The two Swifts men’s team bagged courageous 1-0 wins on the road at the weekend on Saturday, while on Sunday, the Swifts Ladies welcomed a Football Fern to the Domain.
Katikati 0-1 Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts
Young Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts striker, Joe Tompsett, had an eventful afternoon as his team battled the conditions, desperate opponents and some interesting decisions to give interim coach, Paul Richardson his second win on the trot.
Tompsett scored the only goal of the game 26 seconds in, then found himself very harshly sent off with more than half an hour to go. The goal, Tompsett’s first for the Swifts, was excellent reward for his work rate, while everyone at the ground expected the red card to be shown to Katikati’s goalkeeper for his part in the clash between the two.
It wasn’t the only overly physical incident on an afternoon where Katikati, having lost eight games in a row, despairingly attempted to bully the young Swifts side out of the game. That tactic didn’t pay off as Matamata held their composure, with Jackson Allen and Chris Monteith, in his first start for the 1st team, both standing out.
On an afternoon where the senior squad was stretched through injury and unavailability, this was an impressively mature performance from a Swifts team that included ten players aged under 20.
Matamata now has three home games in a row to finish the season and, after gaining confidence from two solid victories, will be looking to finish the season strong.
Tokoroa 0-1 Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves
The much changed Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves snaffled a deserved win in Tokoroa, which positions them to move into the top six of the WaiBOP Championship come the end of the season.
After having the best of the first half and being unlucky not to be in front come half time, Viraj Kumar scored the only goal just seconds after the restart. Ronan Costello got forward and headed onto the upright and the rebound fell perfectly to Kumar who smashed home.
The hosts had their best spell midway through the second half, but the reserves defended well then found their second win to finish strongly. Josh Oed and Costello went close to doubling Matamata’s lead before young sub, Alex Mukaka, was almost cut in half by Tokoroa’s goalie, but no penalty came.
To get two results away from home with such a young senior squad speaks volumes for the work done throughout the season and the increasing consistency shown by the club’s youngsters, in particular. The reserves also have three games to end the season, including a chance to influence the Championship’s title race.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies 0-2 Claudelands Rovers
Waikato Women’s Division B
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies faced an unexpected challenge on Sunday, when the visiting Claudelands Rovers side turned up with Football Fern, Helen Collins, as part of their playing squad.
It’s not often the best women’s player in the Waikato turns out in Waikato Division B, but it gave the Swifts Ladies a great opportunity to test themselves against a player of real class. And for the most part Matamata did well.
Rovers were a solid physical outfit, however, and proved difficult to break down. At the other end, the visitors potted a goal in each half – one to Collins and the second set up by her – to secure their victory.
Matamata’s main focus for the end of the season is the Waikato Plate final, which is to be played next Sunday when the team takes on Hamilton North. The team will be looking to win the Plate for the second time in three seasons.
Open Grade: Matamata Hornets 1-0 Claudelands (Hornets’ scorer: Cameron Wright. Player of the Day: Cameron Wright); Matamata Tigers 6-2 (Tigers’ scorers: Will Benefield 2, Brodie Cleaver, Jordan Griffiths 2, Jamie Jones. POD: Jamie Jones); Peachgrove 3-0 Matamata Falcons.
11th Grade: Te Awamutu 1-11 Matamata Jets.
10th Grade: Matamata Dragons 1-0 Wanderers (Dragons’ scorer: Jake Fannin. POD: Kristian Evdokimov); Cambridge 3-0 Matamata Strikers (Strikers’ POD: George O’Callaghan).
9th Grade: Matamata Rebels 3-1 Hillcrest (Rebels’ scorers: Dylan Brown 2, OG); Matamata Eagles 2-3 Glenview (Eagles scorers: Jamie Scott, Joshua Martin. POD: Haydn Logie).
8th Grade: Woodstock 7-0 Matamata Magpies (Magpies’ POD: Caley van de Veen).