The positive start to the 2020 senior football season in Matamata continued over the weekend as all three of the Swifts senior teams picked up home wins.
A duo of 1-0 victories on Saturday saw both Comag Matamata Swifts and Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves home, while the goals flew in on Sunday as Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies defeated Otorohanga 4-2.
Comag Matamata Swifts’ performance against Tauranga City was more convincing than the narrow scoreline would suggest. After an even first 20 minutes during which the visitors threatened several times, the Swifts wrested the initiative and began carving out good chances.
Anton Ganas fired home what would be the game’s only goal ten minutes before half time and could really have had a first half hat trick. New signing, Campbell Higgins, hit the upright just before half time, while after the break the Swifts were repeatedly denied by a visiting keeper in exceptional form.
Matamata had the ball in the net twice more but both goals were ruled out, while a clear trip in the box was also missed.
In a footballing sense, this was a better performance than the team’s opening day win, but without full reward. The three points, however, means the Swifts sit in second spot in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership, albeit at such an early stage of the season.
The early game on Saturday saw Waharoa Transport Swifts Reserves rebound from their opening day defeat with a passion-filled performance against Ngaruawahia United. Ronan Costello’s goal just after the hour mark ultimately proved to be the game’s decisive moment, but the team was also forced to dig deep against decent opposition. The reserves defended well when needed and Danny Ellis, in goal, was in inspired form to secure his clean sheet.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies kept pace at the top of Waikato Women’s Division 1 after a solid win in an even encounter against Otorohanga. Laura Fisher’s first half opener was all that separated the sides as they went to half time, but three goals by the mid-point of the second half sealed victory for Matamata.
Jen Waterhouse hooked home from close range six minutes after the interval to double Matamata’s lead before another in a long line of Mary Ontiveros specials, on the hour, extended the margin to three.
Jess Greenfield buried Matamata’s fourth after a good run to secure the result. Otorohanga hit back with two late goals which, in fairness, was the least they deserved after contributing much to an entertaining match.