Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts completed a delicious 2-0 derby day win over Cambridge on Saturday to move to second, at least temporarily, in the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership standings.
This was always likely to be a tasty encounter and it didn’t disappoint the home fans. The visitors arrived with a clear plan in mind – kick Jordane Lambert – but the Swifts are familiar with this approach and introduced a plan to take full advantage.
Lambert drifted high and wide, drawing Cambridge’s strongest players out of the centre of the park like red and white moths to the flame. This created huge gaps in midfield that allowed the Swifts to flood forward.
Had Matamata’s execution been better the match would have been over by the half hour. Ben Vogt and Chris Walker, twice, had golden opportunities superbly saved by the visiting goalie, before Logan Raynel, in his first start, tapped home the opening goal five minutes before the break.
Two minutes later Walker broke through again, toed the ball past the keeper and was clattered for what appeared a clear penalty. He then got up and was booked…probably for going down to easily.
Walker and Lambert had great chances to extend Matamata’s lead in the five minutes after the restart, before the visitors came into the game for a period. Cambridge had a good spell midway through the half, during which they hit the upright and forced two excellent saves from Jordan Wise, but Matamata broke again inside the final ten minutes to finally seal the win. Walker’s pace got him in on goal before he squared to Vogt who slammed the ball home.
In the early game, Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves let in two first half goals to lose 2-0 to Cambridge reserves. It was another game in which the young reserve side was left ruing missed opportunities, including hitting the woodwork yet again.
The Swifts A team’s dreams of cup glory ended in disappointment after a 4-0 semi-final defeat to Melville in the Waikato Plate. After such a good recent run the A team will be disappointed with the way they surrendered the match, particularly during a sluggish first half in which they let in three goals.
On Sunday the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies also had an excellent winning run snapped due to a 4-2 loss at Melville. Annemieke Verstraten and Patrice Adamson scored for Matamata but their experienced opponents scored twice in each half to claim the spoils.
The Swifts Under-13’s completed their debut season with a fine 4-0 win at Claudelands Rovers. Midfielder, Braedyn Henderson scored twice, while front runners Anton Ganas and Cameron Wright each helped themselves to a goal. After entering the Waikato Bay of Plenty U-13 league with some trepidation, these young Swifts players have done themselves and the club proud with a string of top performances and results.
13th Grade: Cambridge 2-1 Matamata Jets. Matamata Falcons – BYE.
11th Grade: Matamata Dragons 7-0 Western United. Matamata Tigers 1-5 Northern United.
10th Grade: Matamata Rebels 3-0 Te Awamutu.
9th Grade: St Joseph’s 5-3 Matamata Eagles (Goals: Harrison Smith, Jason Li, OG. Player of the Day: Charlotte Salisbury). Glenview 0-2 Matamata Strikers.