All four Swifts senior teams were back in action over the weekend, but the talk leading up to the latest set of games was about whether the club would have enough fit and available players to fulfil their scheduled fixtures. Thankfully the crisis, particularly prevalent across the men’s teams, eased just enough to allow the club to send teams to various parts of the Waikato. In a couple of cases, however, results were quite severe.
Comag Matamata Swifts picked up another point with a 2-2 draw at fellow mid-table side, Melville United. The Swifts are quickly becoming The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership’s draw specialists, with this being their fifth in nine league games.
Melville had taken a one goal lead into half time after having the better of the first half but Chris Walker, working his way back to full fitness, equalised ten minutes into the second half after a goal mouth scramble.
The hosts retook the lead soon after, however, when they (maybe) broke the off-side trap but defender Chris Monteith equalised for Matamata with less than twenty minutes remaining.
While proving hard to beat, this season is already shaping up as something of a what-might-have-been had some of those draws been converted into wins. That’s the negative viewpoint, however. The positive way of looking at things is that the team has a tight knit group of players who are prepared to play through injuries, where humanly possible, to ensure the club remains competitive at Premiership level. Hopefully the team will be closer to full strength and full fitness in the near future.
Waharoa Transport Swifts drew the shortest of straws. Already struggling for numbers in previous games, they headed to an Otorohanga side that had beaten WaiBOP Championship leaders Waikato Unicol 8-0 in their last match. It was to be a chastening afternoon for the reserves as the hosts went four goals better this time in winning 12-0.
Camel Kebab Swifts 3rds also suffered as they went down 5-1 at Te Awamutu against a side that, if at close to full strength, they would have been confident of getting a result against. Jamie Cox scored the team’s consolation goal in a match the team will be keen to move quickly on from.
The weekend’s theme continued on Sunday as Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies headed to Hamilton missing several regulars, but Maggie Leaver’s early, early strike meant they headed home with a 1-0 win that kept their Waikato Division 1 title run on track.
Their opponents, a Waikato Unicol that had put Matamata out of the Waikato Cup several weeks ago, put in a confident, physical performance on a surface that made Pohlen Park look like a football ground rather than the cow paddock those responsible for maintaining it have allowed it to become. But Matamata, with the goal to defend, put in gritty performance to repulse everything the students could throw at them.
Patrice Morrison and Chrissy Goodin put in solid performances for the side while a great late save by goalie, Lisa Dunn, typified Matamata’s defensive effort.
Photo: Lawrence Gullery.