Comag Matamata Swifts rebounded from their defeat in Taupo with a hard fought, incident packed 2-1 victory over West Hamilton United on Saturday.
The Swifts welcomed back 2017 Loaded WaiBOP Premiership top scorer, Chris Walker, as a direct replacement for captain Dayne Willemsen and it was Walker’s opening goal that separated the sides after a tense first half.
The visitors had more possession and forced countless corners during the first half, but did little with their advantage. Matamata, with new captain Bjorn Vossen to the fore, dealt with the set-pieces and countless other long balls better than they have for most of the season and that defensive resilience was rewarded with Walker’s goal on the counter three minutes before the break.
After the break the game opened up a bit more. Matamata eventually took advantage of the visitors’ desperation when Brad West doubled their lead with a neat drive inside the final twenty minutes.
There was further late drama as one of West Hamilton’s players was seriously injured and, during the long delay, Vossen was shown his second yellow card for an unrelated incident. When the match finally resumed West Hamilton, with a one man advantage, found a goal their performance merited but the Swifts held on for a much needed three points.
Waharoa Transport Swifts reserves returned from Hamilton with a point after a 3-3 draw with Waikato Unicol reserves. Goals from Ronan Costello, with two headers, and Hayri Cihan saw the reserves hold a 3-0 lead at one point but Unicol came back strong and eventually found an equaliser late on.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts halted their recent poor run after a 0-0 draw with Northern United at the Domain. The results was built on the back of a solid defensive showing, with keeper Matty Turlington to the fore, while Gemma Watson was another standout performer on the day.
The Swifts 3rd team lost 4-3 to Scottbuild Pirates after extra time in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup Plate. Down by two goals at one point, the game ended regular time at 3-3 thanks to goals from Shaun Richardson 2 and Jeremy Pope, but the Pirates struck early in extra time and held on to progress over a tiring Matamata outfit.