Comag Matamata Swifts continued their frustrating recent Loaded WaiBOP Premiership run with a narrow and, at times, unnerving 3-2 defeat by Melville United on Saturday.
Needing to recover from last week’s loss at Papamoa, the Swifts were solid at the start, defending well pressing their opponent’s goal on several occasions. The visitors dodged a bullet, that may have ultimately decided the destination of the points, when a clear penalty shout for a foul on Chris Walker was waved away.
Melville scored the only goal of the first half from a long range speculator that owed more to the late winter sun blinding Swifts keeper, Rob Longstaff, than anything else, then doubled their lead straight after the restart.
Brayden Lissington slid home a free kick on the hour mark to get Matamata back in the game, but then the Swifts’ saw two players sent to the new ten minute sin bin, one after the other, leaving them with less than a full compliment of players on the field for an extended period. During one of these spells, Melville nodded home from a corner to restore their two goal lead.
Lissington bundled home his second with a couple of minutes remaining but, despite some late pressure, the Swifts couldn’t find an equaliser. On another day, and with a bit more consistent decision making from both players and match officials, the result could have been very different.
The news was better on Sunday, as the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies and Camel Kebab Swifts 3rd team both picked up solid victories.
Matamata’s Ladies team continued their recent upswing in form with a 3-1 win over Claudelands Rovers in Hamilton. Annemieke Verstraten scored twice, with Katie Morrison joining the team’s top scorer in finding the back of the net. The team is now in the top four of the Waikato Ladies division A with three matches to play.
The 3rd team completed their 2018 league campaign after edging Zig Zag 4-3 in their final match at the Domain. Harrison Taylor, John Harris, Ronan Costello and an own goal, following a double deflection from a Shaun Richardson shot, saw the side end a successful season in the best possible way.