Comag Matamata Swifts have won their final home game of the 2017 season to move within sight of a top two finish in the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership.
Their 2-0 victory on Saturday over the visiting Melville United side may have been expected, given the two sides’ position on the table, but the Swifts were made to work hard against a side that had nothing to lose.
The Swifts looked good from the outset in this one, operating at a good tempo and stretching, but not quite breaking, their opponents during the opening stages. The first goal, when it came on 20 minutes, was a fine piece of football. Veteran Jamie Baxter swept the ball home after a nice flowing move.
Twenty minutes later, and not long after Dayne Willemsen had seen a header well saved by the visiting goalie, the Swifts attacker slotted home following good word from strike partner Chris Walker.
The second half was a more balanced affair. Matamata continued to create good openings and were superbly denied on several occasions, but Melville also looked sharp. The visitors forced a string of corners and had a couple of excellent opportunities well saved by goalie, Matt Aberhart, who was making only his second start for the Swifts this season.
In the end the half time margin became the full time margin in an open and entertaining match that would have sent local fans home happy, both with the scoreline and their team’s performance. Several youngsters were able to get further game time for the Swifts as they continue to press their claims for a first team spot.
The Swifts now head to Tauranga next Saturday to play their final game of the season knowing a win against Old Blues will see the team finish in second place in the Premiership. Old Blues, however, know that a win of their own will see them not only draw level on points with Matamata, but move ahead of them on goal difference. After a long season full of challenges the chance to play for the runners-up spot is a nice little bonus for the Swifts.