Matamata Swifts officially welcomed COMAG on board as naming rights sponsor of the club’s first team with a resounding 6-0 victory at the Domain over Onehunga Mangere United in the latest round of the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup.
The Auckland-based visitors play one league higher than Matamata so entered the match as warm favourites. But it was the Swifts who looked the sharper outfit right from the kick-off and they crafted several openings before leading scorer, Chris Walker, finally put them in front just after the 20 minute mark.
Midfielder Sam Masterson, one of the Swifts’ best performers on the day, doubled Matamata’s lead six minutes before the break when his cross-come-shot flew under the crossbar.
The visitors had looked good on the break, hitting the crossbar during the first half, but Matamata effectively ended their resistance when Brad West skipped around the keeper five minutes into the second half to give the Swifts a three goal lead.
From there the Swifts powered home, scoring three times in the final quarter hour to complete the rout. Captain Scott Parsonage helped himself to a double – one from close range and one a screamer from outside the box – before substitute Logan Raynel slid home the sixth right on full time.
After a preliminary round victory and now this result in round 1 the Swifts are now as far into the cup as they’ve been for a decade. The draw for round 2 is early this week and there is the potential to play one of the country’s biggest clubs. Hopefully the Swifts get the chance to do this at the Domain.
In the early game on Saturday, Richardson Racing Stables Matamata Reserves drew 1-1 with Taupo Reserves. Bruno Dos Santos lobbed the Taupo keeper to give Matamata a half time lead before the visitors grabbed an equaliser in the second half. Matamata had the chance to kill the game during the first hour but didn’t take their chances, then Taupo finished strong and could have nicked it themselves in the end.
On Sunday the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies secured their best result of the season – a 3-0 win at Claudelands Rovers. The later than usual kick-off impacted on player availability, but fans wouldn’t have known that given the way the team performed. Matamata started strongly against their highly-rated opponents and passed the ball well, particularly through the middle of the field. Manon van Lith gave Matamata a deserved lead on 30 minutes to see the team ahead at the break.
Matamata was straight back into it in the second half and doubled their lead when Kerrie Cox got on the end of a cross and finished expertly. Van Lith sealed the game when she whipped the ball in from a corner and it skimmed a Claudelands player on the way in for an own goal.
This result proved once and for all that the 2017 Swifts ladies team now has the confidence and belief to play at this level, despite only being promoted to the division less than a week before the start of the season. The team now sits in mid-table and is improving with every match they play.