scoring from the spot not long before he break. Disappointingly, there were plenty of question marks around the awarding of the penalty, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the match.
The hosts doubled their lead in the second half when a looping header found its way over Matt Aberhart in the Matamata goal but, after a triple substitution with 20 minutes left, the team hit back. Ronan Costello, back in the side after a month away, finished some fine Viraj Kumar work powerfully at the far post.
The reserves finished strong but couldn’t quite manage to force a second goal. While defeat was disappointing, the team can be well pleased with their efforts in matching probably the best team in the league.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies 1-2 Cambridge
Waikato Ladies Cup
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies have been knocked out of the Waikato Ladies Cup at the first hurdle after a classic cup tie against Cambridge on Sunday.
These two sides are competing neck and neck for second spot in Waikato Ladies Division B, so a close encounter was always on the cards. That’s how it proved in the first half, as both teams created opportunities but could find the composure to open the scoring.
Cambridge opened the scoring not long into the second half, but Matamata came back with a fine strike from Annemieke Verstraten to level things up and set the match up for a rollicking finish. Both teams continued to create openings, but it was the visitors who found the winner through a superb curling strike from outside the box. It was a goal worthy of winning any game.
For Matamata, Rebecca Stewart and Morgan Norris were strong and composed at the back, while Verstraten and Krystal Morrison looked threatening going forward. Patrice Adamson and Kerrie Cox provide the experience and composure in the middle of the park and Tania Meehan did a great job in goal, with regular keeper Ana Paterson injured and unavailable.
The team will now compete for the Waikato Plate, a trophy they won in 2013.
Juniors: Open Grade – Hillcrest United 0-3 Matamata Hornets (Hornets scorers: Sam Hills 2, Dom Hardie. Player of the Day (POD): Dom Hardie); Huntly 3-8 Matamata Tigers (Tigers’ scorers: Raymond Davis 3, Will Benefield 2, Jordan Griffiths 2, Reuben Davis. POD: Raymond Davis); Hillcrest United 4-3 Matamata Falcons (Falcons’ scorers: Tia Tuhakaraina, Reuben Kemp, Blake Bell. POD: Matthew Richardson). 11th Grade –Matamata Jets 3-3 Western United (Jets’ POD: Chris). 10th Grade – Hamilton Marist 0-5 Matamata Dragons; Glenview 3-2 Matamata Strikers (Strikers’ scorer: Anshil Dayal 2. POD: Anshil Dayal). 9th Grade –Matamata Rebels 9-0 Hamilton North (Rebels’ scorers: Dylan Brown 5, Brodie Rooney 2, Jack Tims, Liam Costello-McVeigh. POD: Charlotte Salisbury); Matamata Eagles 1-1 Cambridge (Eagles’ scorer: Jason Li. PODs: Lucas Baukema & Nathan Barlow). 8th Grade – Matamata Magpies 3-4 Tauwhare (Magpies’ scorers: Eloise Assen, Harrison Smith, Nathan Quinn, Jamie Suisted. POD: Nathan Quinn).