Comag Matamata Swifts slipped to their first defeat of the season on Saturday, 1-0 at home against Papamoa FC, while the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies team also dropped points on what was a generally disappointing weekend for Matamata Swifts’ senior football teams.
The Swifts have opened the season with a run of games against the WaiBOP Premiership’s leading sides, with four of their first five matches against the current top four. Matamata sit in fifth. Papamoa had lost their unbeaten record last Saturday and the manner of their performance showed how keen they were to get back on track.
In a high tempo, aggressive match, both teams had their moments but virtually cancelled each other. The game’s solitary goal came midway through the first half when the Swifts got caught on the break. The first effort was blocked but the rebound fell kindly and was tucked away.
Clear cut openings were few and far between, with both teams being forced to shoot from distance. Matamata did have probably the best of the half-chances, with Brayden Lissington going close in the first half and Radge Avergonzado narrowly failing to connect in the second.
In the end, the Swifts had to suffer the frustration of a narrow defeat in a match neither side deserved to lose.
The curtain raiser, between Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves and their Papamoa counterparts, was a far more open affair, ending 5-3 to the visitors. Mike Smith opening the scoring for Matamata before the visitors went on a five goal scoring blitz either side of half time. Ronan Costello and Smith again brought the margin somewhere near realism with late goals, but again the reserves’ inconsistency during matches left them with nothing from what was an eminently winnable match.
Camel Kebab Swifts Third Team picked up their first Waikato Division 1 point of the season after holding Melville United to a 1-1 draw away from home. Hayri Cihan’s goal gave Matamata a deserved share of the spoils against one of the league’s top sides to help underline the team’s rapid improvement after a shaky start to the season.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies were held to a 2-2 draw at the Domain by Northern United. Matamata was ahead twice, through Kerrie Cox right on half time, then Mary Ontiveros shooting home from distance to restore the lead after the visitors had drawn level.
A good finish from Northern, who countered well, ensured parity, but Matamata will be ruing their missed opportunities as they had more of the ball and forced a string of corners, particularly during the second half. Ontiveros almost won it in dramatic circumstances but her shot right on full time was parried on to the upright by the Northern keeper.