Comag Matamata finished on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline on Saturday, after two consecutive reverses by the same margin, to bank their first win in Taupo since the 2006 season and regain some momentum as the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership season heads into its final couple of months.
Matamata didn’t start well, conceding a goal early then creating a number of first half chances which they failed to put away. They even failed to convert a penalty, when Jamie Baxter hit the cross bar from the spot, and went into the break with mixed feelings. The performance had been positive but the frustration at all the missed chances was evident.
It didn’t take long in the second half for the Swifts to finally take one of the opportunities. Dayne Willemsen rose to head home a Jamie Baxter corner moments after the restart to right a few wrongs.
The Swifts midfield trio of Scott Parsonage, Sam Masterson and Reuben Wiglesworth controlled the tempo of the match against their robust opponents. The winner finally came five minutes from the end through leading scorer, Chris Walker, who slipped home his seventeenth goal of the season. Taupo created one final chance but Swifts keeper, Patrick Steele, pulled off a sharp stop to ensure his team banked three deserved and well needed points.
In the early game, Taupo came out on top in the battle of the two clubs’ reserve teams. Two first half goals gave the hosts a 2-0 win but the young Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves, short of several players able to make it to Taupo in time for the early kick-off, put in a solid showing against one of the league’s form teams. Youngsters Harry Conner, Jacob Fouhy and Sam Hills all started and put in another solid shift as they continue to develop at this level.
The Swifts A team lost a 4-3 thriller in a local derby at Te Aroha. Two goals from Ronan Costello and a Dylan Smith strike couldn’t quite make up for the team going down to ten men just after the break in what, at times, was a quite frustrating match for the team.
On Sunday the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies got back to winning ways thanks to a 2-1 victory at Hamilton Wanderers. Patrice Morrison and Annemieke Verstraten got the goals as Matamata rebounded from two consecutive defeats with what was a generally positive performance.