Comag Matamata Swifts took their travelling fans on another journey of discovery at the weekend, before winning 4-3 at West Hamilton United to snap a three game winless streak in the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership.
Both teams began the game with goal scoring intent. West Hamilton created the first opening inside the first minute, before the Swifts grabbed hold of the game through clever use of the first half conditions. Great chances came and went before leading scorer, Chris Walker, fired the Swifts into a deserved lead just before the half hour mark.
The floodgates opened after the first goal. Jamie Baxter slotted home from the penalty spot only minutes later, before the hosts hit back after a Swifts defensive collision. But Matamata kicked on. Bjorn Vossen headed home from a corner before Glen Carmichael slotted home to give Matamata a 4-1 lead at the break.
As good as Matamata was going forward they also had to deal with a decent amount of pressure at the other end. Patrick Steele pulled off one smart save while West Hamilton also fired another glorious chance wide.
The second half was a slog for Matamata as the conditions deteriorated. With a firm, swirling breeze at their backs and a mucky surface underfoot, West Hamilton began bombing the ball long. The Swifts big men dealt with most of the pressure, but the hosts capitalised twice to make for an interesting finale.
At the other end, Dayne Willemsen hit the upright, while Carmichael, Walker and Brad West created openings, but no final killer goal, with their pace.
In the end, the result rather than the scoreline was important for the Swifts and the three points moved the team back into the top half of the table with games in hand over all the teams around them.
The young Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves held third placed Te Puke United to a 0-0 draw away from home. As it turned out, a point was the least the team deserved against a side that wasn’t terribly interested in playing football. The reserves created more chances but couldn’t quite manage to finish anything off. But the draw snapped their wretched recent run of results and will hopefully bring the shot of confidence the team needs to start putting some wins on the board.
The Swifts A team fell 3-0 to Cambridge in the only Saturday game played at the Domain. It was a disappointing result for a side that didn’t have the best of afternoons.
On Sunday, the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies continued their recent bright run with a 5-2 win at the Domain over Huntly Thistle. Patrice Morrison scored twice in the first half to give Matamata a narrow 2-1 lead at the break, before a second half hat trick from Mary Ontiveros, including a couple of long-range specials, allowed the team to run away with another impressive victory.
Huntly played a full part in an open game, with the difference being Matamata’s ability to do the right things, including sticking the ball in the back of the net, at the crucial times. Defensively the team was strong from open play, only getting caught out on set-pieces for the two goals.
The win sets Matamata up well for the second half of the season as they go in search of the Waikato Division A Bowl title.