Comag Matamata Swifts have opened their 2018 account following a tense 1-0 home win over Waikato Unicol on Saturday.

Brad West’s neat 70th minute finish ultimately proved to be the difference between the sides in a match that could have seen more goals at both ends. The Swifts were much improved on their opening two showings and could have been in front as early as the first minute. Both sides hit the woodwork during a goalless first half played at a good tempo.

The visitors were always a threat going forward and created several good opportunities after the break, their strongest spell of the game. Once West had put the Swifts in front Unicol, by necessity, became more desperate which, in turn, left them more open and should have led to further Swifts goals. Matamata came closest to grabbing the game’s second goal when Sean Kipping rattled the cross bar late on.

Matamata put in a solid defensive shift, with the clean sheet great reward for goalie Matt Aberhart and his defence. Further forward, Matamata moved the ball well.

In the early game, Waharoa Transport Matamata reserves fell to a 3-2 defeat against Unicol’s reserves. The visitors scored at either end of the first half, sandwiching a goal from Hayri Cihan to lead narrowly at the break. The match was halted for 20 minutes during the early stages of the second half following a serious injury to Finn Challis, but once play resumed it didn’t take long for Matamata to restore parity once again. This time it was leading scorer, Ronan Costello, who bundled the ball home. The visitors’ winner came late on after Matamata had done well to repel a Unicol onslaught.

On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies recovered from a two goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Tokoroa. The hosts struck twice during the first half before Matamata kicked themselves into life. Renee Graumans, a hat trick hero last week, netted again and was joined on the scoresheet by Pam Guzman as Matamata grabbed a deserved share of the points.

The result maintained the team’s solid start to the season and sees them well positioned near the top of Waikato’s top division.

Matamata’s 3rd team made it two from two following a 3-1 win at Voyle Park Rangers. John Harris grabbed a double and Max Hill scored the side’s third as they continued their good form in this season’s Waikato Sunday League.