Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 2-2 Waikato Unicol
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts recovered from two goal half time deficit on Saturday to snatch a point from a 2-2 draw against Waikato Unicol, one of the WaiBOP Premiership’s 2016 title favourites.
In truth, the Swifts could well have taken all three points after creating a host of second half opportunities. But a draw was enough to keep their unbeaten start to the season going and spoke volumes for the powers of recovery in a side that seems a very different proposition to that of recent seasons.
Matamata’s Joe Tompsett had the game’s first opportunity but the visitors went ahead inside five minutes when they broke the Swifts off-side trap and finished emphatically past goalie, Jordan Wise.
Both sides created several half chances during the remainder of the opening period, but it was the visitors who capitalised with the game’s second goal. A good strike, on the angle and from distance, gave Unicol a two goal cushion.
The Swifts’ comeback began just after the hour mark when defender, Chris Monteith, poked the ball home from a Jamie Baxter free kick. The goal sparked wave after wave of Matamata attacks in what became a clinic on how to press an opponent into submission, and also one in how not to finish them off. Tompsett, Brad West and Scott Parsonage had the best openings, but the elusive goal eventually came with five minutes left.
Dwayne Signal, who not long before had sent a header narrowly over the cross bar, took aim from outside the box and arrowed the ball home for a goal that owed much to placement over power. It was the least Matamata deserved from an entertaining match against a good Unicol side.
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves 1-3 Waikato Unicol Reserves
The Swifts reserves suffered their second defeat of the season in the opening match of Saturday’s Matamata versus Waikato Unicol double header.
Matamata began brightly but it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 20 minutes with a deflected shot. Unicol were soon 2-0 up following another deflected effort, but Matamata clawed themselves back into the game before the break. A Dan Harrison shot hit the arm of a Unicol defender, leading to a penalty that was neatly dispatched by Logan Raynel.
The match should have been level at the break, but a well taken free kick bounced harmlessly wide when the ball was just begging to be knocked into the Unicol goal.
After the break it continued to be a tight affair. Matamata prodded and probed forward but, too often, were guilty of individuals overplaying when a bit more cohesiveness, patience and quality was called for.
The visitors’ third goal effectively won the game for them but it was a match Matamata will be disappointed they didn’t take anything from. Small improvements in several areas should see the results start to come for this young side.
Tokoroa 8-0 Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies
WaiBOP Ladies Division
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies ran into a rampant Tokoroa ladies side on Sunday, suffering a heavy defeat to what may well be the early favourites to win the Waikato Ladies Division.
The hosts scored five before half time to effectively seal the result, but Matamata kept going after the break in heavy conditions. The Swifts Ladies put in a stronger second half showing to at least leave Tokoroa with the confidence that when this relatively new side has a few more matches under their belts they’ll start picking up results.
Matamata Swifts ‘A’ 1-9 Eastern City
Waikato Division A
The Swifts ‘A’ team suffered their second consecutive heavy defeat following a tough second half performance against a lively Eastern City side. The A team didn’t start well, but a Hayri Cihan goal just before half time kept the game in the balance.
The A team began the second half strongly, with Jamie Cox and Ronan Costello going close to reducing the deficit, but the visitors soon hit their straps. They scored six unanswered goals that blew the margin out further than the team deserved.