Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies completed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Claudelands Rovers on Sunday to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2020 football season.
First half goals from Shania Stewart, a bullet which was her first of the season, and Kerrie Cox effectively sealed the result for a Swifts Ladies team who could, on another day, have scored a few more. They weren’t needed, however, as Matamata’s rear-guard was comfortable in dealing with any pressure that came their way.
April Donnelly, in her first full 90 minutes after an early-season injury, was outstanding while Christie McCollam also featured in another solid team performance.
It was a different story on Saturday as both Comag Matamata Swifts and Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves tasted home defeat.
A patched up Comag Matamata Swifts fell behind early on to a deflected effort from visitors Otorohanga and withstood a heap of first half pressure as the visitors looked to use the heavy breeze to their advantage. Goalie, Kyle van Waveren, was called on to make several outstanding saves.
The Swifts were far stronger after the break, controlling more of the game and limiting the previously threatening visitors to the occasional counter attack and shot from distance.
Otorohanga doubled their lead inside the final twenty minutes from one such counter and the game looked done, but the Swifts hit back with fifteen minutes left. Finn Challis played in Anton Ganas who struck his second goal of the season bringing Matamata back to life.
Five minutes later Ganas was hauled down in the box by Otorohanga’s goalie and it looked certain the Swifts would have a chance to equalise from the spot, but the man in the middle thought otherwise despite receiving the correct advice from his better positioned assistant.
Matamata continued to push during the game’s final stages but couldn’t force an equaliser, then saw Otorohanga seal their 3-1 victory deep into added time.
In the early game, Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves were defeated 4-2 by Claudelands in their open, entertaining Waikato Division 1 match. The visitors took a two goal lead into the break, but gave as good as they got during the second half. Ethan Davis struck twice for Matamata but Claudelands had enough quality to see themselves home.
Good Merchant Players of the Day this weekend were Dwayne Signal (Comag Matamata Swifts), Christie McCollam (Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies) and Rob Cox (Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves).