It was another relatively bleak weekend on the results front for Matamata Swifts’ senior football teams. Comag Matamata Swifts let in a late, late equaliser to secure a draw from a match they should have won comfortably, while the three other teams all tasted narrow defeats.
Matamata Swifts’ Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership match against Tauranga Boys’ College FC was their season in microcosm. The visitors struck from a corner four and a half minutes into added time to level the match at 1-1 on an afternoon Matamata had created probably the most clear cut chances yet in what is turning out to be the most frustrating of seasons.
Tauranga, as expected, were lively and energetic but once the Swifts, who were again forced to make a host of changes due to injury and illness, settled into their work they seemed the most likely team to score. In the first half alone Matamata hit three close range shots over the bar, missed a penalty, hit the woodwork twice and had a goal ruled out for off-side by the referee, not his assistant.
Not to be out done, the Swifts’ second half effort was equally as profligate but at least they struck the goal that should have been enough to secure all three points. In between hitting the woodwork again, missing two one-on-ones and having another goal ruled out for off-side, Nicolas San Martan, on debut, struck from close range to give the Swifts a well overdue lead.
But this is a season in which Matamata has made a habit of drawing games. After firing several second half warning shots, including one superb header that was well saved by Swifts keeper Seamus Casey, a lack of concentration on the final play of the game, a defensive corner, let Tauranga in for the equaliser.
Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves returned from Tokoroa having put in a heartening performance only to end up on the wrong side of a 2-1 defeat. Ram Singh was again on the score sheet, his seventh goal in only a handful of games since returning from injury, on what was another equally encouraging and frustrating afternoon for the reserves.
Camel Kebab Matamata 3rds also fielded a threadbare squad due to the club-wide injury crisis and also played well. In the end they didn’t quite have the fire power to overcome the visiting West Hamilton, losing 2-0 when they could, perhaps, have had more.
It was more of the same on Sunday when Challenge Matamata Ladies travelled to Cambridge looking to maintain their Waikato Division 1 title charge, only to lose 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets of the season. It wasn’t one of the team’s better performances of the season, but another strike from Maggie Leaver put Matamata in a position to take something from the match.
The team was given a great opportunity to escape with a draw when they were awarded a penalty with what would be the final kick of the match. Unfortunately, in what is becoming something of a club-wide curse, the shot was missed and with it the chance to keep pace with the top two.