COMAG Matamata Swifts continued their excellent recent form with a 3-2 win at neighbours Cambridge on Saturday and now sit just one point off the lead of the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership.
The Swifts began with a bang with a third consecutive fast start in a game that increasingly became a tense and niggly affair. Leading scorer Chris Walker slipped home two goals inside the first ten minutes to give Matamata an ideal beginning against bewildered opposition.
But Cambridge worked themselves back into the match and snatched a goal back before the break, although Walker was then denied his second hat trick in two games when he hit the crossbar. Thus the lead stayed at one goal. It wouldn’t be a Swifts game without hitting the woodwork so it was good to get that out of the way reasonably early.
Worse was to come for the Swifts when Cambridge was awarded a disputed penalty just after the hour, which they converted to level things up. Only minutes later, however, Jamie Baxter struck from a corner with what would turn out to be a deserved winner, both for Matamata and the veteran centre half.
The Swifts moved to twelve points from their five games and now sit a point behind league leaders Taupo, who defeated previous leaders Unicol on Saturday.
Match pics here.
Matamata takes a break from league action this coming Saturday when they host Auckland-based side Onehunga Mangere United in the latest round of the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup. Onehunga Mangere play in the league directly above the Swifts so this will be a great opportunity to see how the team goes against stronger opposition. The match kicks off at 2pm at the Domain.
In the only other game played at the weekend, the Swifts A team lost 12-0 at star-studded Melville United. The Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves match was postponed while Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies won 3-0 by default over Claudelands Rovers.
The Waikato junior football season also began on Saturday. All the Swifts’ junior 8th to 12th grade sides completed their first of four grading games, while the 4th to 7th grade Mini-Kickers programme started at the Domain.
- 12th Grade: St Peters 3-0 Matamata Dragons (Player of the Day: Kristian Evdokimov), Ngahinapouri 5-0 Matamata Tigers (POD: Damon Shaw).
- 11th Grade: Matamata Rebels 1-7 Raglan (POD: Ericka Lander. Goal: Grason Constable), Matamata Strikers 1-2 Cambridge (Goal: Conner Verstraten).
- 10th Grade: Matamata Eagles 2-11 Wanderers (POD: Zeb Mataitoga. Goals: Josh Martin, Haydn Logie).
- 9th Grade: Cambridge 2-3 Matamata Magpies (POD: Luke. Goals: Jayden, Luke).
- 8th Grade: Cambridge 1-3 Matamata Panthers (POD: Lucas Smith. Goals: Kees Pryor, Lucas Smith, Alan Li), Newstead 12-1 Matamata Jets (POD: Bronsan Edwards. Goal: Charlotte Cherry).